Words / Whitney Branshaw
It’s been a blazing hot summer in Alaska and hopefully you’ve all been reaping the benefits of it. One thing that’s been especially heating-up in Alaska is our music scene. We’ve been lucky enough to have some pretty big acts come up to our great state and showcase their talent. Artists like Modest Mouse, Diplo, RL Grime and Wu-Tang is coming up in August. Besides finally getting some nationally known acts up here, our local music scene’s been hotter than ever. Most locals are keen on the music festivals here, events like Salmonfest, Trapper Creek Bluegrass and Talkeetna Bluegrass – just to name a few. These festivals are known for local and outside musicians, amazing local food, local artists, camping and parties. But what about a music festival that you can stay in town for, attend with your whole family in tow, with FREE admission and experience some of the same novelties?
Say no more, fam. Enter GooseFest.
GooseFest is an annual Music Festival featuring a lineup of some of our favorite local artists. The Dirty Hands, Saturday Cinders, Hope Social Club, RNR, Super Frequency and DJ Tico. The second Annual GooseFest, hosted by UAA Student Activities, will take place at the UAA Cuddy Quad on July 23rd 2016 from 1-7 p.m. I got the chance to sit down with Savana Hartley, Brenda Craig and Ronell Corral, all leading the charge on GooseFest, to get some inside info on how this event got started, what people can expect this year, and the future of this annual music event.
Tell me, how did this event get started?
Ronell Corral: Last year we got this event in mind because of the lack of summer events going on in town. So, the original idea was to go all the way to Goose Lake and have a beach party thing going on, but because we didn’t know that setting we decided to move it to UAA Cuddy Quad and go with what we knew. We wanted to do something with local musicians that was free and open to the public. We had support from 101.3 KGOT, the newspapers all put press out on us, posters everywhere. We had about 600 people show up last year, and that was almost too much. We weren’t ready for it. We’re trying to be more prepared for it this year. Eventually the hope is to do this event at Goose Lake, but for now we want to build off of what we learned last year.
Brenda Craig: That’s why we called it GooseFest, ‘cause we were supposed to be at Goose Lake.
Oh, ok. Cool. As in Goose Lake, not to be confused with goosing someone?
SH: Funny, my mom thought it meant the same thing (laughs).
How did you decide the lineup for this year?
BC: Originally we wanted to do a ska/reggae genre as the focus, so we called H3, but we couldn’t work it out with them. That’s how we got RNR to sign on. Then we looked to venues we admire like Taproot and Williwaw and found bands that were strong in the local scene and reached out and asked them to be a part of it. We just wanted local artists with good vibes and people that were fun.
RC: Last year we had a completely different feel. Our whole lineup changed as we got closer to the event and we ended up going a local alternative route. We wanted to do something different this year and attract more people. So, that’s how we got this lineup played out.
What can people expect for extras at this event?
BC: We have a local food truck, Smokehouse BBQ coming and are working on getting more.
SH: We have a ton of craft tables we are setting up, you can paint love rocks, face painting for adults and kids and the ever popular fairy/flower crown, bracelets and all kinds of things. We just want people to come and have a good time.
BC: The 49th Supply Co. will be there as well. They will have a booth where you can buy merchandise and we're hoping to do a little bit of skating too. If we can’t get ramps involved, we'll do some flat ground stuff. We just want people to get involved. We want to keep everything local, from vendors to entertainment, to food and activities and beyond.
RC: Since it’s a UAA event, we're thinking about what college kids would want and what would entice this age group to attend, which is how we came up with the extras offered. Mostly we just want folks to come out and have fun.
BC: That’s the reason we tapped 49th to be apart of this event. I see all these kids on campus wearing the brand and we want to support that. Oh! I can’t forget the bounce house too – we have an adult bounce house.
What are your hopes for this event in the future?
RC: Well, besides the exposure for local artists, I just want to have a good time. We also want to bring the community together.
SH: I want to see a good turnout again. And I want people to know who we are and what we’re doing in the community and see what we can do for them through student activities at UAA.
BC: Just like everyone asked, “were you at Diplo or did you go to Seward?” I want people to be talking about it later and be like, “Yo, were you at GooseFest?”
Any messages ya’ll wanna get across in regards to GooseFest, AKA not goosing somebody?
RC: It’s gonna be lit (laughs).
SH: (Laughs) Yes, really lit. Bring yo friends.
Bring yo momma, too?
BC: I invited my momma on Facebook. And she’s coming too. It’s gonna be dope, but don’t bring your dope.
Wait, I can’t bring my weed?
BC: (Laughs) Not to this event. But feel free to exercise that right in your own home.
We wrap up our talk in the summer sun outside the UAA Cuddy Quad with hugs and some kick flips from Brenda. I promise to attend GooseFest and leave feeling stoked on the good energy these kids were putting off. Being a local artist in Alaska, I understand the hunger involved in wanting your shit to pop off, wanting to get people as stoked as you are and participate in your event. Some may be scratching their heads wondering, “why is this chick likening Modest Mouse and Wu-Tang to some music festival put on by UAA student activities?” Because the people behind this event are just as passionate about bringing the community together and supporting local artists as you are about playing Pokemon Go. It’s real life shit. It’s important for us to support each other in our endeavors and further the local music and arts scene in order for it to continue to grow and get bigger.
The lineup at this event is a really solid one. I’ve seen every single band listed and was blown away by all of them.