2014 VIA Pittsburgh Festival Preview + Giveaway
Now in its 5th year, Pittsburgh’s experimental music/new media festival, VIA, returns to take over the first week of October with their authentic, mind-bending showcase of events that stretch the imagination and inspire audiences of all types. 2014 finds the brand with a new look and expanded Chicago lineup, opting for a more fragmented approach than in years past. Participating venues include a variety of reliable favorites like The Rex Theater, Round Corner Cantina, and Thunderbird Cafe. As is the case with every year, however, they’ll explore new territory such as Lawrenceville’s Row House Cinema, iconic after hours club Hot Mass, and Downtown’s Union Trust building for Saturday night’s main affair.
Their curatorial efforts as art and music connoisseurs are what make this festival a standout during the last months of 2014, as Pittsburgh finds itself host to a lineup of acts like indie rock heavy hitters Real Estate, critically-acclaimed black metal band Deafheaven, and the young rising rapper Cakes Da Killa. What makes this year even more of a milestone is VIA’s expansion into the Chicago market, where they’ll host a similar lineup of artists in conjunction with local promoters Them Flavors and LVL3 gallery at hotspots like Primary Night Club.
If you’re finding the lineup a bit daunting, or you didn’t manage to grab an all access pass which guarantees you access to all the festival has to offer, we’ve done our homework so you don’t have to. From screenings and lectures, to noise bands and dance parties, VIA’s got you covered.
Wednesday ignites the action in full force, with a kickoff party at Cattivo featuring a blend of local talent (Badboxes/Rivka/Ennui) downstairs and a Vogue Pittsburgh party headlined by NYC’s Mike Q that brings this thriving subculture to the forefront through its showcase of dance battles that once rattled the walls of the now retired 6119 event space.
Thursday’s Row House Cinema film premiere, From Deep, chronicles the role of basketball in American culture and features a panel discussion with director and Pittsburgh native Brett Kashmere, Pittsburgh-based political activist and rapper Jasiri X, as well as Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sports writer Mike White.
The local lineup is as rich as the festivals national talent. Noise punks Slices serve as the perfect compliment to Thursday’s showcase at The Rex Theater, headlined by black metal band Deafheaven. Producer Chase Smith will be speaking alongside after hours headliner Ellie Herring at a workshop during Friday’s free music conference at the CMU Studio for Creative Inquiry. With showcases stacked full of reputable and familiar faces such as Lungs Face Feet, Edgar Um, Aaron Clark, and Ivies, one could get by on seeing solely Pittsburgh acts and leave satisfied.
A recent press release touts the features of Saturday’s main event at the Union Trust Building on 5th and Grant St downtown, which couples a lower-level DIY nightclub with a main floor art installation consisting of a 30-foot bubble “for immersive audio-visual environment in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University’s Drama students.” A space that once housed a department store will host a digital sculpture gallery. The musical showcases will take place in the Trust’s lower level, which has never before been open to the public.
Events are broken out in a way that makes them super affordable. Buying a pass to the whole shebang Oct 1-5 for $100 saves you 50%, so that’s something to consider. Weekend passes, which include all events Oct 3-5, are $70. Both can be purchased in advance here. If you can’t make that kind of time commitment, individual events range from $8-$25. To view the full list of events and purchase tickets, visit here.
If you’re the gambling type, you can always enter our giveaway below for a chance to win a pair of weekend passes, which gets you in to all events Friday October, 3 to Sunday, October 5.