It’s been almost two years since anyone who lifted their mug of beer to celebrate Festplatz or jumped out of their seat to dance at the Wind Creek Steel Stage. But that will thankfully change later this summer, thanks to the long-awaited return of Lehigh Valley’s favorite summer tradition.
Musikfest is defined for August 6 to August 15, with a special preview day on August 5, once again bringing festival-goers to Bethlehem for tunes, food and more. It’s been a long time since the COVID-19 pandemic forced Musikfest 2020 to go almost entirely virtual and on a much smaller scale. But this year, the decades-old festival has apparently returned to “normal.”
“I hope this is a gigantic candle of hope,” said Kassie Hilgert, Chairman and CEO of ArtsQuest Wednesday on 6 ABC’s Action News at noon. “We have been living since that day.”
Of course, the festival and the city of Bethlehem will comply with state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines – although at this point the CDC and Pennsylvania are only mandating the wearing of masks for those who are not fully vaccinated until the condition reaches 70% of adults fully protected against COVID-19.
Musikfest also announced a near-full roster of headlining shows at the Wind Creek Steel Stage on Wednesday. Darius Rucker, previously scheduled for Musikfest 2020, will open the festival preview night. All tickets already purchased will be honored this year. Likewise, Shinedown, another potential headliner for 2020, has been carried over to this year, and those tickets will be honored as well. The full schedule of headliners is:
- Phillip Phillips, August 6
- Preservation Hall Jazz Band, August 7
- Sam Hunt, August 8
- Shinedown, August 9
- Jimmie Allen, August 10
- Colin Hay Band, August 11
- KT Tunstall, August 12
- Zedd, August 13
- The Wood Brothers, August 14
Details of the festival’s closing night have yet to be announced, but there will of course be fireworks from 9.45pm to 10pm.
Three of the other headliners slated for 2020 – WIllie Nelson, Kelsea Ballerini and Poison – have been set for 2022, so keep your ticket for another 14 months.
Tickets for Sam Hunt, Zedd, The Wood Brothers and KT Tunstall go on sale at 10 a.m. on June 1 for ArtsQuest members and at 10 a.m. on June 4 for the general public. The same goes for Jimmie Allen, Phillip Phillips, Colin Hay Band and Preservation Hall Jazz Band the following week – 10 a.m. June 8 for ArtsQuest members, 10 a.m. June 11 for the general public.
While 2020 had limited, socially distanced, and masked in-person shows on the SteelStacks campus, all of your favorite Platzes are making their long-awaited return to the North Side of Bethlehem – Zinzenplatz, Lagerplatz, Festplatz and more will once again populate along Monocacy Creek. and on The Main Street of Bethlehem.
These smaller stages will see over 300 free performances, including Musikfest favorites Jimmy and the Parrots, Philadelphia Funk Authority and many more.
But what is music without food? Great food and goodies are the yin of yang of music, so no Musikfest is complete without an array of must-see Lehigh Valley vendors. The full list of food vendors will be announced later this summer, but it will include a number of Musikfest veterans like Aw Shucks Roasted Corn, Island noodles and an assortment of others.
The Musikfest grounds will open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on August 6 and from noon to 11 p.m. from August 7 to 15 on the north side of Bethlehem. The hours of operation on the south side will be 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, noon to 1 a.m. Saturday and noon to 11 p.m. Sunday.
Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to lehighvalleylive.com.
Connor Lagore can be reached at [email protected].