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The sounds of sunshine

KYRS Music Fest touts eclectic lineup, solar power and a river backdrop in Peaceful Valley’s Glover Field

Glover Field sits tucked away in Peaceful Valley, a patch of land about two acres big located near the south bank of the Spokane River.

Once a hub of activity – athletic events, carnivals and exhibitions were all common there in the early part of the 20th century – the park is now used primarily for community and recreational events. This Saturday, Glover Field will serve as the venue for KYRS Music Fest, a daylong event hosted by Thin Air Community Radio.

“We’ve done concerts in the past, at places like the Bing,” said Lupito Flores, station manager at KYRS, “but nothing this big.”

The festival features a lineup of nine bands, local and regional, with family-friendly entertainment such as hula hooping, drumming and yoga in addition to the music.

But what makes Music Fest noteworthy is that it’s completely solar powered. Flores says he doesn’t believe that’s been attempted before in the Inland Northwest, and everything from the sound system to the stage lights will be hooked up to several solar pods that were donated for the event.

Flores says planning Music Fest took well over a year, and a team of more than 50 volunteers will be on hand to work the festival.

Although the implementation of solar power wasn’t the initial hook for Music Fest (that idea came about during the development stages), Flores says Thin Air Radio’s goal was always to keep the event environmentally conscious.

He also says that Thin Air is encouraging concertgoers to use alternative modes of transportation – a bike corral will be available for cyclists – and that the food vendors will be using compostable plates, cups and silverware. “We definitely want to keep it low impact,” Flores said.

The lineup of bands is eclectic, with sounds ranging from the spacey, twisty experimentalism of Portland’s Menomena to the synth-tinged pop of Boise’s Finn Riggins. Alongside the traveling musical acts are several local artists, including the bluegrass-folk outfit Old Bear Mountain, the harmonious indie rock band Cathedral Pearls, and the instrumental surf rock quartet BBBBandits.

On top of the musical entertainment, the festival will also offer a selection of food trucks, a Ninkasi beer garden, and a “community village” with booths and tables devoted to various local nonprofit organizations.

Flores says the venue is one of KYRS Music Fest’s most distinctive aspects, as the stage boasts the Spokane Falls as a backdrop. The park also has an interesting musical history: Pop punk band Green Day played a community sponsored concert there in 1991, just a few years before they hit it big.

“It’s really an underused, beautiful space,” Flores said of Glover Field. “Spokane is known for its parks, but this is really one of the gems.”