The Deutschtown Music Festival takes place each July in Pittsburgh's North Side and features hundreds of bands, dozens of stages throughout the region (most in Deutschtown, naturally), food trucks, other vendors, and so much more.
In fact, there is so much to see in this two-day event you really plan to spend the entire day down at the festival to get the most out of it!
200 Bands, Over Two Dozen Stages, and Two Days of Music
With 200 bands typically scheduled to play between the Friday night and full Saturday festival schedule, simply saying that there is a lot to see is an understatement. This festival is known for going all out and is essentially a massive block party with a lot of music thrown into the mix.
Friday night is typically a day of music only, with bands playing at a selection of all of the venues, while Saturday is the main extravaganza with all stages featuring a packed schedule from morning until late at night.
There are stages set up in hole-in-the-wall bars. Stages set up in breweries. Local businesses that have practically nothing to do with music set up stages. And, naturally, performing arts spaces like James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy (which sadly closed in 2017) and the Elk's Lodge (famous for Wednesday Banjo Night) also jump into the mix with free performances throughout the festival.
To put it simply, if you are a fan of live music, you'll have no shortage of options to pick from during this jam packed event.
Plan for a Day Out Over a Short Visit
If there is one thing that is worth highlighting about the Deutschtown Music Festival, it is that it is not ideal for those visiting for just an hour or two. The reasons for this are many, but can be summed up by the fact that the music festival is setup across all of the North Side, not just in Deutschtown. (Check out their map to see what we mean.)
There are shows going on at the main stage in Deutschtown, at the stage in Allegheny Commons, and at the many stages inside businesses in Deutschtown for sure. But there are also stages set up a bit further out like at Huszar at the corner of North Avenue and East (a short walk), Penn Brewery (a longer walk), and even Scratch Food and Beverage in Troy Hill (okay, you may want to take the shuttle for this one).
Hitting just one or two of these for a few hours can be fun, but it really is no different than checking out live music any other time of the year apart from the massive crowds, hard-to-come-by parking, long lines, and sometimes over-priced drinks that are available.
If you're visiting the festival just to check out one band, it is almost best to wait until their next solo performance and check them out there for a better one-off experience.
But for those looking to attend the music festival itself, the best way to counteract these issues is by spending a much longer time at the event- something like four, six, or even eight hours, while slowly hopping around to all of the different spots to experience the festival as it was meant to be enjoyed.
Where short visits may be perfectly fine for some events in the city, at the Deutschtown Music Festival a short visit will not do it justice, and should be avoided if you can plan for it.
So when heading down to Deutschtown for the annual music festival, plan your hit list ahead of time and make a day of it. Just how festivals are truly meant to be experienced.
The Deutschtown Music Festival typically occurs in July each year. The main stages, food trucks, and vendors are often found along Foreland Street in Deutschtown / East Allegheny.
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