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)

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