4/20: Live music and chill

Kush 21 hosts 4/20 Fest, featuring dispensary discounts, Korean corn dogs and for the first time, live music



Half Step Ahead performing at 4/20 Fest, April 20, Pullman, Wash.

NIKHIL GANTA, Evergreen reporter

Local bands Half Step Ahead and Desolation Horse played tunes infused with pop, rock, alternative, indie and psychedelia for the people who lined up for Kush 21’s 4/20 Fest sales. While the lines formed by the dispensary entrance, the bands played in the middle of the parking lot by Kush 21.

The day kicked off at noon with catering from CTG Creations, a Seattle- and Tacoma-based catering pop-up started by WSU student Ciarra Caday. CTG Creations offered soda and a variety of Korean corn dogs, with customization options that included different sauce toppings.

CTG Creations drew customers from onlookers passing by the street and from those lined up to purchase products from Kush 21.

“It’s really a blessing,” Caday said. “I think it’s such a cool idea, especially because it’s 4/20 today, … munchies is a thing so, it’s super cool to have the community see other foods and small businesses and support.”

Palouse Music Community invited Half Step Ahead and Desolation Horse to perform, and collaborated with Kush 21 and CTG Creations collaborated to organize 4/20 Fest.

Bri Rodgers, Kush 21 general manager, came up with the idea for hosting live music on 4/20, Kush 21 budtender Logan (he/they) said. Though Kush 21 usually hosts a special sale with food vendors on 4/20, this 4/20 was the first time they hosted live music.

Logan said he is friends with Jack Christensen, Palouse Music Community founder and executive director. They got in touch with Christensen, who organized the bands and was present throughout the event along with other Palouse Music Community members, Christensen said.

Not only is this Kush 21’s first time hosting live music, but it is Palouse Music Community’s first time collaborating with a dispensary, Christensen said. Many people from other Palouse Music events were also present at 4/20 Fest.

“We just want to thank everyone who came out to support the bands or to shop for our specials. We appreciate the Pullman community coming out in such strong force to support local talent, and local showcases, as well as local businesses,” Logan said.

Half Step Ahead, a Pullman-based band that fuses rock, folk, funk, jazz and psychedelic music, set up their venue at 4 p.m. right next to CTG Creations. Palouse Music Community decided on Half Step Ahead because they felt the band’s music matched the 4/20 Fest’s vibe, Christensen said.

The band played for an hour, allowing people filtering in and out of the dispensary to catch some food and music. Groups of people came and left, interacting with the band by cheering for Half Step Ahead as they moved through the busy Kush 21 parking lot.

Half Step Ahead finished to applause from the formed crowd and took down their venue for the evening.

CTG Creations held their pop-up operation open until 7 p.m. for people to continue buying food. After CTG Creations left, Desolation Horse set up their venue to finish off the night.

Desolation Horse played a genre fusion of alternative and indie music with hints of country, drawing a crowd as the lines at Kush 21 diminished.

Palouse Music Community originally decided on Moscow-based electric rock band Mother Yeti, not Desolation Horse, Christensen said. 

Most band members of Mother Yeti are the same as those in Desolation Horse, apart from a drummer, Christensen said. The drummer could not make it, so the band insisted on performing as Desolation Horse instead.

However, Desolation Horse had to leave before finishing their set due to noise complaints filed by an unknown source.

The police stopped the band midway through a song and asked them to leave. This was followed by a massive round of applause and cheering from the crowd for Desolation Horse’s performance.

Kush 21 filed for a noise ordinance, but the law rejected it, Logan said.

The Pullman community’s support for Half Step Ahead made it different from the other venues the band has played at, said Ben Forbeck, Half Step Ahead singer and guitarist.

“Having this gig is kind of a blast, … we’ve always wanted to do something like this, we’re happy it’s happening,” Forbeck said.