Friends and Family Make Germanwings Victim's Music Festival Dream Come True One Year After She Died in Crash
"We will never forget her, we won't let the memory of her fade away," Emily's best friend, Ashley Kuhn tells PEOPLE
One year after 22-year-old Emily Selke lost her life in the tragic Germanwings Flight 9525 crash in the French Alps, her friends and family are carrying out the her dream to put on a music festival.
Emily, one of the 150 innocent people who died aboard the Dusseldorf, Germany, bound plane that was intentionally crashed by a suicidal co-pilot, was a music industry major at Drexel University in Philadelphia and it was her life-long wish to one day manage a major music show like Lollapalooza or Bonnaroo.
Ashley Kuhn, Emily’s best friend, helped coordinate 3rd Planet Festival, the tribute concert series that will take place at Philadelphia’s World Cafe Live on Saturday and feature 13 bands from across the country.
The festival will also tribute Emily’s mother, Yvonne, who died in the crash with her daughter.
“We are doing what Emily wanted to do with her life,” Kuhn, 24, tells PEOPLE. “It’s been therapeutic working on this festival, we share memories about Emily and her family while planning.”
The friend adds, “She’s not here physically to put this on, but she’s been here in spirit with us this whole time.”
Kuhn says she has been working with four of Emily’s closest friends over the past year to put on 3rd Planet Festival.
“We are expecting 300 people to show up,” she says. “It’s great because the five us hosting the festival come from all walks of Emily’s life, so we feel like we’ve gotten to know who she was on a deeper level.”
Each of the bands featured in the festival were given a list of Emily’s favorite songs – ranging from Coheed and Cambria pieces to Modest Mouse ballads – to cover during their sets.
“Her absolute favorite song was ‘Third Planet’ by Modest Mouse, which is what we named the festival after,” says Kuhn. “I know she’s going to look down at us Saturday, smiling. She’ll definitely be watching.”
Kuhn says the commemorative festival is scheduled to become an annual event.
“Emily was the nicest, most genuine person there was,” says Kuhn. “We all miss her so much, she was taken away too soon. But we will never forget her, we won’t let the memory of her fade away.”