in Lehigh Valley, PA
August 2-11, 2024 (Preview Night Aug. 1) • 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 2023 festival runs August 3-13, 2023.
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™ campus 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. Enjoy free wifi throughout the 10 day festival, courtesy of the City of Bethlehem!
North Side (Historic Moravian District) Hours:
- Friday, August 4 (5–11 p.m.)
- August 5–13 (noon – 11 p.m.)
- Friday, August 4 & 11 (4 p.m.–12 a.m.)
- Saturday, August 5 & 12 (noon–12 a.m.)
- Sunday, August 6 (noon–12 a.m.)
- August 7–10 (4 p.m.–12 a.m.)
- Sunday, August 13 (noon–11 p.m.)
Musikfest® 2024 Poster
The 2024 Musikfest Poster was illustrated by Banana Factory Artist-in-Residence and Teaching Artist, Lauren Beck. The poster depicts a night sky with festival below and a sky of constellations filled with instruments and objects related to Musikfest.
“When imagining the poster design, I tapped into my deep love for experiencing live music at festivals and concerts,” Beck explained. “When seeing bands play, I enjoy feeling connected to the world around me in a transcendent way. Often, these special moments have been at outdoor concerts and festivals, when the energy of the crowd and sound of the band gave me a profound sense of soothing calm, grounding me to the present moment.”
Beck lives and works in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and is a Lettering Artist and Illustrator for Ren & Ink LLC. She graduated from Kutztown University with a degree in Arts Education. Beck regularly teaches in-person workshops, after-school programs and summer camps with ArtsQuest and other studios thro
Music Lineup for 2023
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).
Wind Creek Steel Stage Headliners:
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, ride-shares, 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.
Food, Drinks, and Iconic Musikfest Mugs
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 delicious grilled kebabs from Hogar Crea, bratwurst, halupki, Aw Shucks roasted corn, Take a Taco, Island Noodles, Theo's Gyros, and The Flying V.
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.
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.