STK Guide to MUSIKFEST 2011: Bethlehem is a Giant Free Concert for 10 Days

Hello, one million people.

For those of you living outside the Lehigh Valley, here’s the thing: My little town of Bethlehem, PA becomes a MASSIVE MUSIC FESTIVAL every August. It’s 10 days long, (mostly) free performances, has over 10 stages (called “platzes”), food and art vendors everywhere, AND for those of you who imbibe now and again, you can drink beer, wine and alcohol in the streets.

If you live downtown (I do), you can gripe about finding parking in front of your house and how annoying the mobs of teenagers are. Or you can shift your perspective and take advantage of the fact that you get to see free live music from across the country (and the world, in some cases) and join the party!

 It’s true that I’m not familiar with 90% of the bands. But to help you out, I’ve poked around online to find some highlights. Not sure if you’ll like them – I’ve been into jazz and bluegrassy/old-timey stuff in the last year – but if you are wandering among the masses, here’s a guide to what musicians sparked my interest the most. EVERY ONE of these performances is FREE!

*NOTE: Please grab a Musikfest guide or check the website for platz locations. Also, check out the bands yourself online since it’s a lot of work to come up with descriptions of them. All are intriguing, but the bands/musicians in bold are REALLY FANTASTIC! Like, I’m sort of mad that I didn’t know about them earlier. Or, if you don’t go you are missing out and you can’t ever complain about Musikfest.


  • 6pm: Frankenpine; Main Street Bethlehem
  • 7pm and 8:30pm: Sarah Donner (opened for Lisa Loeb last week); Air Products Town Square (Steelstacks)
  • 9pm Deigo’s Umbrella


  • 2:30pm Moonshine Society; Plaza Tropical
  • 5:30pm Love in Stolkholm; Levitt Pavilion (Steelstacks)
  • 6pm Great White Caps; Plaza Tropical
  • 7pm Trouble City All Stars; Volksplatz
  • 7pm Dina Hall and the Backbeat; DBA Liederplatz
  • 10:30pm Jim Tews – StandUp Comedy; Musikfest Cafe (Steelstacks) Comedy not free, but worth it


  • 3:30pm Freak Owls; Main Street Bethlehem (ALSO 8pm; Lyrikplatz)
  • 5:30pm Parkington Sisters; DBA Leiderplatz
  • 7pm The Headers: DBA Leiderplatz
  • 10:30pm Panic Years; Air Products Town Square (Steelstacks)


  • 5pm blueVENUS; DBA Main Street
  • 6pm Bellflur; Plaza Tropical
  • 9pm The Low Anthem; Levitt Pavilion (Steelstacks)


  • 7:30pm Cheers Elephant; Plaza Tropical
  • 9pm: Sweetback Sisters; Leiderplatz


  • 5pm Joshua Popejoy; Leiderplatz
  • 5pm Massy Ferguson; Main Street Bethlehem


  • 5pm Daisy Jug Band; Volksplatz
  • 6:30pm Cello Fury; Air Products Town Square (ALSO at 8pm, same place)
  • 7pm Trailer Park Troubadors; Volksplatz
  • 10:30pm The Big Dirty
  • 10:30pm Pat House – StandUp Comedy; Musikfest Cafe (Steelstacks) Not free but GO IF YOU CAN, HE IS SO GOOD


  • 1:30pm Float Parade: Volksplatz
  • 5pm Exter vs. Kimock; Main Street Bethlehem
  • 6:30pm Lunic; Air Products Town Square (ALSO at 8:30pm, same place)
  • 9pm Brother Joscephus & the Love Revival Revolution

Please check out the girl in this video the Love Revival Revolution – oh my gosh!!!


  • NOON Bronze Radio Return; Plaza Tropical (ALSO at 5:30pm)
  • 5pm Rosie Burgess Trio; Leiderplatz (also at NOON, Main Street Bethlehem)
  • 9pm Start Making Sense; Volksplatz TALKING HEADS TRIBUTE, OH MY GOSH AMAZING AND LOCAL!!!!
  • 10:30pm Chip Chantry – StandUp Comedy; Musikfest Cafe (Steelstacks) Paid show


  • NOON Kagero; Main Street Bethlehem
  • 5pm Zaire; Main Street Bethlehem
  • 9pm Up the Chain; Lyrikplatz

I’m going to work on a guide to vegan food once I get there and check it out. PLEASE let me know if you have any tips on vegan food, and photos would be great, too! You can post them on FACEBOOK and I’ll add them to a blog post!

6 thoughts on “STK Guide to MUSIKFEST 2011: Bethlehem is a Giant Free Concert for 10 Days

  1. If hempzels is there again this year, they have several types of pretzels, as well as some yummy vegan baklava. I think i remember it being across from the main st commons in years past.

    • Thank you, that sounds really good! I didn’t see that place (I don’t think; maybe I missed it?), but there were lots of pretzel places that already are vegan, or vegan if you ask for no butter. I want baklava though, wow!

  2. I’m not totally sure if they’re vegan but Alando’s sells vegetarian wraps at their stand by the polka platz that are ridiculous! Spicy, hearty, and easy to eat with one hand while walking. I think I ate 3 of them last year.

    • Thank you! Yes, you can get them vegan, and I feel like Alando is probably going to be one of the best resources for veg people to get something hearty and more than just a snack. I look forward to having one myself 🙂

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