Talents Collide at Layer Cake Music & Arts Festival

Published On September 16, 2015 | By Mackenzie Sugrue | Music

Year after year, Pittsburgh’s vibrant music scene has been on a steady come-up, with the introduction of multiple new bands and concert lineups to keep people entertained. Festivals like the WYEP Summer Music Fest, Jam on Walnut, RANT, VIA and Thrival are becoming more and more popular, but something always felt like it was missing… At least, that is true for Ziggy Sawdust.

Artwork by Danielle Robinson

Recently, Ziggy set out to find a way to feed Pittsburgh’s growing music scene into a larger market, and what he came up with was a music festival unlike any other. Layer Cake is an 11-hour music fest held in one building that’ll include 36 bands, 12 live painters, and three stand-up comedians, each hosting their own stage.

Of the performing musicians, Layer Cake will feature nine headliners of varying musical genres ranging from funk, to folk, to hip-hop, to rock, and everything in between.

This year’s inaugural headliners include Grand PianoMisaligned Mind, Solarburn, The Clock Reads, Gene Stovall, Chet Vincent of Chet Vincent and the Big Bend, Idasa Tariq, Nameless in August and Bad Custer. All of the performers are Pittsburgh-based, and each group’s sound bringing something unique to the table.

grand piano

Grand Piano

Providing the “icing for the cake” are the 12 live painters that’ll be performing throughout the night. These painters are local artists who will get the chance to show their art to, in some cases, an entirely new audience. Headining live painters include Shervin Irashnar, D.S. Kinsel, Kyle Anthony Adams, Kara Zuzu, and Danielle Robinson.

Each artist has received recognition and praise locally and nationally for their various respected pieces. For a sneak preview of what types of art styles are in store for Layer Cake, check out Kyle Anthony Adams and Kara Zuzu’s collaborative painting series, Un-Bit Landscapes.

The festival will take place on three floors in one building, with performers utilizing each of the floors at various times. Each floor will also be hosted by a different comedian for the night’s entirety.


Gene Stovall

The upstairs Ballroom Stage will be hosted by Davon Magwood. Magwood has completed two national comedy tours thus far, opening for comedians like Hannibal Buress and Gilbert Gottfried. His first comedic album, “I’d Rather Be Napping,” topped the iTunes charts, and he’s currently at work on the second edition before heading out on the road again this fall.

The Dining Room stage will be hosted by Krish Mohan, a stand-up comedian, writer and improv comic. Mohan has opened for people such as Cameron Esposito and Dave Coulier, and is the host, writer and creator of “Fork Full of Noodles,” a web series dedicated to political and social satire.

The basement Speakeasy stage will then be hosted by Stoph Edison, a well-known stand-up comedian in the city of Pittsburgh.


The Clock Reads – Pat Bruener Photography

An all-day-and-night affair, Layer Cake will be held at James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy on Saturday, October 3. The first bands will kick off at 1PM, and they’ll be performing throughout the night until 2AM. Tickets are $20 at the door with $15 presales still available.


Stoph Edison

Don’t sleep on Layer Cake; we’re certain that its on its way to becoming something big. The groundwork for an additional festival in Brooklyn, NY this coming spring has already been laid out. Ziggy Sawdust has said he is hoping to expand the festival to cities from Detroit to Philadelphia, and encourages people to come out and show their support.

Check out some anticipatory testimonials from some of our artist picks below:

Ziggy Sawdust:

“You’re not just supporting local artists for this particular show, but helping to pave the way for them to have success in other markets in the future.”

Gene Stovall:

“The Layer Cake Festival is 3 floors – or “layers” – of musical deliciousness.”

The Clock Reads:

“We hope people realize that there’s a lot of good local music and art around [Pittsburgh]. Supporting local music is always important.”

Grand Piano:

“We think these festivals are awesome! Bringing together so many different artists creates a great opportunity for festival goers to find out what’s going on in and around the city, and they don’t even have to leave the building. We hope people get a real sense of the creative community flourishing in Pittsburgh right now. This festival is important because it’s the first local fest in a long time to set up a bill featuring local comedians and visual artists alongside the thriving local music scene.”

Stoph Edison:

“Pittsburgh is full of creative individuals who spend a great deal of time and money perfecting their craft. The least people can do is take advantage of the fact that this many creatives will be gathered under one roof.”

Layer Cake has plans to expand–email LayerCakeFestival@gmail.com with a direct link to your music, a headshot of yourself or your band, and a brief bio for a chance to headline the Spring 2016 editions in Pittsburgh and Brooklyn, NY! (Be sure to include “SUBMISSION” in the email headline.)

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