Over Labor Day weekend, a star-studded concert will provide family-friendly music and entertainment at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds and raise money for animal rescue organizations.
Concert 4 Critters – a Beastly Music Series, was created by Light Production Inc.’s film producer Phyllis Stuart. It combines music and activism to raise money for animal rescue organizations, including Denkai Animal Sanctuary in Cortez.
The inaugural music festival will take place Sunday, Sept. 4. Doors open at 5 p.m., and the concert starts at 7:30 p.m.
Stuart says she hopes the concert will be a place where “thousands of passionate music lovers” can gather together to “jam for the love of music and animals” while raising awareness for animal welfare.
Comedian Pam Stone will host the event. Stone has won two Gracie Awards for Best Comedy Entertainment Program and the American Comedy Award for best female stand-up comedian. She has been featured on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and co-starred for seven seasons in the television series “Coach,” playing the character Judy Watkins.
Stone is excited to lend her comedic ability to host the event and is passionate about the cause because of her love of horses, specifically her horses Lucas and Ilank. Along with comedy, Stone trains horses and competes in dressage competitions.
She said she hopes the community has “an enjoyable evening of partying and dancing and laughing and also realizing that by attending that they have quite literally helped save the lives of all kinds of animals that they may never even see.”
Musical talent that will be featured at the concert are Haley Reinhart, Little Texas and Levi Platero.
Reinhart placed third on American Idol in 2011 and landed a record deal soon after. Her cover of Elvis Presley’s song “Can’t Help Falling in Love” propelled her to viral fame after receiving over 100 million views on YouTube and 325 million Spofity streams. She has performed on Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! with Jeff Goldblum and has also performed for shows such as Love Island, Gossip Girl, Riverdale, The Wilds and Dancing with the Stars. She is also a voice actor in the show F is for Family and was in the Netflix film We Can Be Heroes. She recently released her fourth album Lo-Fi Soul.
This cause is close to Reinhart’s heart. A cattle dog named Pepper was found abandoned in the desert. She was able to save her, and she has been part of the family ever since.
“I hope people will walk away feeling, first of all, extremely happy to just be together and be able to come together through music and also have an even deeper support toward our animals across the board. It’s already an emotional topic when you think of our little critters – they’re not just our dogs or our cats – they’re family,” Reinhart said.
Little Texas is a country rock band that has been performing for 30 years. They won Top Vocal Group at the American Country Music Awards and were nominated at the Grammy, CMA and ACM awards. They have accumulated 11 top 20 singles and have sold more than 7 million albums.
Platero is a singer from the Navajo Indian tribe. Before striking it out as a solo artist, Platero was in a group with his family called The Plateros. His solo single “Take Me Back,” won the 2016 New Mexico Music Awards for best blues. His style is described as a mix of “Texas blues, vintage rock, to modern guitar heroes.”
Stuart said the artists are lending “their talent, time and platform to help animals in need.”
This event will be featured in an episode of Stuart’s new reality TV series “Hope in the Wild West,” along with interviews with the animal rescues that are featured at the event.
These organizations are Denkai Animal Sanctuary, Rez-Solutions and Red Bucket Equine Rescue.
Denkai is owned and operated by Floss Blackburn and is based in Cortez.
Rez-Solutions is operated by Dr. Kelly Upshaw on the Navajo reservation and works to decrease the number of dogs and cats that are abandoned there.
Red Bucket Equine Rescue works to rescue high-risk horses that are normally surrendered or rescued untrained, abused, sick or lame. It rehabilitates horses with the goal of finding them a new home.
Because of the help first responders give animals in need, Stuart said all first responders will be VIP guests at the concert and receive up to four complimentary tickets.
First responders who wish to claim a free VIP ticket may email Ron Higman at email@example.com. In the email, respondents should include their name, phone number, county covered, and the number of guests they plan to bring. Each first responder may receive up to four tickets.
Tickets for general seating can be purchased at the event’s official website: https://www.concert4critters.com/tickets.