Music

Salmonfest announces 2021 concert lineup: Sarah Jarosz and Greensky Bluegrass will headline

Salmonfest, one of Alaska’s biggest music festivals, has announced a 2021 festival lineup with headliners Sarah Jarosz, a four-time Grammy winning Americana artist, and bluegrass-rock group Greensky Bluegrass.

The festival will return to the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik on Friday-Sunday, Aug. 6-8. Like most annual festivals in Alaska, it was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers say this year’s event will be spread out over an additional 40 acres in order to allow for more social distancing.

[Related: Here are the Alaska fairs and festivals returning in summer 2021]

Jarosz is coming to Alaska fresh off a Grammy win for best Americana album in 2021 (“World on the Ground”). Often described as a mandolin and banjo prodigy, she broke through with her debut album “Song Up in Her Head,” which she released in 2009 at age 18. Jarosz has four Grammys as an individual artist and is also a member of the Grammy-winning folk trio I’m With Her alongside Sara Watkins and Aoife O’Donovan.

Jarosz will play Friday, Aug. 6, starting at 9 p.m.

Greensky Bluegrass is a five-piece band that played the festival (then called Salmonstock) in 2012, just before blowing up in national popularity. The group is known for their nontraditional approach to the genre.

“Many people think of us as a rock band that plays bluegrass. I think that’s real interesting,” vocalist and banjo player Michael Bont said in a 2019 interview with Bluegrass Today.

Salmonfest assistant director David Stearns said audiences can look forward to the group’s signature light show on a new ampitheater stage starting at 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7.

According to organizers, there will be 65 acts spread out over five stages, as well as more than 100 vendors and a daily children’s program.

Other national acts touring to Alaska for the festival include The High Hawks, Vella, Bay Area Powerhouse, Con Brio, The National Parks, The Burroughs, LowDown Brass Band, Lindsay Lou, Carsie Blanton, Megan Hamilton and Defunk.

Alaska-based bands will include Pamyua, Blackwater Railroad Company, I Sing. You Dance., Hope Social Club, Super Saturated Sugar Strings and more.

Adult day passes are $69-$89 depending on the day. Multiple package deals and special pricing are available for teens and seniors; children 12 and under are free when accompanied by a ticket-holding adult. For ticket details, full lineup and schedule, as well as information about camping, visit salmonfestalaska.org.

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