VIA Festival to be held at Ace Hotel
Pittsburgh's VIA Festival has gotten a reputation for presenting beyond-cutting-edge music, pairing each performer with an utterly original video-visual artist to create something totally new. This year's VIA Festival, Oct. 6 to 9, is a little different, in that there's a designated venue — the basement of the Ace Hotel in East Liberty (formerly the gym of the YMCA), and some headliners that can only be described as legends.
There's Rakim, perhaps the greatest lyricist of hip-hop's Golden Age (late '80s, early '90s), performing cuts from his classic “Paid in Full” (1987). There's also ESG, who brought two supposedly irreconcilable forces together in the early '80s — disco and punk rock — and created a sound that may be the most-sampled in the history of hip-hop.
The rest of the lineup is all over the map but heavy on electronic music, including Ben UFO, Empress Of, Midland, Junglepussy, Juliana Huxtable, Chino Amobi, Lee Bannon, Aye Nako, Rabit, Negative Gemini, Ladymonix, Eris Drew, Ghost Cop, Fielded, Fee Lion, Seth Graham and Bret Bowerman.
Festival passes are $50, but there are deals available if you want to stay at the Ace Hotel for the duration of the festival.