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MSU-Northern Tribute Band show set for next Saturday


Last updated 5/7/2021 at 11:54am

MSU-Northern Radio KNMC 90.1FM will once again stage its tribute band concert as an in-person event.

The annual event could not be held last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s event, set for Saturday, May 15, at 3 p.m., will be at the midway of the Hill County Fairgrounds, a press release said.

“I had lived in Missoula for about eight years, which is a college town, but I got my undergraduate degree at Northern, and then moved to Missoula. I lived there for a number of years, and was part of the music community, which is a very big piece of the community. When I came back, I wanted to find activities that musicians would want to participate in,” station manager and event organizer Dave Martens said.

The tribute concert is KNMC’s school year-end-celebration. This year, six homegrown tribute bands will dress up and perform the music of their favorite artists.

The tribute concert is one of two annual live music events organized by KNMC with the other being Rock Lotto. Both events are essentially intramurals for musicians in that they mix teams of players together for one-off performances. Tribute is typically held in the spring and Rock Lotto is held in the fall, the release said.

This year’s acts include “37 Average,” a tribute to 38 Special, “MacRaetful Dead,” a tribute to Grateful Dead, “Northern Light Orchestra,” a tribute to the Electric Light Orchestra, “Pun Crockers,” a tribute to the Ramones, as well as “Joey & the Rip Saws” and a band called “Tattered Blue Cardigans” playing folk-blues. 

Attendees are strongly encouraged to follow Hill County Community Health Department guidelines which recommend practicing social distancing and wearing masks when not seated or socially distanced. Attendees may sit on the grass or bring lawn chairs and blankets, the release said. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend that large gatherings be avoided, particularly those in which distancing cannot be maintained between people who live in different households

The free event is all-ages with food by Streatery and a cash-bar from Vic’s Catering.

“It’s exciting. And it’s, with hesitancy, I guess I’d say, you know what I mean, I’m like, conscious. It’s the ceiling, I wouldn’t want to put anybody’s health at risk. We have done this, typically, as an on campus event. Student attendance was always one of our goals to get campus and community members coming together on campus and enjoying music and enjoying the weather and the springtime,” Martens said.

“With the shortened school year, they didn’t have a spring break and I think they came back early to start the semester,” he added. “There wasn’t going to be an opportunity that we could foresee where the weather was going to be nice enough that we could have the event in April.”

Martens said the scope changed when it became clear that the event couldn’t be hosted when students were on campus.

“While the community has guidelines, the university has guidelines which are more strict but really hard to enforce in a situation like this. So that’s why we’re having the event at the fairgrounds,” Martens said.

Martens added that the radio station’s goal has always been to try and connect  the campus and community. 

“We’re so lucky to be a part of MSU-Northern and Havre is so lucky to have MSU-Northern be a part of our community. We’d like to kind of highlight and give thanks to the university and all that and get people excited about the fact that we have a university in our small town,” Martens said.


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