On Saturday, over 100 residents at Nordic Hill Manor will be lining up for Poulsbo’s first Nordic Musikk Fest, with over five hours of live music and a BBQ to raise funds for North Kitsap Fishline, a non-profit food and resource center for low-income residents.
All ticket sales for the festival, which is self-funded by Nordic Hill owners KJ and Heinz Lange, are donated to the organization. As of August 3, approximately $7,900 has been raised and the amount continues to increase.
Kevin Sheen, Fishline’s marketing and communications coordinator, said multi-thousand-dollar donations like this are rare for the organization, and the money will provide a tremendous boost to Fishline’s mission.
“We are thrilled to have this additional funding,” Sheen said.
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According to Sheen, food banks in Kitsap County have reported an increased need for services in recent months. In June, 170 new people signed up for services at Fishline, he said, which include showers, rental assistance, utility assistance and access to Fishline’s Market Grocery store.
The fundraiser donation will likely go into a general fund, he said, and then be used to buy food or supplies and fund services for the organization.
become an event planner
KJ Lange said she and her husband started planning the festival in late 2021 after more than a year of limited events for Kitsap residents due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The pair enlisted the help of Roy Brown, lead singer of Backstreet Jellyroll, a Van Morrison tribute band that played at the fundraiser, to recruit musicians for the event. Also performing alongside Backstreet Jellyroll is The Nick Drummond Band, a Seattle-based group with original music, and Champagne Sunday, a Tacoma-based glam band.
For Brown, the festival was an opportunity to organize a music festival in Kitsap. Brown, a Poulsbo resident, said while Kitsap has an abundance of musicians and solo concerts, there are few major music events for residents.
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“It’s a wonderful event for a great community organization, but I was really interested in getting the ball rolling for a music festival,” Brown said. “It’s not just one band showing up one night and giving a nice concert, it’s a whole afternoon or evening with several bands playing great music. It’s just a wonderful opportunity to do that.”
At the festival on Saturday, Pedro’s Santa Maria Style BBQ will serve as a vendor for the fundraiser.
KJ Lange said she and her husband have previously organized smaller events with around 70 participants, so a fundraiser with up to 200 participants isn’t too sudden a change for them. But while they kept the event relatively simple, KJ Lange said, funding the event from their own resources was a big undertaking.
“We bit off a little bit more than we can chew,” Lange said of the cost. “But ultimately we wanted to be able to say that all ticket sales went to Fishline.”
Lange said they are hoping for sponsors to support Musikk Fest in the years to come to ease the financial burden.
A place with Nordic flair
Nordic Hill Manor, which is on South Keyport Road, is primarily a holiday home rented by others and not a venue, KJ Lange said.
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In 2004, KJ and Heinz Lange commissioned an architect to design a mansion similar to European features that members of the family had seen traveling across the continent. The house was completed in 2008 with furniture from Austria, Italy and Norway and was run as a bed and breakfast until the death of Heinz Lange’s father in 2016. Thereafter, the duo began marketing the mansion as a personal and Nordic-themed vacation rental.
So far the festival has sold around 150 out of a possible 200 tickets. In addition, the festival has received some donations from people who want to support the cause but are unable to attend the event, KJ Lange said.
The festival starts on August 5 at 5:00 p.m. and lasts until 10:00 p.m. Tickets cost US$50 and can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com.