Earth, Wind & Fire

Super group Earth, Wind & Fire is among the headliners at Musikfest 2019. — Submitted photo

Summer is flying by, and even if you don’t have a big destination vacation planned, there’s still time to get out of the city, enjoy some great music and culture, and sample food and drink from around the world.

For the 36th year, Musikfest, recently named by USA Today, in conjunction with a panel of experts as “the No. 1 music festival in North America,” takes place in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, bringing a diverse array of artists, musical genres and fans to the area.

Presented by ArtsQuest, in partnership with 6abc, Musikfest will be held Aug. 2-11.

While the concert by headliners Earth,Wind & Fire is a ticketed event, Musikfest features a variety of free performances by artists such as Cinnamon Jones, Craig Kastelnick and Friends with Bernard Purdie on Drums, Tameca Jones, and a perennial favorite, Philadelphia Funk Authority.

“Every summer, Bethlehem’s streets, parks and plazas come alive with the world of music as Musikfest welcomes artists from across the country and around the globe,” said Mark Demko Sr., director of communications of ArtsQuest.

“When the festival kicks off its 36th year this August, we’ll be presenting one of our most diverse lineups ever, with performances by artists ranging from The Chainsmokers and Brad Paisley to Red Baraat, which blends North Indian bhangra with hip-hop, jazz and punk, and Nigeria’s Floxy Bee, which performs traditional and contemporary African music.

“This year, the festival is welcoming artists from 27 states and five countries (Canada, Ireland, Nigeria, China, USA), with close to 400 performers serving up more than 500 performances. These artists will perform on 17 stages spread across 57 acres in North and South Bethlehem. Since the event’s start in 1984, we’ve presented more than 18,000 free performances, drawing people from near and far to Bethlehem and the Lehigh Valley.”

Each year, according to Demko, some 1,500 volunteers, 3,300 supporting ArtsQuest Members and more than 175 corporate partners come together to make the event possible so that 1 million people can come out and have a wonderful time. “We couldn’t do it without their support,” he said.

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