Brandi Carlile, Michael Franti to headline Salmonfest 2018

Brandi Carlile Photo courtesy of Salmonfest

Folk rock singer Brandi Carlile and hip-hop singer/rapper Michael Franti and Spearhead will headline Salmonfest 2018, Alaska’s biggest festival weekend, with over 60 bands in all, Aug. 3-5 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik.

Salmonfest, three days of fish, love and music, is billed as the unifying force of the public to preserve and protect Alaska’s wild salmon. The event is supported by and benefits the Kachemak Bay Conservation Society with support from Cook Inletkeeper, both of Homer.

Carlile was a huge hit at the 2013 festival and her star has continued to rise, becoming a major force in the festival circuit and the musical world at large, notes Jim Stearns, of Homer, festival director and producer. Her new album, released in early April, is “By the Way I Forgive You.”

Stearns said he’s also excited about the addition of Franti and Spearhead, a band that blends hip hop with funk, reggae, jazz, folk and rock.

“Musically, spiritually and politically this is a perfect fit for Salmonfest,” Stearns said.

Great American Taxi, boogie rock champs, whose recent album was “Dr. Feelgood’s Travelling Medicine Show,, is back again too. Other bands include Fruition, Front Country, Gasoline Lollipops, Lowdown Brass Band, Apashe, Achilles Wheel, Scott Pemberton, Hope Social Club, Intuitive Compass, Tom Easton and Garrin Benfield.


The festival, with continuous music over three days on four stages, also includes creative participatory arts and crafts for all ages, special brews in the beer garden, food booths, an expanded children’s program, and other unusual and special surprise events.

Applications for food, craft and educational vendor booths are still being accepted, as well as for sponsorships at several levels, and as usual festival organizers are recruiting volunteers to work a minimum of two four-hour shifts during the event, in return for which they will receive a pass for each day they work that four-hour shift. Volunteer jobs are open to anyone who is at least 18 years of age by Aug. 3.

Discounted tickets are available at  through 11:59 p.m. Friday, April 27, along with more festival details as they are finalized. Click on “get involved” at the same website for information about sponsorships, booth applications and volunteering.