The Mat-Su Valley's music scene continues to grow, thanks to new venues, new events and even some national notoriety. The Valley will build on that scene on Memorial Day weekend with the Great Alaska Music Festival's initial event at the Alaska State Fairgrounds.
Grammy-award winning Portugal. The Man is fronted by John Gourley and Zach Carothers, who got their start while at Wasilla High School. Throughout their almost surreal rise to fame, they have continually mentioned Alaska in general, and their hometown specifically. And while not every musician in the Valley can expect to end up with a Grammy and a world tour, there are new opportunities for the ever-evolving scene.
On Memorial Day Weekend, national acts including the Yonder Mountain String Bad, Asleep at the Wheel, the Kyle Hollingworth Band, Karl Dennison's Tiny Universe and Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen are being joined by noted Alaska artists Hope Social Club, Denali Cooks and the Super Saturated Sugar Strings at the first-ever Great Alaska Music Festival. Tickets are on sale now at www.greatalaskamusicfestival.com.
The opening of the Glenn Massey Theater on the campus of Mat-Su College is another opportunity for larger acts to perform in the Valley. The state of the art theater has hosted several well known artists in the last year, and gives local music promoters a great venue. Another relatively new venue that can be used for musical performances is the Government Peak Chalet, at the base of Hatcher Pass. The last two summers it has been the location for a small music festival.
In Talkeetna, the Live at Five concert series continues every Friday evening throughout the summer, bringing in some of the top Alaska acts in addition to a few national performers. The Fairview Inn in Talkeetna also typically has live music throughout the summer. Throughout the year, the Denali Arts Council also hosts musical acts at the Don Sheldon Community Arts Hangar.
Whether small and intimate or a large festival, the Mat-Su Valley has an ever-evolving music scene.