Updated: October 1, 2022
A benefit concert for Ukraine is planned for April 24, Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the 35-acre field of sunflowers in Maui’s Central Valley.
The concert, in part, is being sponsored by Pacific Biodiesel with performances by a variety of Maui musicians.
Sunflowers, the national flower of Ukraine, has become a symbol of alternative energy and independence from imported fossil fuel on the Valley Isle.
“Our Maui sunflowers are a natural symbol of hope and resilience that have inspired thousands of residents and visitors alike since our first blooming field back in 2017,” said Pacific Biodiesel co-founder Kelly King.
King said after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, followers of Pacific Biodiesel began tagging the firm on social media with images of sunflowers.
“It inspired our idea to host this event at our farm as a way for the community to come together to stand up for Ukraine,” said King, Maui Council member representing South Maui.
King said a lineup of musicians for the concert filled up quickly and community radio station Mana’o Radio is assisting.
Maui musicians scheduled to perform at this event include George Kahumoku Jr., Gail Swanson, Arlie Asiu Band, Soul Kitchen, Benny Uyetake, Rowdy Love, Jimmy Dillon & Dayan Kai, Brown Chicken Brown Cow String Band, and Marty Dread and the House Shakers with guest Nara Boone.
Sponsors include Hawaiian Electric, Maui Tropical Plantation, Maui Disposal and Hawaiian Paddle Sports are covering expenses and allowing UNICEF to receive a maximum donation from concert tickets to direct to the cause.
According to a recent statement by UNICEF USA, two million children have now been forced to flee Ukraine, as the war rages on.
“The situation inside Ukraine is spiraling,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell. “As the number of children fleeing their homes continues to climb, we must remember that every single one of them needs protection, education, safety and support.”
During this event, attendees will be able to view the sunflowers and visit the on-site Farm Stand to purchase products manufactured from the sustainable farming operation by the Kings’ company, Maiden Hawaii Naturals, LLC, including culinary oils and cosmetic (including CBD) products.
Food trucks will be on site and will incorporate menu items prepared with Maiden Hawaii Naturals culinary oils.
One hundred percent of ticket sales, as well as a portion of the proceeds from farm stand and food truck sales during the event, will benefit UNICEF USA’s Ukraine efforts, Pacific Biodiesel said.
“We’ve been trying to figure out how, with our busy schedules, to create a safe and legal space for folks to park and enjoy the farm,” said King. “This event was pretty much dictated by the nexus of sunflowers, the horrible war being perpetrated on the citizens of Ukraine, and Maui’s compassionate response.”
Tickets are $75 each and must be purchased online in advance. Parking will be a $5 minimum donation per car at the gate. Due to limited parking at the farm, carpooling is encouraged. A complimentary cut sunflower bloom will be given with each parking donation.
Vehicles must enter the farm through the main gate located on Honoapiʻilani Highway just north of the Kūihelani Highway intersection (look for the yellow gate near the silver farm silos). As a reminder, the State has posted no parking signs on both highways along the perimeter of the farm.
Seating under the event tent will be provided. To minimize waste, visitors are requested to bring their water bottle to refill at water stations on site. Visitors to the farm are encouraged to wear comfortable, closed-toed shoes. Wearing hats and reef-safe sunscreen is also recommended at the farm site.
For a weekly listing of Maui music and other events, go to Maui Entertainment, Arts, Community, April 7-13 and click here.