Witty Youngman performs a set Saturday evening at Crystal Saloon during the Amplify Alaska Fundraising Festival on behalf of the Áak’w Rock Indigenous Music Festival scheduled in September. The event featuring five mini-concerts raised more than $5,000. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Witty Youngman performs a set Saturday evening at Crystal Saloon during the Amplify Alaska Fundraising Festival on behalf of the Áak’w Rock Indigenous Music Festival scheduled in September. The event featuring five mini-concerts raised more than $5,000. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Stocking up for Aak’w Rock

Livestreamed multi-artist gig raises more than $5K for Indigenous music festival

Musicians performing a fundraising event for the Aak’w Rock Indigenous Music Festival were soaking in the benevolence — and a bit of dishwater — during a multi-concert evening at Crystal Saloon livestreamed to what organizers hoped was an intergalactic audience.

The Amplify Alaska Fundraising Festival topped the $5,000 mark just as the last of the five performers finished his final song, easily surpassing the $3,000 goal set to benefit the biennial Indigenous musical festival next scheduled for Sept. 21-23. The fundraising event is available free on YouTube, showcasing the mix of live performances and podcasts featuring the performers that were available to both people at the Crystal Saloon and watching from afar.

Yngvil Vatn Guttu, co-creater of Amplify Alaska, plays trumpet during her organization’s fundraising event Saturday night at Crystal Saloon for the Áak’w Rock Indigenous Music Festival. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Yngvil Vatn Guttu, co-creater of Amplify Alaska, plays trumpet during her organization’s fundraising event Saturday night at Crystal Saloon for the Áak’w Rock Indigenous Music Festival. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

“It’s going to be quite the multimedia event,” said Yngvil Vatn Guttu, co-creator of Amplify Alaska, before the first featured musician took the stage. With people still flowing into the saloon she observed “we have lots of people at the Crystal Saloon live from Juneau, Alaska, and lots of people sitting, we hope, in other cities, other countries, other atmospheres, other universes.”

The evening mix of virtuosity and virtual came together nearly flawlessly, save for a leak from a dishwasher on the upper floor that happened to be located above the stage. That made for a few “rain” quips before everyone was able to make a clean exit.

A virtual Sony Walkman plays a backing track “cassette” during a performance at the Amplify Alaska Fundraising Festival at Crystal Saloon on Saturday night. The evening featured a mix of live in-person and online elements, and was livestreamed in an effort to expand its fundraising reach. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

A virtual Sony Walkman plays a backing track “cassette” during a performance at the Amplify Alaska Fundraising Festival at Crystal Saloon on Saturday night. The evening featured a mix of live in-person and online elements, and was livestreamed in an effort to expand its fundraising reach. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

The podcasts by the performers featured discussions about their music, culture and plans for the upcoming Aak’w Rock, promoted as the only Indigenous music festival in the United States. Alaska performing artist Qacung, one of the Aak’w Rock organizers who was last to take the state Saturday night, told Guttu during a podcast broadcast before his set this year’s September schedule is based on local feedback suggesting a preference for the “shoulder season” when cruise ship traffic is tapering off.

“We are right on the very tip of the shoulder,” he told Guttu.

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com

Finesstor, a Filipino/R&B musician, is filmed for a live webstream while performing as part of the Amplify Alaska Fundraising Festival on behalf of the Áak’w Rock Indigenous Music Festival at Crystal Saloon on Saturday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Finesstor, a Filipino/R&B musician, is filmed for a live webstream while performing as part of the Amplify Alaska Fundraising Festival on behalf of the Áak’w Rock Indigenous Music Festival at Crystal Saloon on Saturday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of Feb. 19

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, addresses a joint session of the Alaska Legislature on Wednesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Sullivan touts new ocean cleanup headquarters in Juneau, attacks Biden in annual speech to legislators

Senator calls Trump “the best president ever” for Alaska, has harsh words for Iran and migrants

The Norwegian Bliss arrives in Juneau on April 17, 2023, the first cruise ship of the 2023 season. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Free public downtown Wi-Fi, park upgrades, more buses among proposals for marine passenger fees

Public comments being accepted until March 25 for more than $19 million in recommended projects.

Andy Mills (left), legislative liaison for the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, and Commissioner Ryan Anderson testify before the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday about an executive order that would give the governor full control of the Alaska Marine Highway System’s operations board. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Governor says he wants control of ferry board so it’s not ‘at odds’ with him; senators express skepticism

Resolution to reject Dunleavy’s executive order among many being considered by legislators.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)
Police calls for Monday, Feb. 19, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Paul Peterson, author of the Harvard study on national charter school performance. (KTOO 360TV screenshot)
Alaska lawmakers grapple with test-score performance gap between charters and other public schools

Charter study does not show how their testing success can be replicated in regular public schools.

An underwater image captured in 2016 shows sockeye salmon swimming up the Brooks River in Alaska’s Katmai National Park to spawn. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is buying about 50 million pounds of Alaska fish — pollock, pink salmon and sockeye salmon — to use in its food and nutrition-assistance programs. (Photo provided by the National Park Service)
Agriculture Department commits to big purchase of Alaska salmon and pollock for food programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will purchase about 50 million pounds of… Continue reading

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé students hold up signs during a rally along Egan Drive on Tuesday afternoon protesting a proposal to consolidate all local students in grades 10-12 at Thunder Mountain High School to help deal with the Juneau School District’s financial crisis. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
JDHS students, teachers rally to keep grades 9-12 at downtown school if consolidation occurs

District’s proposed move to TMHS would result in loss of vocational facilities, ninth-grade students.

Deven Mitchell, executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., gives a tour of the corporation’s investment floor to Sen. Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, and other attendees of an open house on Friday. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. leaders approve proposal to borrow up to $4 billion for investments

Plan must be OK’d by legislators and Gov. Mike Dunleavy because it requires changes to state law.

Most Read