Salisbury Press

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Musikfest attendance up 7 percent from 2011

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 by CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE in Local News

More than 900,000 people attended Musikfest 2012 to experience the festival's concerts, artisans, food and family fun, Arts Quest™ officials announced.

The nation's largest free music festival, Musikfest took place Aug. 3 through 12, with 515 performances by 318 entertainers on 15 stages.

This year's festival included free concerts on 14 of the 15 stages – the largest number of free stages in the event's 29-year history.

At the Sands Steel Stage - Musikfest's only ticketed venue - audiences enjoyed performances by some of music's most popular names including Boston, Daughtry, Jane's Addiction, Sheryl Crow, MGMT, Young the Giant and the Goo Goo Dolls. More than 48,000 people attended the 10 concerts at the venue, culminating with a near-capacity crowd for Boston and the festival's fireworks display on the last night.

Total attendance at the 2012 festival was 920,000, up 7 percent from the previous year.

"We received a lot of positive feedback to the changes at this year's festival," Arts Quest™ President Jeff Parks said, "including the free concerts at the PNC Series at the Musikfest Café and the addition of Martin Guitar Lyrikplatz and the new KNBT Jazz Cabaret Stage at the Arts Quest™ Center's Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas.

"In addition, festival patrons enjoyed the new Mack Truck Stop and, of course, all of the indoor bathrooms at the Visitors Center," Parks added. "Judging by the crowds at SteelStacks and the restaurants and businesses adjacent to the SteelStacks campus, more and more people are definitely discovering all that Bethlehem, including the South Side, has to offer.

Helping to make Musikfest possible this year was the support of 1,968 volunteers and 135 corporate partners. The total number of volunteers was an 11 percent increase from 2011, when 1,780 people lent a hand. Volunteers came from 11 different states: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

In addition, 23 guests from Brazil, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Panama, Turkey and Vietnam helped out at the festival through the International Development Program of Northampton Community College.

"Our volunteers are an amazing group that share their time and talents so that hundreds of thousands of people can enjoy Musikfest," Arts Quest™ Volunteer Coordinator Hillary Harper said. "Without the support of these dedicated and hardworking individuals, it would be virtually impossible to present this festival each and every year. We thank them all very much for all that they do."

Also helping people enjoy and navigate the festival was the new Musikfest App launched in early July. The free app, available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, provided festival-goers with a new interactive tool for navigating Musikfest and discovering all of the programing available at the event.

"Part of our mission is presenting music and arts programming to aid in economic development in the region, so we certainly hope this positive trend continues. While complete financial information on Musikfest 2012 won't be available until late October, our initial reports indicate that the festival should break even this year."

Musikfest 2013 is set for Aug. 2 to 11. For more information on the festival, find Musikfest on Facebook at facebook. com/musikfest or visit www.musikfest. org.