Deutschtown Music Fest Pairs with Indiegogo to Compensate Performing Artists
On Saturday, July 11, the annual Deutschtown Music Festival prepares to kick off its third consecutive year in the ‘Burgh.
Set in historic Deutschtown, a part of Pittsburgh’s North Side, the festival is one of Pittsburgh’s largest free music festivals and has only grown in size and support since its inception. Last year, the festival encompassed over 15 different venues within the East Ohio business district, included three outdoor stages, and featured over 90 artists. The Deutschtown Music Festival has remained a non-profit concert for the past two years, relying on local bands to play for free with a payoff of exposure to a large audience.
As the festival enters into its third year, its organizer, Cody Walters, is reaching out to the ever-growing community that has made the Deutschtown Music Festival possible by encouraging them to give back to the artists. Festival organizers have come up with an initiative to pay the performers this time around, and they’re currently hosting an Indiegogo campaign to raise $10,000 in order to pay them all equally. The campaign has reached over 12 percent of its goal as of May 27, and still has two weeks left before it closes June 9.
Like many other crowdfunding campaigns, donations to the Deutschtown Music Festival offer prizes and perks ranging from posters and t-shirts for those who donate $35-$80, to a mystery grand prize for those who donate over $500.
We had the chance to speak with Cody Walters to find out more about the campaign and what’s new at the Deutschtown Music Festival this year. Below is what transpired:
NakYouOut: The Deutschtown community has been a huge supporter of this festival. Tell us how this has impacted the festival since it began three years ago?
Cody Walters: The festival has had such amazing support from the community. East Allegheny Community Council has been our non-profit fiscal sponsor for all three years, and we have received community support from the Spring Hill Civic League, The Community Alliance of Spring Garden and East Deutschtown, Troy Hill Citizens, Inc. and the Northside Leadership Conference. This year, we have also seen support from Councilwoman Darlene Harris as well as support from Mayor Peduto. One Northside, a Buhl foundation project working to improve Pittsburgh’s Northside, has also given us a sponsorship this year. The people of the Northside have really embraced us every step of the way. Our ultimate goal is to showcase our amazing neighborhood as well as all the great live local music that happens here in Deutschtown year round and throughout the city as a whole.
NYO: There’s over 15 venues involved in DMF 2015. Who’s new to the festival this year and what are they bringing to it that you’re excited about?
CW: With our goal of improving the neighborhood and encouraging growth here, it is great to see that this year we have some great new businesses that have opened this year and will be part of the festival. Arnold’s Tea opened a few months ago and has quickly become my favorite new place for lunch meetings. They have delicious, unique teas and great sandwiches and salads. They will host a stage this year all day. Also opening this year is Neu Kirche, a contemporary art center that will play host to artists in residence, both locally and from New Zealand. They officially open in September, but have agreed to host two stages in their renovated Church space at the corner of Madison Ave and Tripoli Street in East Deutschtown. The first floor will be an art gallery with some light music as an all ages venue and we will probably end up growing into their 2nd floor as another venue next year. Also this year, we will be adding two outdoor stages at Penn Brewery and The New Bohemian, and Mullins Diner has come on board as a venue, as well.
NYO: Last year, the Pop-Up Pinball Parlor joined the festival. What other fun activities can audience members expect to join the live performances this year?
CW: There will be a number of new surprises this year. Ziggy Sawdust is hosting a pop-up art gallery, and Touchfaster will be doing another. Allegheny City Brewing will be giving out samples in their new location on Foreland St. We are planning on having City of Play there with activities for all ages and much more. And, of course, our firedancers will be there again this year, too.
CW: Yes, our Indiegogo is a great way to support the bands who volunteer to play the festival, but people can also help by volunteering. We especially need people who have experience working sound, but we also just need people to keep things rolling at each venue, or to help set up or tear down. We are so grateful for all the help and donations we are getting… We can always use more.