Thrival Music Festival

Highlights from Our Free Community Festival in the Heart of Oakland

September 20th, 2019 • Schenley Plaza • Pittsburgh, PA

Explore the 2019 Festival

Established in 2013, the seventh annual Thrival Music Festival brought together vendors, makers, and artists, featuring a cross-genre lineup that showcased a variety of acts. Thrival Music aims to provide a platform for people to enjoy all that Pittsburgh has to offer, while supporting local businesses and economic development. For the first time in the festival's history, the 2019 Music Festival was free and open to community.

2019 Musical Performers

From the track record of Robert Balotsky’s work as Buku, it’s clear that the Pittsburgh native and graduate of Music Technology is a well-equipped architect of twisted, layered soundscapes.

With a menacing grasp on sound design and music theory, Buku combines deceptively simple and emotive melodies, laden with resounding low-end and intricate drum patterns. With a love of drums rooted early in his childhood, his work reflects his passion for percussion laced with elements only a trained ear could produce.

Not only a talented studio rat, Buku brings the same energy & clinical precision of his productions to his live sets – paired with his boundless touring schedule, the producer has won over crowds worldwide from sold out headlining shows to massive festival sets at Lucky, Suwannee Hulaween, Lost Lands, Something Wonderful, Something Wicked, Imagine, and Sunset Music Festival. As a result of his workhorse mentality & penchant for meticulously crafted sound design, Buku has justifiably set the pace for producers rewriting the definition of modern dance music.

Everyone Orchestra is a blissful, masterfully conducted, fully spontaneous explosion of live music created by a rotating cast of world renowned musicians and led by conductor Matt Butler. Each show is 100% unique, as a carefully curated lineup of performers (from bands as preeminent as the Grateful Dead, Phish, The Meters, King Crimson, Ween, Widespread Panic, etc.) is guided through mostly up-tempo, danceable grooves under the creative leadership of Matt’s cues and improvised whiteboard directives.

Unlike other one-off “super jams”, Everyone Orchestra does not borrow from other artists’ song lists, but rather draws on the funky, jazzy, soulful, electronic, and Americana roots of the hand selected musicians who come together in a consistently stunning display of raw talent and imaginative improvisation. Audience engagement also sets EO apart; fans are brought into the magic on-the-fly when Matt turns his whiteboard around to share a hand written theme for the next song (you might see “Funk in A”, or “Space Jam”), or a chorus for the crowd to join in the rhythm.

For 20 years, Everyone Orchestra and Matt have brought an incredible, animated, joyful collaboration to stages from Wakarusa to Jam Cruise, High Sierra, Summer Camp and All Good to Electric Forest, Ottawa Music Festival, Arise, Beloved, and to the country’s most revered clubs including Brooklyn Bowl, Terrapin Crossroads, Cervantes Masterpiece, The Fillmore, Great American Music Hall, Park West, and countless others.

Back for another Thrival Festival, local band, Beauty Slap is a future-brass-thunder-funk machine.

The band consists of four horns, computer, and keys. The thunderously funky screams of a traditional brass quartet meet the heaviest grooves modern dance music has to offer. Their mission is to make you move.

Since forming in Pittsburgh, Beauty Slap has enjoyed national attention surrounding their debut project THUNDERFUNK MACHINE and northeastern tours. Armed with their powerfully groovy live show and impending album release, the group is poised for complete world domination.

Pittsburgh’s J. Malls and Gordy G. are the creators and resident DJs at TITLE TOWN, the high-octane, all-vinyl soul and funk dance party making bodies move since 2009.

Inspired by legendary Pittsburgh DJs like Porky Chedwick and Mad Mike, TITLE TOWN upholds their legacy by blending an appreciation of the classic and forgotten sounds of decades past – namely Northern soul, funk, disco, and vintage rhythm & blues – with a contemporary edge, turned all the way up. The duo navigates genres and eras, blending the best of Motown, Stax, and Chess with hand-picked 45rpm rarities from regional soul scenes around the country – turning dedicated crowds into feel-good dance floor frenzies.

1Hood Media is a collective of socially conscious artists and activists who utilize art as a means of raising awareness about social justice matters affecting people around the world. 1Hood Media aims to be the vehicle that will identify, develop, and inspire those artists/activists destined to rise to the challenges we face today, and use our talents and gifts, to  organize our communities for real change.

1Hood will be brining a variety of artists to play the Sheetz Main stage at Thrival.

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Featured Art Partner

Wicked Pittsburgh is a collective of 50+ local artists and musicians creating, displaying, performing, and selling their work to give 20% back to a rotating local charity.

Wicked prides itself on fighting for fair artistic wages, facilitating creative commercial opportunities, and unifying artists from over 14 neighborhoods. Wicked strives to empower creatives through collaborative paid projects, charitable donations, large-scale installations, corporate displays, commissions, live painting, and community performances. Wicked was awarded “Best Arts Initiative of 2018” by the Pittsburgh Technology Council, Dollar Bank, and The Three Rivers Art Festival.

A note from Wicked’s Founder, Mike Schwartz:

Wicked Pittsburgh is thrilled to kick off our third year of partnership with Thrival Music and Arts Festival. With larger-than-ever installation plans – we look forward to empowering over 50+ local artists, actualizing fair wages, and bringing Pittsburgh together to celebrate our incredibly talented and diverse creative community”


Featured Food & Drink

A note from the Porch:

We believe that the best meals start with the best ingredients – and that means fresh and local.

Interested in vending at Thrival?

We're always looking for artists, makers, crafts people who want to showcase their talent.