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The Cooke City Music Festival is community-oriented



Cooke City, Montana – Summer is likely to sound a lot sweeter for Cooke City and Silver Gate as tourism has returned to Yellowstone National Park and its gateway settlements.

A brand-new music festival aims to attract attendees and generate revenue for the neighborhood.

“I think I can say with confidence, there’s no mountain music festival with a better backdrop. We are at the foot of Republic Peak,” said Steve Harvey, organizer of the Forgot Me Knot Festival.

Harvey believes that the small, mountain communities’ maiden attempt at a music festival would strengthen the bonds that already existed among neighbors after the floods and help collect some funds for flood recovery.

“We’re doing two days, nine bands, mostly local. We have one band from Fort Collins, and one band from Sheridan,” Harvey said. “All the rest are Montana bands.”

The Forget Me Knot Fest celebration is scheduled for August 18 and August 19, and Harvey anticipates that it will increase tourism in the little towns close to the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

“I’m very much looking forward to the summer and being busy and having guests sitting outside having fun,” said Chris Conway, manager of Silver Gate Lodging.

Silver Gate Lodging had a busy May, and summer reservations are already starting to fill up, indicating a return to normalcy.

“May historically has been getting busier and busier for the last five or six years,” Conway said, noting that their reservations were nearly full last month.

In order to draw visitors to the area after the floods, Silver Lodging provided pay-what-you-can pricing. During the week of the music festival, according to Conway, the promotion will be offered again to residents of Montana and Wyoming.

“For pay-what-you-can if you live in the area. So Billings, Red Lodge, Helena, come out and have fun, it will be mostly locals in Silver Gate that weekend, so it will be a lot of fun,” Conway said.

The towns’ livelihood depends on visitors to the park, but according to Harvey, one of the objectives of the Forget Me Knot Festival is to make Cooke City and Silver Gate popular tourist destinations.

“A lot of people just pass through Cooke City and Silver Gate, it’s a gateway town. Part of our priority is to make this a destination so people will come here, stay here, play here,” Harvey said.


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