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KERN RIVER COUNTRY: Where you can go and see live music in the Kern River Valley this summer

There are several live music events coming up for residents and tourists to enjoy in the Kern River Valley
Posted at 3:29 PM, May 16, 2024

KERNVILLE, Calif. (KERO) — You may have heard about the “Bakersfield Sound” but up in the valley there’s Kern River Country. Which isn’t just a music genre – but a way of life.

  • Notorious Entertainment's first concert Outlaw West took place on May 11, and there are several more live music events taking place in the Kern River Valley this summer.
  • The next concert coming to the KRV is Yesterfest, which features classic rock cover bands and takes place on June 15.


“There was no music up here when I was a kid, so when I came back I said ‘Hey let’s bring some music festivals up here, let’s have some entertainment that the public hasn’t seen before,'” said Orion Sanders, Owner of Notorious Entertainment, which kicked off their summer events last Saturday with the Outlaw West tailgate concert in Kernville.

“These are events where you are bringing your family and your friends and you’re coming out and you're just having a good afternoon of listening to music.”

Live music is becoming a staple in the Kern River Valley, buoyed by local bands such as Angels Roost, who played Outlaw West.

“Anytime we get to do something for the local hometown we are always a big fan of that,” said Bronson Slaughter, half of the band Angels Roost.

Angels Roost is known for taking the stage at Whiskey Flats and Buck Owens Crystal Palace, building off the Bakersfield sound, but charting their own path.

“We’re a little bit different, we like to consider ourselves Kern River sound,” said Valerie Stone, the other half of the band.

There’s several live music events coming up in the Kern River Valley – including Yesterfest, featuring classic rock cover bands which will be similarly set-up to the Outlaw West concert.

“It’s a full tailgate party so you come out and you bring your own ice chest and your own barbeque and your own chairs and you come out and have a good time,” Sanders said.

And Notorious Entertainment also raises funds for a non-profit Sanders runs that places wreaths on veteran’s graves around Christmas time.

“So we’re also the non-profit for Sarges Wreaths 4 Vets, anytime there’s proceeds for the event at the gate – that's what we donate to the non-profit cause.”

Sanders says it can be difficult to break even at the events, but has seen increased support from locals this year – who comprise most of the attendees at these concerts.

“And being able to do it at an affordable price that the people of the Kern River Valley can afford.”

There are several planned concerts in the KRV.

“We will be at the Sportsman on Memorial Day weekend, we are also going to be at River Rhythms Which is put on by the hospital foundation. That’s every Friday night in the month of August,” Stone said.

For Slaughter – who grew up in the Kern River Valley – the scenery provides the perfect backdrop for live music.

“It’s one thing when you are a kid walking around checking things out. To be standing on a stage and playing guitar in the same spot looking at the same river and the same mountains you know I think that’s something special.”

“To get people to get people to come together to have that sense of community, to have joy and just get away from your troubles for a little while, it’s just so important,” Stone added.

Angel’s Roost will also be playing at Buck Owens Crystal Palace on Friday May 24.

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