Musikfest 2012 braves storms; expected to break even
More than 900,000 people attended Musikfest 2012, according to ArtsQuest officials.
Musikfest, the United State's largest free music festival, took place Aug. 3 - 12, with 515 performances by 318 performers 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.
More than 48,000 people attended the 10 concerts at the Sands Steel Stage, Musikfest's only ticketed venue, where Boston, Daughtry, Jane's Addiction, Sheryl Crow, MGMT, Young the Giant and the Goo Goo Dolls performed.
Attendance at the 2012 festival was 920,000, up seven percent from the previous year, ArtsQuest officials stated in a press release.
"We received a lot of positive feedback to the changes at this year's festival, 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 ArtsQuest Center's Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas," said ArtsQuest President Jeff Parks.
"In addition, festival patrons enjoyed the new Mack Truck Stop and, of course, all of the indoor bathrooms at the Visitors Center," said Parks.
"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 SouthSide, has to offer," Parks said.
"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," Parks continued.
"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," said Parks.
Helping to make Musikfest possible were 1,968 volunteers and 135 corporate partners. The 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.
Also, 23 guests from Brazil, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Panama, Turkey and Vietnam helped out at the festival through the Community College 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," said ArtsQuest Volunteer Coordinator Hillary Harper.
"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," Harper said.
The Musikfest App, launched in early July and available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, provided festival-goers with a new, interactive tool for navigating Musikfest and its programming.
"Thanks to our partnership with Trifecta Technologies, ArtsQuest was able to provide a wide array of information for our patrons in a way that's really convenient for them," said ArtsQuest Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations Curt Mosel.
"Approximately 17,000 people downloaded the Musikfest App by the time the festival ended and we've received very positive feedback. "We're excited by that number and ready to begin working on the app for 2013, as well as look at other ArtsQuest programming," Mosel said.
Musikfest 2013 is set for Aug. 2 - 11.