Solstice concert organizers pledge donations to Anchorage’s lead homelessness nonprofit 

a large painting of a person in spacesuit
The organizers of the 2023 Sundown Solstice Festival are auctioning off this 8-by-12-foot mural painted by artist Jacob Paiz. Half of the winning bid for this mural and 11 others will donated to the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness. (Courtesy of Sundown Alaska)

The organizers of an Anchorage music festival that inadvertently led the city to displace homeless campers earlier this month have pledged to donate to the city’s lead homelessness nonprofit. 

The concert organizers planned and got permits back in the fall to hold the three-day Sundown Solstice Festival in Cuddy Family Midtown Park. In the spring, the city shut down its winter homeless shelters, sending hundreds of people into the streets, vacant lots and parks – including the concert venue. 

City officials made a controversial decision to clear the encampments in and around the park ahead of the festival due to safety concerns about how concertgoers and campers might interact. 

Hellen Fleming, part owner of concert production business Showdown Alaska, said the situation led her to learn more about the outreach work that goes on in unofficial campgrounds around the city, and to donate to the Alaska Coalition to End Homelessness. 

Showdown Alaska is holding online auctions for murals painted during the festival. It’s pledging half of the winning bids to the coalition, and the other half to the artists. Fleming said 30% of the sale price of leftover festival merchandise will also be donated to the coalition.

Jeremy Hsieh covers Anchorage with an emphasis on housing, homelessness, infrastructure and development. Reach him at or 907-550-8428. Read more about Jeremy here.

Previous articleMurkowski boosts her resolve to help Ukraine after visit to NATO allies
Next articleAlaska News Nightly: Thursday, June 29, 2023