The festival for humans, technology, culture, and community–better known as Thrival, returns Sept 18-20. The event takes place at the Pittsburgh Innovation District at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland. The conference will be home to a number of impactful seminars discussing where technology is going, how it will impact the community, and the innovators behind the top notch ideas. Many people know Thrival for the music festival aspect, but there are so many awesome things to check out during the conference. 

Thrival Festival
Photo Credit: Thrival Festival

So what’s happening at this years Thrival? According to, the event makes for a fascinating experience through “combining presentations, discussions, and workshops with city excursions, startup visits, networking/sweatworking, interactive breakout sessions, really good parties, art encounters, local food adventures, and live music.” Here’s a rundown of things not to miss!

Innovations Summit

The theme is “By Pittsburgh. For Pittsburgh. For the World.” The two-day summit celebrates Pittsburgh innovators and entrepreneurs in business, research, and the arts. There’s a bunch of cool panels to choose: “Robotics and AI”, ”Smart Cities and Mobility”,“Using Technology to turn Customers into Raving Fans”, “Think Like an Entrepreneur”, ”Purpose Driven Innovation,” and more! Network with top talent–all the innovation, so many cool ideas!

Thrival Interactive

Art and technology combine for mind-blowing experiences. One of the options is viewing “Pittsburgh’s Data as a Digital Avatar in Augmented Reality,” where Pittsburgh’s playgrounds are digitally connected with a 3D lattice. Also check out the Digital Orchestra Workshop, where you can play music with other people simply by hitting buttons on a screen, creating sounds, leading to a unique collaborative experience.There’s also the “New take on Warhol,” which creates “a digital replication of Warhol’s famous 1986 Self Portrait in order to pay tribute to his never ending pursuit of innovation.” Virtual Reality is everywhere–you can discover how sculptors are designed, and sword fight! Yes! The interactive event continues as you tour through Tech demo tables, watch short films in the pop up theater, and dance in the silent disco. Headphones on! 

Music Festival and Cycle Bar Pop Up!

For the first time the Thrival Music Festival will be free, which takes place at Schenley Plaza on September 21. Performers include bass extraordinaire Buku, brass funk act Beauty Slap, and soul party DJ’s Title Town. Wicked Pittsburgh will also be attending, which features 50 local artists displaying their work and giving 20% back to a rotating local charity. There’s also a Cycle Bar Robinson pop up event! You can take a full 45 minute class at 12pm, as well as two free intro classes at 1pm and 1:40pm! Sign up for the ride!


This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Josh McCann

Josh has been writing for Made in PGH since 2018, where he writes about upcoming events. He’s a Point Park University graduate and teaches high school English. In his free time you’ll find him playing guitar and writing new songs.

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