10 Can’t Miss Local Summer Music Events in Pittsburgh
We’re rounding up our top 10 picks for the best local summer music and art events you can catch (mostly) for free. Perhaps there’s one that’s new to you, or might have overlooked otherwise. Here’s to a fantastic summer 2015!
*Feature image photo credit: John Altdorfer
All summer: Allegheny County Summer Concert Series Taking place in the South Park Ampitheater and nearby Hartwood Acres, the mostly-free event series features a good mix of locals like Rusted Root, Donora, Bastard Bearded Irishmen and Paul Luc, and national acts, including Blue Oyster Cult, Red Baraat, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Chris Smither, Mat Kearney and Eve 6.
All Summer: Bayardstown Consider splurging on a $40 membership, which grants you access to the venue all summer long. A great mix of local bands and novelty events like the HomeBrew Happy Hour, Fourth of July Celebration and a crawfish boil, make this a great place to spend some time during the warmer Pittsburgh months.
All Summer: Opera Theater SummerFest In an effort to cater to the widest possible audience, The Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s summer lineup, which takes place at the Twentieth Century Club, includes classics like Damn Yankees, a late night cabaret, a children’s show and a world-premiere “Eco Opera”. Making the opera more accessible, all of this season’s shows are presented in English, for those of you who fear you won’t know what’s going on. Now’s your chance to branch out and try something new!
All Summer: Weather Permitting The family-friendly Weather Permitting returns for another season at the Shadyside Nursery, featuring music from locals like Grand Piano, Slim Forsythe and Working Poor for a small cover of $10. Couple great tunes with some of the city’s top food trucks such as Oh My Grill, Mac and Gold and the Burgh Bites Cart, and you’ve got yourself a nice little Sunday. Pick up some plants from the nursery while you’re there to support local business!
Friday, June 5 – Saturday, June 14: Three Rivers Arts Festival The Three Rivers Arts Festival kicks off in only a few short days, and what’s the forecast!? You guessed it: rain. If by this point you’re used to the weekend’s cursed, dreary conditions, you can look past that to check out some great performances by Attack Theatre, As Ladders, Brooke Annibale, and national acts like Jenny Lewis, Neko Case and more.
Saturday, June 27: WYEP Summer Music Festival Local band Brightside opens up for a cast of impressive characters at this year’s WYEP Summer Music Fest, which includes headliners Kopecky, The Lone Bellow, and Martin Sexton.
Saturday, July 11: Deutschtown Music Festival This year, the folks behind the Deutschtown Music Festival are trying to outdo themselves by providing all 100+ participating artists with monetary compensation. They’re raising funds via an Indiegogo campaign and are determined to keep the vibrant event free. Throwing this festival is no small task, and is due in large part to a group of volunteers dedicated to the cause. We wish them the best of luck this year!
Friday, July 17 – Sunday, July 19: Ladyfest New in 2015, Ladyfest brings together some of the region’s best bands with female members for a kick ass time. The event takes place at various locations throughout Bloomfield and Lawrenceville. Though details are still being ironed out, confirmed acts include Dream Phone, Derider, The Lopez, LadyBeast and many more awesomely talented women!
Saturday, August 1: Feastival 2015 Robert Randolph & the Family Band are playing for free in Pittsburgh?! You bet! Feastival’s programming is one of the best free entertainment options available this summer. In addition to locals The Commonheart, Pandemic, and Afroheat rounding out a stellar lineup, expect other local touches like an I Made It! Market and food trucks.
Sunday, July 19: Polish Hill Arts Festival A hit among residents year after year, the Polish Hill Arts Fest includes a mix of eclectic talent, vendors and delicious bites. It is a nice reminder of what a strong community Polish Hill remains after years of change in Pittsburgh.