in Lehigh Valley, PA
August 5–14, 2022 • Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
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Each summer, Bethlehem comes alive as the tradition of Musikfest returns to the city. The festival kicks off on the first Friday of August and continues for 10 consecutive days packed with music, food, and plenty of fun for all ages. Your first time attending the ‘Fest can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. We’ve compiled some tips for a happy Musikfest experience, including must-see artists, eats, guides to parking, and even where to take a potty break.
Ready to start planning your visit? Jump to sections below to learn more about Musikfest:
Named twice the No. 1 Music Festival in North America by the USA Today/10Best readers’ poll, Musikfest features hundreds of performances on stages (referred to as ‘platzes’ to pay homage to the city’s Germanic heritage) throughout Bethlehem over 10 days. The 2022 festival runs August 5-14, 2022.
The festival is spread throughout the city of Bethlehem, on the north side covering the Historic Moravian District and on the SouthSide at the SteelStacks in the SouthSide Arts District. It's easy to get overwhelmed when looking at all that's going on, but you'll find fun tucked around every corner. We recommend that first-timers to Musikfest spend some time getting lost as you wander through the festival grounds. Don't miss award-winning food vendors, local craft vendors, artists at work, and hands-on art activations that are spread throughout the festival.
North Side (Historic Moravian District) Hours: August 5, 5 – 11 p.m.; August 6-14, noon – 11 p.m.
SteelStacks in the SouthSide Arts District: Weekdays, 4 – 11 p.m.; Fridays, 4 p.m. – 1 a.m.; Saturdays, 12 p.m. – 1 a.m.; Sundays, 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.
New this Year: PNC Stadtplatz
Musikfest returns to Payrow Plaza (10 E. Church Street, Bethlehem, PA) with the newly named PNC Stadtplatz. The platz name was selected from over 2,000 name suggestions from fans on social media and translates to “city place” or “town square." The platz, located between Bethlehem’s City Hall and Public Library, will feature free performances every evening of the festival, from 5-10 p.m.
Inclusion Zones: Accessibility at Musikfest
Sunday, August 7 is Inclusion Day at Musikfest! ASL interpretation will be provided for the following performances:
- Poets for Justice Presents… World Changers: Speaking Hope to the Future (3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at The Ice House)
- Coast to Coast (5–6:30 p.m. at Air Products Americaplatz)
- The Funkitorium (7–8:30 p.m. at Air Products Americaplatz)
- Baha Men (9:30–11 p.m. at Air Products Americaplatz)
"The Musikfest Inclusion Zones are sensory-supportive spaces that provide services, tools and amenities to benefit individuals with sensory-processing difficulties of all ages and abilities. The spaces feature Silent Sound System headphones playing relaxing music, weighted lap pads, Moon Mats, sensory toys, mindfulness activities and education about mindfulness, coloring and activity books for all ages and abilities and more. Outside of the dedicated quiet space, play-based games and activities including hula hoops, bubbles, a misting fan (on the South Side only) will be available for people to try and explore."
North Side Inclusion Zone: Familienplatz
The north side inclusion zone at NJM Insurance Familienplatz will be open from 5 to 9 p.m., on opening day and 12 to 8 p.m. the rest of the festival.
South Side Inclusion Zone
The South Side Inclusion Zone will operate at the SteelStacks playground from 12 to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays during the festival.
Music Lineup for 2022
While the majority of the performances are free, you will find one ticketed, headlining show during each night of the ‘Fest showcased on the Wind Creek Steel Stage (located at SteelStacks).
Free Music Performances
But don’t discount the hundreds of free performances during Musikfest! Across the festival's Bethlehem footprint, visitors will find stages brimming with local artists, plus nationally-recognized acts. The lineup includes Igor and the Red Elvises, Jimmy and the Parrots, Philadelphia Funk Authority, The Sofa Kings, Seth Witcher, We Banjo 3, and many more.
If you’re driving to the festival, don’t waste time searching for street parking. Instead, head right for one of the available satellite lots (1550 Valley Center Parkway or 240 Emery Street off of Rt. 412) where you can park for free. The Shuttle cost is $5 per adult (13 and over); $3 per child ages 3-12 when accompanied by a fare paying adult; and free for children 2 and under (must be able to sit on the lap of an adult). The price includes same-day access to the North South Transfer Services.
Another solid option is to check out availability within the two parking garages on the city’s North Side - Walnut Street and North Street. Though there is a fee to park in these garages, you’ll be steps away from the action. Additionally, the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA) offers additional service during the festival, including a loop shuttle between North & South Bethlehem.
Find more information on Musikfest parking, rideshares, shuttles, and public transportation.
You're sure to get in your 10,000 steps exploring all the "Platz" at Musikfest! We recommend wearing comfortable walking shoes as the footprint of the festival is quite large and does include travel on both paved and gravel paths with some incline. August days in Pennsylvania can be toasty, so be sure to stay hydrated as you're exploring!
When nature calls, you’ll find plenty of facilities available for use. On the South Side, take advantage of indoor bathrooms at the Visitors Center, as well as within the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks. On the North Side, consider using the bathrooms near Volksplatz in the Colonial Industrial Quarter for some slightly less trafficked resources.
Map of North Side
Map of South Side
Food & Drinks
With all the walking and dancing that comes along with enjoying Musikfest, you’ll work up quite an appetite. Luckily, there are endless amounts of food and beverage options to savor. Pay for food and drinks with a credit, debit, or a reloadable CashCard.
At Musikfest, you’ll find everything from your traditional fair favorites (deep-fried Oreos, anyone?) to more unique eats. Classic choices include bratwurst, halupki, Aw Shucks roasted corn, Take a Taco, Island Noodles, Chick'nCone, and The Flying V.
New Food Options for 2022:
Each year, Musikfest introduces new food vendors to the list of classics. Here are a few newbies for 2022:
- The Little Sicilian: pizzaballs, chicken parm balls, philly cheesesteak balls, sausage and peppers balls, fried ravioli, and cannolis
- The Munchy Machine: chicken and waffle cones, loaded pierogies, kielbasa and pork bahn mi
- Big Wil & The Warden
- Homer’s Girls
- French Toast Bites
- Slabs and Crabs
Pick up an iconic Musikfest Mug to keep your beverage of choice nice and cold—plus, you’ll help the crews cut down on waste. Mugs are reusable year to year, but it’s never too early to start your collection! Fill your mug at stations throughout the festival. Plenty of non-alcoholic beverages are available for purchase throughout the festival grounds. Stay tuned for the new artwork for this year's 2022 Mug (and other Musikfest merchandise).
Art & More
Music isn’t the only form of entertainment you’ll find. Throughout the festival, be sure to stop and see various street performers delighting crowds young & old. You can also enjoy — or even take part! — in a number of hands-on art activities including glassblowing, paper poppy making, the Crayola Creativity tent, and more. There are plenty of kid-friendly activities on site as well. Browse the wares of local craft vendors, admire artists at work, and explore the hands-on art activations that are spread throughout the festival.
Musikfest® 2022 Poster
Multidimensional contemporary artist Bart Cooper hopes this piece, which depicts a father and daughter enjoying the festivities in front of Bethlehem’s iconic SteelStacks, will inspire a sense of unity and inclusion.
He's the master behind the 2022 poster for Musikfest, the nonprofit ArtsQuest’s flagship festival.
“It is such an honor to be chosen as this year’s poster artist,” Cooper said. “I’m from Lehigh Valley, and I have been to Musikfest. I love the setting, there’s something for everyone. I am very excited to present this piece and see how the masses receive it.”
Cooper says at first, he was nervous to take on the challenge, but once he set a vision and approach, the piece really started to come together. The poster features a father and daughter enjoying the nation’s largest free music festival, based on a real-life daddy-daughter duo who goes to Musikfest together every year.
“I decided to focus on the people, not the music or the performances,” Cooper said. “The father and daughter may have different perspectives, but they experience the same joy and excitement together.”
As part of his process, Cooper did a reference photo shoot before sketching and creating the mixed media piece with digital, original painting and acrylics. When you focus in on the father’s sunglasses, you can see former Musikfest performers Black Violin playing on the Wind Creek Steel Stage. The festival’s mascot Artie can also be found on a pin worn by the young girl.
“I wanted to recreate a breezy, summer day,” Cooper said. “The piece has a nice warm atmosphere when you look at the intensities of the colors.”
Cooper wanted to bring a warm vibe to this year’s piece, which is highlighted in the color choices of yellows, slight oranges and pinks. For the sky, Cooper sought to create a windy vibe to showcase music in the atmosphere.
This piece is the perfect bridge to connect fine art with the sights and sounds experienced at Musikfest throughout the last 39 years.