The Northside Chronicle sits down for a quick chat at the Kaffeehaus with Deutschtown Music Festival Co-Organizer, Ben Soltesz, about what to expect at one of the biggest local music fests in Pittsburgh.

By Lauren Stauffer

NSC: This is the 7th Annual Deustchtown Music Festival (DMF), is there anything new this year that neighbors and attendees can expect to see?

DMF: Yes, we’ve partnered with Allegheny Center Alliance Church to add a Sunday Gospel Brunch show at the Highmark/AHN Park Stage featuring their dance and choir teams, as well as, Pittsburgh native Joy Ike and more from 9am-noon. There will be a variety of brunch items for sale and a small service after the final performance. Plus, the Grand Hall at the Priory will join us for the first time for all ages shows both festival days where adult guests can also go check out Pennsylvania’s smallest bar inside the hotel at The Monk’s Bar.

NSC: Last year DMF diverted 84% of festival waste from landfills, will DMF continue to be a Zero Waste event this year? How can guests help the festival be 100% waste free?

DMF: We’re working with Pennsylvania Resources Council again to continue being a Zero Waste Event. Guests will see volunteers at Zero Waste stations to dispose of recyclable, compostable, and trash only materials. If you get food from any of the food truck vendors, all of their food and beverage containers and utensils are compostable! They go in the green top compostable bins.

NSC: Will there be a festival bus again this year? If so, will the route remain the same? Is it accessible for those with disabilities?

DMF: There will be two free festival shuttles again for Saturday visitors 11am-midnight and in addition, the fancy South Side Nite Rider shuttle on Friday from 5-10:30pm! Routes are different for Friday and Saturday. Anyone with accessibility needs please give us a call so we can reserve you a parking space as close to the festival as possible. More travel/parking info for both days is on the festival’s website, including shuttle route map.

NSC: For first time festival goers, any suggestions to help make their day in Deutschtown the most enjoyable?

DMF: We encourage using public transportation, like Port Authority’s buses or the T, to get here. If you’re inclined to bike, we’ll have plenty of bike racks thanks to Bike Pittsburgh. Look for the We Like Bikes! signs in windows of businesses if you need a quick bicycle repair.  There are two info tables located on Foreland St. by the HughShows Main Stage and by the Highmark/AHN Park Stage to get more info and Beer Garden Wristbands. Wristbands are required to purchase beer in the beer garden near the Main Stage. The wristbands are $5 and all proceeds go towards the musicians playing at the festival.

NSC: What stages or areas should families with young kids look for family-friendly programming?

DMF: On Saturday from 12-7pm at the Highmark/AHN Park Stage there will be ongoing activities for families beyond music including a tropical obstacle course and slide, face painting, balloon sculpting, moon bounce house, climbing wall, Whimsy the Dream Fairy, the 3WS Sports Challenge, the CitiParks Roving Art Cart, stilt-walking and juggling by O’Ryan the O’Mazing, and live ice carving by Ice Creations. The schedule is on the website under Food/Activities.

NSC: You know what, I’ll also include the Park Activities with the festival schedule in the Culture Guide too. Anything else neighbors and attendees should know about this year’s festival?

DMF: Download the Sched app on your phone with Google Play or Apple App Store to create your own itinerary ahead of time or check for what’s coming up next in between any of the 300+ shows. Please remember with so many working parts that schedules are always subject to change, even the day of. There will also be a limited amount of food trucks on Friday and over 30 food trucks on Saturday. The beer garden is open Friday from 3-10pm and Saturday noon-11pm. Our friends at Redfishbowl collective will return again for a Local Artist Market on Saturday too.

NSC: Thanks Ben! In The Northside Chronicle’s July newspaper readers can also find a hard copy of the full Deutschtown Music Festival schedule as of June 26th in the Culture Guide to help decide what to listen to first!

This article is sponsored by Deutschtown Music Festival. The festival begins Friday, July 12th through Saturday, July 13th and now expands to a third day this year with a Sunday Brunch Show on July 14th. The award-winning, free festival is a non-profit, all-volunteer event program produced by the Northside Leadership Conference.

2019 sponsors include: Highmark, Allegheny Health Network, First National Bank, Straub Brewery, Wigle Whiskey, Elevation Construction and Development, Rivers Casino, Port Authority of Allegheny County, SSB Bank, East Street Distributing, HughShows, Hear Corp, WDVE, WYEP, and WESA, Zero Waste PA, Flyspace Productions, Work, Red Buffalo Illustration, Bike Pittsburgh, and Love PGH Music.

For more details about the festival, visit www.deutschtownmusicfestival.org