Pittsburgh’s premiere underground cultural hap, otherwise known as the VIA festival, is shockingly near. The event, now in its fourth year, is quickly becoming a ritual for many of the city’s more adventurous music lovers. Tending to err on the opposite side of caution, the festival’s choices test even the most avid music follower’s music knowledge, pushing boundaries of sight and sound to an unfamiliar plane while creating new worlds inside the East End’s most unassuming spaces. Their programming could stand against that of any major city, and despite Pittsburgh’s still-struggling status as a market to hit on major tours, the underground is flourishing. Their knack for identifying trend setters in many musical subcultures is undeniable. They brought Big Freedia to town countless times before Miley Cyrus ever bastardized twerking. This year finds them doing much of the same in their signature way.
Year four offers more screenings and screen-based performances than in years past, with 4 events taking place at Pittsburgh Filmmakers on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday of the fest. Programming includes an film made entirely from animated GIFs, a “television show from the future”, and a hallucinatory examination of West African possession ceremonies. Sub-packs will be attached to theater seats for Wednesday’s minimalist duo Raime’s performance. Best of all, each screening is offered for an affordable $8 or less, which offers attendees a taste of VIA without breaking the bank.
This year’s broad and rich musical offerings venture even more ahead of the curve in terms of musical practices. Noisemakers Unicorn Hard On and Pharmakon are featured at the Brillobox Wednesday. Dance music shines with the inclusion of Jacques Greene, KiNK, Total Freedom, Hunee and more. VIA also continues their tradition of highlighting promising local artists, including Shockwave Riderz, Nic Lawless and his Young Criminales, Postlife, Wiseblood and Sharon Needles.
The recent announcement of East Liberty’s Family Resources as the main stage might be an unexpected choice, but their rapport with attendees is enough to keep them confident that no matter what the outcome, the space will be comfortable, adventurous and dressed in a digital blanket. Few festivals offer such a centrally-located home base while remaining close to conveniences for both residents and out-of-towners, with such a stellar lineup at an affordable price tag. We are very spoiled.
And now it’s time to spoil our lovely readers. We’re giving away a pair of Weekend Passes (TH-SUN $60 value / 7 events) for the festival. All you’ve gotta do is follow the Rafflecopter instructions below. We’ll select a winner at random this weekend and notify them via email. Winners must respond within 24 hours to confirm or someone else will be having the time of their life next weekend. Jump on it. And remember, you can secure tickets to whatever you’d like (though we recommend going All Access style and going to everything) right here, right now.
a Rafflecopter giveaway