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Carrie Furnaces rock with Thrival music festival

| Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, 10:57 p.m.
Thousands attended the Thrival Innovation & Music festival at Carrie's Furnace in Pittsburgh on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016.
Michael Tallerico | Trib Total Media
Thousands attended the Thrival Innovation & Music festival at Carrie's Furnace in Pittsburgh on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016.

The future of Pittsburgh's music scene is being planted on a storied part of the region's past.

Thousands of people attended the Thrival Innovation + Music Festival at the Carrie Furnaces in Rankin on Friday night, which marked the first of a two-day outdoor music fest that capped several days of innovation-oriented programs.

Thousands more fans are expected to make the pilgrimage Saturday.

“I think its amazing. The music is original, diverse and people are getting into (it). I've been into the whole thing,” said Mike Cherpak, 26, of Munhall.

The music is played against the backdrop of the abandoned steel mill, now part of the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, and it is hosting the festival for the first time.

“It's exceeded our expectations by far,” said Stephan Mueller, the chief operating officer of Thrill Mill, the nonprofit that is promoting the festival.

“We expect well over 10,000 through the weekend, but we can't give exact counts until the weekend's over,” he said.

The Steel City has been trying to become a major player in the entertainment industry. Moving the festival to the Carrie Furnace site might have just catapulted Pittsburgh into the highest of stratospheres.

“I'm so proud of this city, and what is happening right now,” said Bryer Blumenschein, 25, the North Allegheny High School alum attending the festival.

With The Chainsmokers headlining this year's event, the crowd poured in for hours. The music portion has received rave reviews on social media platforms.

“I wish I could live in a music festival forever. It always radiates positively. The glass is ALWAYS half full. Thrival is amazing,” said Amanda Wells, 37, of the South Side, a Robert Morris University graduate. “There are a lot of amazing bands but kudos to Thrival for getting Thievery Corporation. They don't tour a lot in the U.S. I had to go to Wakarusa in Ozark, Ark., to see them last year.”

Local artist, John O'Hallaron, otherwise known as Chalk Dinosaur, is on the ticket. Excited to join the festivities, he describes his show as, “punchy, spacey, and dance funky.”

Festival continues Saturday at the Carrie Furnaces from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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