The second annual Meadowlark Music Festival brings nine bands and performers to Women’s Park in Helena, noon-10 p.m. Sept. 8. Together, they deliver a rousing mix of rock, bluegrass, belly dancing, jazz, and folk.
Headlining this year’s event is the Seattle-based band Kuinka, whose genre-defying music features several different lead singers, four-part harmony, and eclectic instrumentation including cello, banjo, synthesizers, ukulele and electronic percussion. Local duo David and Deidre Casey opens the festival at noon, followed by Andrea Crossguns, the North Hill Trio, Steven Gores Ensemble, Leigh Guest, Queen City Tribal and Uncharted Waters. Missoula’s Reverend Slanky delivers horn-driven funk, and Kuinka caps festivities with their joyous brand of folk-pop.
Helena’s Mayor, Wilmot Collins, will speak as well as a representative from the festival’s beneficiary, YWCA Helena.
Food fare is tantalizing, including prime-rib sliders from Smoke Jumper and bahn mi from Saigon Alley, a local food truck known for its fresh flavors and use of local ingredients. Western Cider of Missoula kicks off Helena distribution of their tasty hard ciders at the Meadowlark Festival, and will be handing out samples. Local microbrews, wine and craft cocktails are also available (as well as non-alcoholic beverages).
Festival-goers may peruse the craft, informational and art vendor stalls, take part in an interactive art piece (courtesy of the Holter Museum of Art), play a game of giant Jenga, or let the kids run wild on the Big Blue Blocks, courtesy of Helena’s Playable Playgrounds.
Last year’s Meadowlark Festival raised $4,000 for Prickly Pear Land Trust. This year, 50% of proceeds will go directly to YWCA Helena.
For the safety of attendees, PEAK physical fitness will provide a first-aid tent and Mountain Country Distributing will supply refillable water stations across the park to keep participants hydrated so they can dance the night away.
Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door, and available at Blackfoot River, Ten Mile, Lewis and Clark and Snow Hop breweries, Gulch Distillers, Funky Trunk or online online at Brown Paper Tickets.