Nordic Musikk Festival debuting in Poulsbo will fundraise for local nonprofit

·4 min read
The organizers of the Nordic Musikk Fest, K.J. and Heinz Lange, hope to turn the festival into an annual event, K.J. Lange said.
The organizers of the Nordic Musikk Fest, K.J. and Heinz Lange, hope to turn the festival into an annual event, K.J. Lange said.

On Saturday, over 100 residents will line up at Nordic Hill Manor for Poulsbo's first Nordic Musikk Fest, with over five hours of live music and barbecue, to raise funds for North Kitsap Fishline, a nonprofit food and resource center for low-income residents.

All ticket sales for the festival, which is self-funded by Nordic Hill owners K.J. and Heinz Lange, will be donated to the organization. As of Aug. 3, about $7,900 dollars have been raised, and the amount continues to climb.

Kevin Sheen, marketing and communications coordinator for Fishline, said multi-thousand dollar donations like these are rare for the organization to receive, and that the money will be a huge boost for Fishline's mission.

"We're ecstatic about having those additional funds," Sheen said.

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Food banks in Kitsap County have reported an increased need for services over the past several months, according to Sheen. In June, 170 new individuals signed up for services at Fishline, he said, which include showers, rental assistance, utilities assistance and access to Fishline's Market Grocery Store.

The fundraiser's donation will likely be incorporated into a general fund, he said, and then used to buy food or supplies and finance services for the organization.

Becoming event planners

K.J. Lange said she and her husband began 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 vocalist of Backstreet Jellyroll, a Van Morrison tribute band playing at the fundraiser, to secure musicians to play at the event. Along with Backstreet Jellyroll, performers include The Nick Drummond Band, a Seattle group with original music, and Champagne Sunday, a Tacoma-based glam band.

For Brown, the festival presented an opportunity to organize a music festival in Kitsap. Brown, a Poulsbo resident, said there's an abundance of musicians and individual concerts in Kitsap, there are few large-scale 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 and putting on a nice concert in the evening, but a whole afternoon or evening with multiple bands, putting on great music. It's just a wonderful opportunity to do that."

At Saturday's festival, Pedro's Santa Maria Style BBQ will serve as a vendor for the fundraiser.

K.J. Lange said she and her husband had organized smaller events of around 70 attendees before, so a fundraiser with up to 200 attendees wasn't too sudden of a change for them. But even though they kept the event relatively simple, K.J. Lange said, funding the event on their own dime was a big undertaking.

"We bit off a little bit more than we can chew," Lange said about the costs. "But when it came down to it, we wanted to be able to say that all the ticket sales went to help Fishline."

Lange said they're hoping for sponsors to support the Musikk Fest in future years to ease the financial burden.

A venue with a Nordic flare

Nordic Hill Manor, which sits along South Keyport Road, is primarily a vacation home rented by others rather than an event venue, K.J. Lange said.

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In 2004, K.J. and Heinz Lange hired an architect to design a manor resembling the European features members of the family had seen while traveling the continent. The home was completed in 2008, with furnishings from Austria, Italy and Norway, and was managed as a bed and breakfast until Heinz Lange's father's death in 2016. Afterward, the duo began marketing the manor as a vacation rental with a personal and Nordic theme.

So far, the festival has sold about 150 out of 200 possible tickets. In addition, the festival has received some donations from people who want to support the cause but are unable to attend the event, K.J. Lange said.

The festival will begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday and last until 10 p.m. Tickets cost $50, and can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com.

This story has been corrected since it was published to remove an incorrect date for the festival.

This article originally appeared on Kitsap Sun: Poulsbo's Nordic Musikk Festival and fundraiser to have live music, BBQ