36th annual Musikfest brings more than 500 performances to Bethlehem
There’s a new platz in town at the 36th annual Musikifest, Aug. 2-11, which kicks off Aug. 1 with “Preview Night.”
Zinzenplatz was chosen in a contest held by ArtsQuest, which presents Musikfest, to replace the name of Experienceplatz, Main and Lehigh streets, Bethlehem. Zinzenplatz honors Countess Benigna von Zinzendorf, daughter of Bethlehem founder Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf.
Musikfest, named the “Best Music Festival in North America” by USA Today’s 10best.com, is held in Bethlehem’s Historic District on the city’s northside and SteelStacks on the city’s southside.
Musikfest hours are 5-11 p.m. Aug. 2 and noon-11 p.m. Aug. 3-11.
The event includes 40-plus food vendors, 45 artisans, street performers and art attractions from around the globe.
There will be music at 16 of Musikfest’s 18 venues, with more than 500 free music and art performances during the 10-day event.
Concerts at the Wind Creek Steel Stage (formerly Sands Steel Stage), at SteelStacks, Bethlehem, include Aug. 1: Earth, Wind & Fire; Aug. 2: The Chainsmokers; Aug. 3: Steve Miller Band, Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives; Aug. 4: Lady Antebellum; Aug. 5: Weezer; Aug. 6: Train, Goo Goo Dolls; Aug. 7: Incubus; Aug. 8: The Revivalists; Aug. 9: Godsmack; Aug. 10: Philip Phillips, and Aug. 11: Brad Paisley. These concerts require paid tickets.
Free concerts on “Preview Night” include: Post Junction, Big Bone Daddy, The Groove Merchants and Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam.
Also, at 7 p.m. Aug. 1, “Preview Night,” the 9th Annual “Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies” screens for one night only, Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas, ArtsQuest Center.
Highlighting the free performances are Boston-based alt rockers Guster, Aug. 7, Air Products Americaplatz; 16-year-old guitar virtuoso and “School of Rock” Broadway musical star Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, Aug. 4; Americaplatz; 2019 Blues Music Awards nominee Nick Moss Band, Aug. 4, Americaplatz, female rock and soul quartet The New Respects, Aug. 8, Americaplatz, and dance-punk band !!! (pronounced Chk Chk Chk), Aug. 9, IBEW Local 375 Volksplatz.
Other free performances include the world music of Red Baraat, Aug. 3, Volksplatz; ska-soul act The Pietasters, Aug. 4, Volksplatz, and the MarchFourth Marching Band, Aug. 5, Volksplatz, and Aug. 6, Americaplatz.
On Aug. 7, following the Incubus concert, fans are invited to join DJ Kilmore of Incubus for an 11 p.m. “afterparty” in the Musikfest Café presented by Yuengling as part of the festival’s PNC Series.
From Aug. 8-10, the singing group Choir! Choir! Choir! performs in Musikfest Café, ArtsQuest Center, SteelStacks. Said to be equal parts “singing, comedy and community-building,” the audience gets a lyric sheet when it arrives and founders Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman teach the song’s vocal arrangements. The audience’s performance is videotaped and uploaded to YouTube.
New visual arts programming at Musikfest includes the “Art & Craft of Storytelling,” 5-9 p.m. Aug. 2 and noon-9 p.m. Aug. 3-11, Crayola Creativity Tent, Familienplatz. A different book or story will be featured each day along with a craft relating to it. Families will have opportunities to win Crayola products and tickets to the Crayola Experience. You can contribute to community art projects.
The ArtsQuest Glass Studio Tent will be at Air Products Americaplatz with new “Hot Glass Experiences” available to attendees, 4-10 p.m. Aug. 1, 2, 5-9 and noon-10 p.m. Aug. 3, 4, 10, 11.
At the new “Community Poet-Tree,” Familienplatz, visitors may add or take a poem and hang it on a community tree.
From Aug. 2-4, Familienplatz, muralist and sign-painter Samantha Redles, originally from Coopersburg and who attended Moravian Academy, will create a giant “Greetings from Bethlehem” postcard mural for fest-goers to take snapshots of and share with family and friends via social media.
A new family-friendly show, “Lehigh Valley with Love Comedyplatz,” will be presented at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 3, 4, 10 and 11, with comedians from New York, Philadelphia and the the Lehigh Valley.
Attractions include Prismatica, 1-11 p.m. Aug. 2-11, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America Zinzenplatz, northside Bethlehem, and 1-11 p.m. Aug. 1-11 p.m., Air Products Americaplatz, southside Bethlehem. The traveling art installation has 50 pivoting prisms, each more than six-feet-tall that people can walk through and manipulate the prisms, accompanied by a soundtrack of bells.
Musikfest Arcade, Aug. 2-11, is at the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America Zinzenplatz. There will be 20 arcade games from the last four decades, including pinball machines.
Shinbone Alley Stilt Band, 3:30-6 p.m. Aug. 3, 4, 10, 11, Provident Bank Main Street, has musicians parading and dancing on stilts and performing Dixieland, Swing, Rock, Jazz and Blues on saxophone, trumpet, drums and other insttruments.
A free photo opportunity with the “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper” photo, is available 1-5 p.m. Aug. 3, 4, 10, 11, National Museum of Industrial History, 602 E. Second St. The photo recreates a photo of construction workers eating lunch high atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza as it was being erected in 1932.
New promotions include the Wells Fargo Musikfest Discount Program, noon-2 p.m. Aug. 3-11, Wells Fargo Festplatz. Wells Fargo card-holders are offered a 10 percent discount on Musikfest merchandise and food and beverage tickets and discounts for concert tickets at the Wind Creek Steel Stage.
Festival attendees may participate in “Photopass” workshops with former Rolling Stone photographer Brian Hineline to take photographs at concerts by The Chainsmokers, The Revivalists and Brad Paisley.
Musikfest 2019 merchandise includes the 2019 Musikfest Mug, new light-up mugs, and 2019 Musikfest lineup T-shirts available at the Musikfest merchandise tent, Wells Fargo Festplatz, and other locations.
Musikfest, founded by the nonprofit ArtsQuest in 1984, is made possible by the support of 1,600 volunteers, 3,300 ArtsQuest Members and more than 150 corporate partners.
For a list of performers: musikfest.org/lineup/free/