A two-day music festival, produced by Milo Matthews who was inspired to bring a brilliant singer/songwriting legend, is coming to Homer June 29-30.
Buffy Sainte-Marie was a graduating college senior in 1962 and hit the ground running in the early 1960s. That was after the beatniks and before the hippies.
All alone, she toured North America’s colleges, Indian reservations and concert halls, “meeting both huge acclaim and huge misperception from audiences and record companies who expected Pocahontas in fringes,” she wrote in her biography.
By age 24, Sainte-Marie had appeared all over Europe, Canada, Australia and Asia, receiving honors, medals and awards, which continue to this day. Her song, “Until It’s Time for You to Go,” was recorded by Elvis Presley and Barbra Streisand and Cher.
Her “Universal Soldier” became the anthem of the peace movement.
“I was introduced to her music when vacationing in Hawaii,” Matthews said. “I had missed her concert, and when I learned more about her, I was overwhelmed that she’s been around so long and I had never heard of her.”
Matthews said they wanted to build the festival around a major musician.
“I went to her website and called her manager,” he said. “I don’t recall any major shows in Alaska involving her.”
Sainte-Marie is now 73 years old and still performing.
The Alaska Native band, Pamyua, will open the show for Buffy at 8 p.m. June 28.
A line-up of local music will feature Matthews, Nellie Clay, Super Frequency, Yellow Cabin, BarRoom Roses, Caressa Starshine, Shawn Zuke, Sally Wills, Lindianne, Cindy McKenna, Sunrise and Sally Wills.
Matthews said he is envisioning the two-day festival as a chance for Homer folks and visitors alike to hear some great music. Camping spaces will be available, along with food, arts, crafts and music all day long.
“My desire to have the festival was to have one big act and surround it with, not just Homer, but all-Alaskan groups,” Matthews said. “I wanted to help bring people to Homer to boost the local economy.”
He will need volunteers to help.
“Other than Concert on the Lawn, it’s been a while since we’ve had a major music festival here,” Matthews said.
The event also will mark the inauguration of a specially built outdoor stage. It was originally built three years ago when a member of the Grateful Dead was scheduled to play Homer. When the show was cancelled, the stage was set aside.
“That was another point of inspiration for me – the introduction of the outside stage,” Matthews said.
There are no age restrictions on the event, with kids aged 12, and under, free.
Tickets are available at the Down East Saloon, or www.inticketing.com. For more information, check out the Down East website at www.downeastsaloon.com.