Deutschtown Music Festival: 180 bands in two days!
July 8, 2016 12:57 PM
Meeting of Important People
Plan B with Byron Nash
By Scott Mervis / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Ben Soltesz and Cody Walters launched the Deutschtown Music Festival four years ago in the North Side neighborhood — on the same day as a Taylor Swift concert at the stadium — with about three dozen Pittsburgh acts playing in eight venues.
“My initial concern,” Soltesz said at the time, “is that people would think it's a German festival.”
Reasonable. But rather than strolling Bavarian musicians, it was a showcase of indie-rock, power-pop and alt-country bands. And it was an instant hit, as anyone who tried to park over there can attest.
Four years later, the Deutschtown Music Festival, which opens tonight, has grown exponentially to two days, spreading 180 bands of greater varieties across 21 stages, including six outdoors. It all takes place in and around the Deutschtown neighborhood of the North Side.
Along with the bands, there will be live art installations, a fashion show from CAPA students and print-making station at Artist Image Resources. The family-friendly daytime activities will include face painting and more than 20 food trucks and vendors. A free school-bus shuttle will transport attendees from North Shore parking lots and the T station to the various venues.
Here are comments from some of the musicians playing the festival:
Morgan Erina: “It's my favorite music festival that Pittsburgh holds, and I'm looking forward to playing at Wigle Whiskey, and spending the whole day surrounded by amazing musicians, and of course drinking all of the wine I can find, haha.”
Josh Verbanets, Meeting of Important People: “It’s one of those out-of-this-world experiences where practically every musician I know around town finds themselves on the same block on the same day. I definitely credit Deutschtown with being the Pittsburgh music event that opened the idea of 'seeing local music' to a much larger community around town. Something for people to look forward to, instead of feeling like a 'duty' to support local artists.”
Jay Wiley, The Hawkeyes: “We said this from the first time we played it two years ago: Deutschtown gave us a feeling that it's one of those events that music scenes do that really makes a bold statement about our music market and the people supporting it here - it's a real deal thing that we can hang our hats on.”
Drew Donegan, Gene the Werewolf: "This is our second year playing the festival and we were totally blown away by the response last year. Not only does it celebrate our wildly eclectic music scene (in both indoor and outdoor settings), but it shows folks a really cool and under appreciated neighborhood. Best of all, it seems to be working. Last year, our venue sold out within minutes of doors opening!"
Paul Tabachneck: “My largest regret about moving to New York is that I missed out on full-on day-to-day participation in the renaissance that happened in '08. I'm thrilled to be a part of Deutschtown, because two years ago I was rehashing this lament while sitting in the Wigle Garden, getting sunburnt and daydrunk and watching Brewer's Row, and now I get to be a part of this awesome thing that felt to me like the kind of thing Pittsburgh needed all along. Plus, I get to see a lot of talent that I might have missed on my scattered visits.”
Byron Nash, playing solo and with new band PLAN B: “It’s an amazing opportunity for lovers of music to hang out in the historic Deutschtown neighborhood and hear all types of talented local bands and artists at places they've never been to. I think it is incredible that there's 180 bands playing. It's also good that the bars and businesses will make money and be supported by music. It's great for bands for exposure and networking, and is good for the city overall. I'm truly honored to be a part of this event."
Clinton Clegg, The Commonheart: “DMF has become almost like a annual summit amongst the artists in the scene here in Pittsburgh. You see your friends/peers, new musicians, and you get to take part in providing a window into our world for the entire city. It's a party, it's a throwdown and, most of all, it’s run by good people who are true champions of the scene. Love this festival, can't wait to be a part of it.”
Wes Conroy, Grand Piano: “DMF is easily my favorite show of the year because I live right in the middle of it. Zak, our guitarist, lives in the neighborhood as well so we have two places to catch our breath and party in between our favorite local bands. Grand Piano will be performing as a group of magicians this year ... not to be missed!”
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