Catching a concert is great, but getting to see a bunch of your favorite bands all at once is even better. This summer, Pittsburgh is playing host to a number of music-based events, and since many of them are outdoors (and free!), there’s no excuse to stay home. Call up your friends, pack a lunch, and get ready for these eight great festivals.
Three Rivers Arts Festival
The annual Arts Festival is one of our favorite events, and as usual, the musical lineup is excellent. In between browsing art, jewelry, and other handmade items, make sure to check out the sunshine-laced band Michael Franti & Spearhead, ethereal sister-duo Ibeyi, and folk-rock favorites Guster as they fill the lawn of Point State Park with music. Beth Orton will also be making an appearance. Just don’t eat too many corn dogs. June 3-12.
For a unique musical experience, check out The Space Upstairs in the East End for a monthly concert series featuring experimental jazz and improvisational performances. Local artists come together and collaborate at the fascinating warehouse gallery, and for those who want to explore and support Pittsburgh’s burgeoning art scene, it’s a great opportunity to open your mind to nontraditional expressions of music. Second Saturday of every month.
WYEP Summer Music Festival
If you love tuning into WYEP’s Block Party to catch up and coming acts and indie favorites, this is the festival for you. This year, bring your lawn chairs, an ice-cold pitcher of lemonade and a group of friends to catch Margaret Glaspy, Boy & Bear, and Lucius, all of whom recently released critically acclaimed albums. It’s the perfect opportunity to soak up some sunshine in Schenley Park and make some summer memories. Even better – it’s free! June 25.
Jam on Walnut
Shadyside’s Walnut Street is one of the most popular destinations in the city, and every summer, the street occasionally shuts down for a music-based block party. This year, you can look forward to a variety of delicious foods for sale, a multitude of beer, and, of course, a number of lively bands. We’re definitely looking forward to this one-of-a-kind party, and you should be too. June 25, July 23, and August 20.
Deutschtown Music Festival
Have a favorite local band? You’ll probably be able to catch them at the Deutschtown Music Festival. The annual Northside event has an absolutely massive lineup, featuring local favorites like Slim Forsythe, Meeting of Important People, and The Garment District. Even if you aren’t totally up on the local scene, Deutschtown is the perfect venue to open your ears to the many talents rocking Pittsburgh today. July 8-9.
Feed More Festival
Formerly the Pittsburgh Blues Festival at Hartwood Acres, the Feed More Festival has decided to keep the format, the music, and the fun, but switch the focus to a good cause. The festival, hosted by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, will take place at Stage AE, hopes to raise awareness and money for families in need. Though the lineup has not yet been announced, rest assured that the music will be blues-centric, and plenty of food trucks will be around to cater the event. July 17.
Every year, the McKees Rocks Municipal Lot fills with blues, soul, funk and, of course, food. A flock of everyone’s favorite food trucks and pop-up eateries will be parked at the party, including Rolling Cones, Mac & Gold, and PGH Halal Food. If you’re not too full to dance, the music, featuring Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, Dumpstaphunk, and several more, will get you on your feet.
There’s no better way to spend a summer evening than to make your way through one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods bar by bar – and band by band. The indoor/outdoor festival has become a staple of Pittsburgh culture, and music, food, art and entertainment all find a home here. The lineup has not yet been announced, but the fest has yet to disappoint, and with the sheer volume of bands, there’s bound to be something for everyone. August 12-14.
Festivals are all the rage across the country, and Pittsburgh isn’t skipping on this exciting musical trend. Thrival, a festival held at Carrie Furnace in Rankin, will feature acts like Chainsmokers, CHVRCHES, Thievery Corporation, and Rubblebucket. Local acts Daya, Donora, Beauty Slap, and Brooke Annibale will also be making appearances, so this festival is a perfect opportunity to support local music. Sept 23 & 24.