Deutschtown Music Festival brings more than 300 bands to 30 venues on North Side | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

Deutschtown Music Festival brings more than 300 bands to 30 venues on North Side

Patrick Varine
1369811_web1_gtr-TK-DeutchMusicFest-03-071119
Long Hong
The seventh annual Deutschtown Music Festival, which is free to attend, will take place July 12 and 13 at venues all over the North Side’s Deutschtown neighborhood.
1369811_web1_gtr-TK-DeutschMusicFest2-071119
Tribune-Review file
The band Memphis Hill from Squirrel Hill kicks off the main stage as people gather for the 2016 Deutschtown Music Festival on the North Side.
1369811_web1_gtr-TK-DeutschMusicFest3-071119
Joe Mruk of Red Buffalo Illustration has created the Deutschtown Music Festival poster since it began.

It might seem that, after six years of organizing the Deutschtown Music Festival, the logistics would get easier.

But when more than 300 bands and 30-some venues are involved, it’s always a challenge, according to organizer Ben Soltesz.

“It keeps getting bigger,” said Soltesz, 46, of Pittsburgh’s Spring Hill neighborhood. “I always think we’re going to pare it down, but it gets larger each year. We’re pushing close to 400 bands, which I never expected.”

The seventh annual Deutschtown Music Festival, which is free to attend, will take place July 12 and 13 at venues all over the North Side’s Deutschtown neighborhood.

This year’s festival also includes a Sunday gospel brunch on July 14, in addition to more than 25 food trucks, an art market and family-friendly activities.

“It started as ‘Let’s do something positive on the North Side,’ bringing people to the East Ohio Street business district,” Soltesz said. “And even as the work has grown, it’s still fun.”

In organizing the first Deutschtown festival, Soltesz started calling members of his favorite local bands, “and everyone started saying yes,” he said. “This year we had online submissions from between 500 and 600 bands.”

Paring that list down to about 350 bands falls to Hugh Twyman, an art teacher at the Student Achievement Center in Pittsburgh and a music blogger who runs the HughShows website.

“The single biggest challenge is bands sharing members with other bands,” Twyman said. “That’s my first priority: what band members play in other bands, and then I sort of move outward from there.”

One local musician, Twyman said, will perform with three different bands on the same night of the festival.

The good news for Twyman is that once the music begins, his job is basically done, and he can shift into music-blogger mode.

“Once it gets going, there’s not much I can do,” he said. “I’m slowing down right now and doing little things like adjusting the schedule.”

Once the festival kicks off, Twyman can usually be found jumping from one venue to the next, his camera swinging around his neck. Soltesz and fellow organizers Cody Walters and Jesse Descutner aren’t as lucky.

“It’s usually 10 p.m. on Friday night before I can even think about sitting down and maybe having a beer or listening to a band,” Soltesz said. “But when you show up, see all the people and the camaraderie between the bands and everyone having a good time, that’s worth it to me.”

Twyman agreed.

“I’m a huge music fan, and I’m just in awe of what they put together,” he said.

Details: DeutschtownMusic Festival.com.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.