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30 years in the mix

KVMR-FM in Nevada City is going to throw a big party next weekend to celebrate the Big 3-0.

How big?

Try 26 bands playing on three stages over two days; 29 booths featuring food, crafts and music; a dunk tank where broadcasters are targets; and a 30-year retrospective on the station’s history displayed inside the Miners Foundry Cultural Center on Spring Street.



And it’s all for the listeners and volunteers who serve as the fuel for a station that has built a reputation that extends far beyond its home base of western Nevada County.

“This is really about the community. There are hundreds and hundreds of volunteers out there that do so much for free,” said Michael Young, a KVMR board member and chairman of the 30th Anniversary Committee.




“This is really a time to honor people who have honored us with great music and food,” General Manager David Levin said.

KVMR is one of the nation’s few community radio stations, supported entirely by listeners, the love and musical collections of more than 150 volunteer broadcasters and the sweat of hundreds of volunteers and a handful of paid staff. It is not affiliated with National Public Radio.

The station launched on July 14, 1978, with Arthur Cohen at the helm as the first general manager in a 10-watt studio the size of a walk-in closet next to a transmitter on Banner Mountain.

Since then, the station has become known for its wide-ranging and eclectic mix of music, including shows that feature Hawaiian, Latin American, techno, Celtic, blues and many other genres.

It also airs such news legends as Travis T. Hipp and Amy Goodman, both with strongly left-of-center views of politics.

The station was associated with the former Victorian Museum – hence KVMR – and eventually moved to its current Spring Street location. Now broadcasting at 2,000 watts 24 hours daily, seven days a week, it reaches from Truckee to Sacramento.

The celebration kicks off Friday with a dance jam at the Miners Foundry. Mikhail Graham’s Buck Love and the Humperheads and Moses Guest will perform at 8 p.m. Young described the style of the Texas band as “Lynyrd Skynyrd meets the Grateful Dead.”

Tickets for that show cost $15 in advance and $20 at the door. KVMR members will be charged $5. Tickets are available at http://www.kvmr.org.

Saturday night’s concert will celebrate the Americana style of music, according to Levin. It begins at 7:30 p.m. in the foundry and features six bands, including Dakota Sid, the Anderson Family Bluegrass Band and Vikki Lee and the Pinecones, which is the last band to perform at 11 p.m.

Ticket prices are the same as Friday night.

“This is going to be a big birthday party for the community, since KVMR is all about community,” Young said.

For more information, call 265-9073 or visit http://www.kvmr.org.

To contact Staff Writer Pat Butler, e-mail pbutler@theunion.com or call 477-4239.


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