The largest free music festival in the country, if not the world, begins at 4 p.m. on Friday August 1st in Bethlehem, PA (and did we mention that Jessi Ross, who recently performed at MMUP2014 and at Java Good Day Cafe, is performing tonight, August 1st, at Martin Guitar Lyrikplatz from 7 -7:40?).
Musikfest is 10 days of great, live music on 14 different stages throughout Bethlehem’s historic district and the new SteelStacks arts campus. From the opening note to the closing act, more than 500 FREE performances will take place in the city’s streets, parks, plazas and historic areas.
Musikfest also features a craft fair with 45 artisans, children’s activities, fireworks, 60 food vendors, the occasional juggler and Fire Guy (who skateboards through fire), and more. Concerts are held outdoors and indoors. Daily schedules, as well as schedules based on geography (both sides of the river, North and South), and a complete ten day schedule can be viewed and downloaded from the official Musikfest site. Their very comprehensive site also includes a map of the festival, parking and directions, specific venue information and lineup, kids’ activities, fest history, and what’s new (walking dinosaurs, yarn bombing, “circus punk marching band,” music camp for kids ages 6-10, a space shuttle replica, Polynesian dance, circus arts, and Restaurant Row). A very few concerts (at the Sands Steel Stage) require paid tickets.
Classical music, along with Brazilian jazz, the brass quartet Silver and Brass, and Bosnian classical guitarist Denis Azabagic, can be found at the Vesper and Chamber concerts held at the Central Moravian Church at 5 p.m., and at 7:30 p.m. at the Central Moravian Church’s Old Chapel, August 4-8, 2014. Four Celtic Voices opens the Vesper series on Monday, August 4th.
The best place to go for outstanding coverage of acts you won’t want to miss is The Morning Call -Musikfest. Today’s newspaper (print and online) spotlights, among others, the cover band The Amish Outlaws (six Amish men who rap, play instruments, and sing songs covering Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Johnny CAsh, Kanye West, and Pink Floyd), the Moody Blues, and King Paris;
King Paris’ website promises that the “musical mysteries of the universe will unfold” at his show, where he combines influences as diverse as Ravi Shankar and Johnny Cash, Amjad Ali Khan and Screaming Jay Hawkins, Mohan Bhatt and Elmore James.
Add to the stage a few props, a flamboyant, colorful wardrobe that hints at Eastern mysticism and a pair of sexy belly dancers and you have a unique visual as well as sonic spectacle.