Dynamic visual arts programming, comedy and dance performances, unique educational experiences and concerts by artists such as Rusted Root, Everyone Orchestra, Steve Forbert, Coco Montoya and Pablo Batista will fill south Bethlehem as the SouthSide Arts & Music Festival undergoes a major expansion for 2017. Set for April 28-29, the event includes a diverse array of free visual arts programming throughout the SouthSide on Saturday, as well great, live music at five venues on Friday and Saturday nights.
Festival passes, which provide access to all five music locations, are $30 per day or $50 for both days; they’ll go on sale Feb. 14, 10 a.m., at bananafactory.org and 610-332-3378. ArtsQuest Members can take advantage of special pricing with $28 for a day pass and $45 for a two-day pass.
Highlighting south Bethlehem’s arts district, the SouthSide Arts & Music Festival features two days filled with visual arts experiences, live music and family programming, all designed to encourage guests to visit the SouthSide’s shops, restaurants and arts venues. By purchasing a pass to the festival, attendees enjoy access to 14-15 musical acts each night at the National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH), Holy Infancy Catholic School, Touchstone Theater, Godfrey Daniels and the ArtsQuest Center’s Musikfest Café.
Both nights of the festival conclude with a headlining performance by a nationally-renowned act in the ArtsQuest Center’s Musikfest Café presented by Yuengling. On April 29, Pittsburgh’s acclaimed Rusted Root will perform a 10 p.m. show in the Café, while the April 28 headliner will be announced in mid-March. Other musical acts that will take the stage during the two-day event include The Ballroom Thieves at NMIH on April 28, Steve Forbert at Godfrey Daniels on April 29 and local indie rockers Ceramic Animal at the Musikfest Café presented by Yuengling on the 29th.
On April 28, former Bethlehem resident Pablo Batista, who appeared live at the 2002 GRAMMYs with Alicia Keys and has performed or recorded with artists such as Bono and Jeffrey Osborne, will serve up a sizzling set of Latin sounds at Holy Infancy Catholic School’s auditorium. For Batista, the performance marks a return to the school he attended as a child and the community he grew up in. Father Andrew N. Gehringer of Holy Infancy says the church and school are thrilled to be part of the growing arts festival.
While live music fills the nights at the Southside Arts & Music Festival, engaging visual arts and education experiences take center stage during the day courtesy of a variety of free and ticketed programs throughout south Bethlehem. Included are nearly one dozen workshops at the Banana Factory ranging from fun-filled children’s experiences like rock cactus painting and steampunk-inspired jewelry making, to workshops on screen printing, creating hot glass paperweights and Flower Crowns inspired by artist Frida Kahlo. There’s even an urban photo walk, where participants can join a professional photographer, camera in hand, to explore the unique spaces and places of the SouthSide.
As attendees stroll from block to block during the SouthSide Arts & Music Festival, they’ll also be greeted by artisan popup shops on the sidewalks in front of local businesses or find themselves in the middle of the “Lehigh Valley Art Wars,” live art competitions that pit area artists in a battle for artistic victory.
For more information see the official event page.
National Museum of Industrial History Lineup