Musik­fest still of­fer­ing new ex­pe­ri­ences af­ter 35 years

The Review - - NEWS - By Brian Binga­man bbinga­[email protected]­tu­ry­ @bri­an­binga­man on Twit­ter

The 35th edi­tion of Beth­le­hem’s Musik­fest of­fers a di­verse con­cert playlist. The head­lin­ers are as­sort­ment of coun­try, rock, pop, the genre-blend­ing Gary Clark Jr., and even co­me­dian Jim Gaf­fi­gan.

This year Musik­fest gets off to an early start with a funk- and swing-themed pre­view night, fol­lowed by the 10-day festival Aug. 3-12.

Held at the Art­sQuest Cen­ter at SteelS­tacks Aug. 2, the pre­view be­gins at 7 p.m. with free per­for­mances by The Bar­rel House Brothers, April Mae and the June Bugs, Funky Dawgs Brass Band and Baby Soda Jazz Band, plus 15 food ven­dors.

There will also be mu­sic on the Sands Steel Stage on the SteelS­tacks cam­pus. Head­lin­ing will be Trom­bone Shorty & Or­leans Av­enue. Also ap­pear­ing will be Galac­tic, Preser­va­tion Hall Jazz Band and New Breed Brass Band, with spe­cial guest ap­pear­ances by Big Easy leg­ends Cyril Neville and Wal­ter “Wolf­man” Wash­ing­ton. Tickets for the per­for­mance are $49 in ad­vance and $54 the day of show.

What else is new? Ex­panded South­Side hours on week­ends:

The mu­sic will now get un­der­way at the ear­lier time of noon on week­ends at SteelS­tacks. The Com­mu­nity Stage on the Air Prod­ucts Town Square fea­tures trib­ute acts like Sugar Moun­tain (Neil Young), We May Be Right (Billy Joel), Ex­pe­ri­ence Ja­nis (Ja­nis Jo­plin) and Key­stone (Jerry Gar­cia). The BB&T Jazz Cabaret Stage starts at 1 p.m. and Martin Gui­tar Lyrik­platz of­fers its first per­for­mances start­ing at 2 p.m. Se­lect South­Side food ven­dors like Baby Blues BBQ and the Yuengling Bar & Grill will also open early. With the ex­pan­sion, the festival has added more than 25 ad­di­tional shows to its 2018 con­cert lineup. Musik­fest hours on the North­Side are 5 to 11 p.m. Aug. 3, noon to 11 the rest of the days. South­Side hours are 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Aug. 3 and 10, noon to 1 a.m. Aug. 4 and 11, noon to mid­night Aug. 5, 4 p.m. to mid­night Aug. 6-9, and 4 to 11 p.m. Aug. 12.

New place to park:

An of­fi­cial satel­lite park­ing lo­ca­tion, where you can catch a shut­tle to the festival area, is 1550 Val­ley Cen­ter Park­way lo­cated off Schoen­ersville Road.

Craft Cock­tail Bar:

In ad­di­tion to the tra­di­tional beer tents, Le­high Val­ley dis­tillers and winer­ies will of­fer sig­na­ture drinks at Plaza Trop­i­cal. Stop by and play a game of ping-pong, re­lax on an Adiron­dack chair and en­joy the mu­sic while try­ing a sangria or a sig­na­ture cock­tail.

Op­tions for ev­ery-day festival at­ten­dees:

If you’re one of those hard-core Musik­festers, you can ride the North South Trans­fer bus for the en­tire 10 days for $25. There’s also a 10day park­ing lot pack for the Satel­lite IQor and Val­ley Cen­ter Park­way lots.

New food ven­dors:

Keep an eye out for Sherri’s Crab Cakes, Caribbean Is­lands Cui­sine, Aun­tie Anne’s Pret­zels, The Fly­ing V, Big Coun­try Con­ces­sions. Food ven­dors in a new lo­ca­tion this year will be Bull & Bear at the Le­vitt Pav­il­ion, and Humpty’s Dumplings at the Steel Stage.

The Hun­gry Games:

With more than 40 dif­fer­ent food ven­dors scat­tered through­out the north and south sides of the festival, Musik­fest 2018 will spice things up this year with a com­pe­ti­tion. As you dine on op­tions rang­ing from ve­gan gy­ros to pig candy ba­con, you can vote for your fa­vorite sig­na­ture dish to de­ter­mine the Musik­fest Hun­gry Games’ top dish. Which­ever ven­dor is crowned the fest fa­vorite will re­ceive a glass tro­phy hand-blown by Art­sQuest’s Glass Stu­dio artists.

L.L. Bean kayak and stand-up pad­dle­board cour­ses:

From noon to 7 p.m. Aug. 8-12 at Ex­pe­ri­en­ce­platz you can take a 60-minute kayak or standup pad­dle­board course led by Out­door Dis­cov­ery School ex­perts. Al­ready ex­pe­ri­enced? L.L. Bean is rent­ing gear. While you’re at Musik­fest, make sure to visit the L.L. Bean Sum­mer Pop-Up Shop at Wells Fargo Fest­platz.

New vis­ual arts pro­gram­ming:

Fam­i­lien­platz will have Wine’d Down Work­shops for adults 21+, a Paint Shack where you can paint on the walls with Cray­ola paint mark­ers and paint to cre­ate a gi­ant sun­catcher and more. Fest-go­ers also have a chance to use a Chan­dler & Price Platen Press, dat­ing back over 100 years, at the Na­tional Mu­seum of In­dus­trial His­tory to print your own ver­sion of this year’s Musik­fest poster.

Musik­fest 35th An­niver­sary Photo Ex­hibit:

You’ll find this in the Ba­nana Fac­tory Arts Cen­ter Hall­way through Sept. 2. The Ba­nana Fac­tory is at 25 W. Third St., Beth­le­hem.

Ken Gold­stein Per­for­mance and “The Song of Beth­le­hem” screen­ing:

At 5 p.m. Aug. 4 at Martin Gui­tar Lyrik­platz at Frank Banko Ale­house Cin­e­mas, the 30-minute doc­u­men­tary film “The Song of Beth­le­hem” tells the story of Ken Gold­stein’s visit to the Christ­mas City last De­cem­ber to lay down the vo­cals and mu­sic for “The Song of Beth­le­hem.” Gold­stein’s band, The LA Hus­tle, will give an acous­tic per­for­mance.

“Stronger Than Steel” Jeff Parks book sign­ing:

From 2 to 4 p.m. daily at the Wells Fargo Fest­platz Art­sQuest Mem­bers Booth, Parks, the founder and for­mer pres­i­dent of Musik­fest and Art­sQuest will sign copies of his book,“Stronger Than Steel: Forg­ing a Rust Belt Re­nais­sance.” The book dis­cusses the trans­for­ma­tion of Beth­le­hem since the clos­ing of Beth­le­hem Steel, and the role the arts played in the re­vi­tal­iza­tion of the cam­pus of “the Steel.”

Wait. Ex­pe­ri­en­ce­platz? Where’s that? Where are any of these places?

Check www.musik­fest. org/info/map or get the Musik­fest app.

It’s still free, right?

Yes, only the shows at the Sands Steel Stage re­quire tickets.

Thanks for pro­vid­ing the list of head­lin­ers, but there’s way more per­for­mances than that.

Right, it’s a very large festival. But with more than 500 per­for­mances on 16 stages, we don’t have the space to tell you all of them. Go to www.musik­ or re­fer to the app.


Musik­fest tra­di­tion­ally ends with a fire­works dis­play.

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