KUNA — After a successful first year, Kuna Punk in the Park doubled the music and crowd size on May 13 at Bernie Fisher Memorial Park.

The eight-hour concert brought local and out-of-state rock bands to the small town of Kuna for a fun, free event that attracted teens and adults alike.

The event was created and is coordinated by local Kuna teen, Nate Burr, 17, who wanted something for young people to do in Kuna.

“I thought he was really onto something,” Nate Burr’s younger brother Scotland Burr, 15, said. “He’s been working on this since December. There was a lot of work into this. Kuna is a very country town, and I feel that having a punk event brings out other kids who appreciate this music. It gives them a free event to go to. It helps them get out of their shell.”

Scotland Burr works for a nonprofit based in Missouri which helps prevent teen suicide. During the event he handed out free merchandise and talked to students about the nonprofit.

“I asked what I could do to put ‘Hope for the Day’ into the event,” Scotland Burr said. “And I’m just giving away stuff to the kids.”

The event included seven bands and one stunt show, which attracted hundreds of teens and adults to the city park. Local businesses sold food and wares at the event in support of Nate Burr’s work.

“This is a really good avenue to get more in touch with this age group,” said Mark Larson, owner of the Kuna Coffee and Deli. “We’ve done multiple events in Kuna. Nate called me to do the concert, and all of my kids are done being teens, so I know (teens) need support. And I always feel like if someone takes the time, and has the initiative, at that age (to organize an event) then I’d like to support them.”

Larson said at the deli he usually serves an older crowd and more local families, a stark contrast to the colorful crew lining up for coffee and treats at the concert.

“There needs to be a good outlet for teens, especially people ages 16 to 25,” Larson said. “If you can find something they really like, and that they are into, it keeps them safe and lets them find a place to have fun.”

Many rock bands and music lovers might think Kuna is a strange place for a concert, but a few of the local bands said they really enjoyed the crowds and the town.

Roses are Dead, a local band from Pocatello, played its first live concert at Kuna Punk in the Park.

“Nate got a hold of us and he got us in here last minute,” said Alex Tighe, the lead singer. “I’m glad our first concert was here. If it was anywhere larger I might have dropped it because I was anxious.”

As Fire Falls, a local rock band from Boise, was one of the most popular performances of the day. The band has been together for three years and has gained popularity at local music venues.

“When Nate contacted us, we were excited,” said Kris Lindstrom, As Fire Falls lead singer. “So far it’s pretty popular, here is a lot of people that are showing up. Smaller communities need this kind of thing.”

Lindstrom said he was surprised when he found out the concert was organized by a high school student.

“I would have gone to something like this in high school,” he said. “But there wasn’t that much around. I think this gets (teens) out of the house and keeps them out of trouble.”

As the concert goers grew in size, many parents watched and enjoyed the music as well. Nate Burr’s mother, Amy Burr, enjoyed watching her son’s work unfold as a positive event for Kuna youth.

“When (Nate) asked me to do this last year I said absolutely not, because he needed to get his grades up,” Amy Burr said. “But he went ahead and pulled it off anyways. He is doing OK in school now, and I’m excited for today.”

Amy Burr said she thinks the concert could bring more foot traffic and business to Kuna each year because it brings in people from other cities within the Treasure Valley.

“Our kids need a place to go that is alcohol free and fun, where they can move and enjoy loud music,” she said.

Amy Burr said punk music has grown on her because of her sons. She said having a son as ambitious as he is is a lot of work, but it’s something that makes her proud.

“He kept coming home last year with checks from businesses that were supporting him,” she said. “I was shocked. I’m not this year. He’s on first name business with the mayor; he’s going places.”

The concert lasted until 10 p.m. May 13 and brought hundreds of people together for a live show. Kuna Punk in the Park is anticipated to be a yearly production held every May as a free event for the community.

“This is just great for our community,” Mark Larson said.

Danielle Wiley is the reporter for the Kuna Melba News. Contact her at 922-3008 or email her at editor@kunamelba.com


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