“The Beauty of Alaska”: Sacred Acre Festival Hopes to Spark Environmental Change and Connection

If you had the opportunity to expand your knowledge of sustainability practices while getting down to some genre-bending bass music in the Alaskan wilderness, would you?

Well, you actually can. The environmentally-focused bass festival Sacred Acre will make its grand return to Ninilchik’s Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds from September 8-10, and it’s set to be one of the country’s biggest festival sends. Alaska isn’t necessarily easy to get to, but the experience itself will lend a platform for attendees to physically connect and stay educated on the active destruction of the ocean’s ecosystems while being immersed in a serene 40 acres of beautiful wooded forest.

Which makes the location of Sacred Acre that much more powerful. Located on the Cook Inlet off of the Gulf of Alaska, the festival will place attendees in arguably one of the most breathtaking environments in the United States, which has been home to indigenous and native people for thousands of years.

With the rapidly increasing demand for seafood, the area is facing real-time detrimental effects from trawling, which is set to trickle down and impact the rest of the world’s ecosystems in due time.

“The inspiration behind Sacred Acre comes from the beauty of Alaska,” Sacred Acre founder Chris Miller tells EDM.com. “The name needed to have a good cause, so the protection of the barren sea and the wilderness of Alaska was at the forefront. The name ‘Sacred Acre’ comes from a story from Ivo Dominguez Jr., where he wrote of the space between low and high tides. This space was referred to as the ‘sacred acre.’ It’s the water that truly makes this space unique and pure magic.”

The Turnagain Arm highway to Sacred Acre.

Ian Esk Merculieff

“Trawling is a huge issue in Alaska. We are watching the destruction in real-time,” explained Sacred Acre’s assistant director, Hannah Stearns. “The fishing numbers are declining and the native people are being tremendously affected. The numbers of crab, halibut and salmon everywhere in the state are plummeting.”

The method of trawling—dragging a football-sized net behind the boat catching everything in its path, including marine mammals—nobody understands unless you’re here and see it,” Stearns continued. “We want to bring the conversation to the forefront of the lower 48 [states]. Knowledge is power and the more that people know what’s going on the greater the change we can make. The goal is to come together as a community with genuine passion and energy.”

To help bring awareness to this harmful practice, attendees will be able to take action onsite by listening to Alaskan native speakers, watching trawling films and mini-documentaries and scanning QR codes throughout the grounds to sign petitions that directly impact Alaskan communities. Additionally, Sacred Acre will enact a no-plastic policy, with drinks sold in steel tumbler cups and vendors using disposable ware.

“We have a ‘clean ocean ethos’ at Sacred Acre,” Miller says. “We can’t be wasteful inside the festival. We limit our attendance to only a couple of thousand so we can better control our waste.”

Along with educating the estimated 3,000 attendees about the disastrous effects of trawling while connecting to the natural world around them, Sacred Acre hopes to further facilitate the connection through the power of dance music. They’ll do so by virtue of the festival’s formidable lineup and the largest visually stunning laser and digital art stage displays ever showcased in Alaska.

“We don’t hold back at all—we want to give Alaska the best experience,” Miller said.

The three-day festival will feature headlining performances by rising bass music superstar Of The Trees, multi-instrumentalist Boogie T and two sets by electro-soul virtuoso Daily Bread—one as his main moniker and another as his throwback alias Cloud Conductor. Other artists poised to perform include Manic Focus, The Widdler, KOAN Sound, Maddy O’Neal and Marvel Years, among others.

Sacred Acre 2023 artist lineup.

Sacred Acre

As if that weren’t enough, Sacred Acre will also offer an assortment of non-music activities and adventurous excursions unique to Alaska, such as native plant foraging, underwater spearfishing, glacier helicopter tours and fly fishing. Attendees can also ground themselves with the native land around them at the Stillwater Reflection Center, where sound healing, breath work, cacao ceremonies and yoga will be held throughout the weekend.

“We want everyone to feel connected and mindful at Sacred Acre,” Stearns said. “The goal is to stay moving within the same goal and share a ‘hive mind’ to make a difference. We want people to come out with a fuller cup and feel genuine care and support, knowing that the power of music can influence change.”

Various Sacred Acre ticket, camping and shuttle packages are available here.

FOLLOW SACRED ACRE:

Facebook: facebook.com/sacredacrealaska/
Twitter: twitter.com/sacredacreak
Instagram: instagram.com/sacredacreak/
Website: sacredacreak.com/

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