For June, we combined our concert and events guides into a single, comprehensive compendium of Pittsburgh happenings. Call it a NEXTravaganza! From A (Ai Weiwei) to Z (Zaha Hadid), June ROCKS.
Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival: June 3 — 12
June begins with 10 straight days of free music and art at Pittsburgh’s longstanding, unofficial summer kickoff party, Three Rivers Arts Festival. More than 350 independent artists will ring Point State Park, selling their handcrafted wares, while musical acts like Michael Franti & Spearhead, indie rockers Guster, and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will perform free for the public. Dozens more visual art exhibitions, musical performances, cultural happenings and hands-on activities take place across the Cultural District throughout the duration of the event, including Pittsburgh Tech Council’s CREATE Festival 2016, a free, daylong celebration of the newest trends in creativity and innovation, June 9 at the Fairmont Hotel. Check out our TRAF music preview for more on this year’s headliners.
Pittsburgh PRIDE: June 3 — 12
The Delta Foundation’s Pittsburgh Pride runs June 3-12 with events city-wide, including a pool party at Skybar June 9 and pub crawl through the Strip, East End and Lawrenceville June 10. PrideFest itself is a daylong, family-friendly festival June 12 on Liberty Avenue Downtown between 6th and 10th Street. It begins with an Equality March and parade through downtown, followed by food, carnival games, and musicians (including LA rapper Dev) all afternoon. The other main event comes the night before, when Kesha headlines Pride in the Streets, with support from Angel Haze. It might just be the show of the summer. Buy tickets for Pride in the Streets.
Layer Cake Festival: June 3 — 4
Now in its second year, Layer Cake expands to 10 stages across four venues. James St. Gastropub and Spirit hold it down night one, and Cattivo and Mr. Smalls get in on the action night two. With 170+ musicians (not to mention dozens of comedians, painters and performance artists), the lineup is almost overwhelming. A few highlights: new Misra Records signee Mars Jackson headlines the Misra Stage Saturday at Spirit; the Epicast hip-hop stage at Mr. Smalls Saturday, with hosts Day Bracey and Ed Bailey; and a free Paddy the Wanderer album release show downstairs at Spirit Friday, with Delicious Pastries and Andre Costello and the Cool Minors. A two day, multi-venue pass also gets you access to a free shuttle between venues.
Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei at The Andy Warhol Museum: June 4 — August 28
Perhaps the greatest living artist in the world today, Ai WeiWei, comes to Pittsburgh June 2 for a public talk with The Andy Warhol Museum’s Director, Eric Shiner, to mark the opening of Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei, a 350+ piece exhibition that explores the connection between the two artists and how they interact with, represent, shape and provocate the societies they inhabit. The exhibition opens June 4, but the public can attend a free, community sneak preview day June 3. Don’t miss Ai’s Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads, on display at the Carnegie Museum of Art through August 29.
Full Bloom Dance Party at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater: June 4
A dance party so lively it spills into the streets! Join the Kelly Strayhorn Theater for the eighth annual Full Bloom Summer Dance Party, featuring food and drinks from some of the city’s finest restaurants and Pittsburgh’s top DJs on the ones and twos, including DJ Naeem of DETOUR and DJ Ondo of Misc. The party benefits the KST—one of the city’s leading nonprofit community arts organizations. This year’s event asks guests to pay whatever makes them happy. Attendees can spring for the full VIP treatment, which grants entry two hours early, signature cocktails, music from DJ LoveLife, a live performance from Bill Shannon, craft activities from Assemble, and so much more. Purchase tickets.
M83: June 6
French (via LA) band M83 visit Pittsburgh for the first time since 2012, when they played Carnegie Library Music Hall in 2012. That show came right after the band saturated airways worldwide, in 2011, with “Midnight City,” the dreamy lead single from their breakout album, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. Anthony Gonzalez & Co. are touring in support of their new album, Junk, which was inspired largely by ’70s and ’80s television soundtracks. Maybe they’ll play something from Dead Cities . . . to balance out the new stuff. Buy tickets.
Kevin Garrett, w/ Brooke Annibale: June 9
You might remember R&B singer Kevin Garrett from last year’s Thrival Festival. Signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label, the Pittsburgh native has just a single EP to his name, but he has already been featured in both Vibe and The Fader. He also co-wrote and co-produced “Pray You Catch Me,” the lead track off of Beyonce’s new album, Lemonade. Get there for the opener, another Pittsburgher making a mark, singer-songwriter Brooke Annibale, who not long ago released her own highly regarded album. This is a seated performance. Buy tickets.
Tar & Feather at Wigle Whiskey’s Barrelhouse and Garden: June 10
Come and celebrate that time when Alexander Hamilton was all like, “Verily, I decree a tax on spirits,” and Western PA farmers were like, “Yeah, you thought,” and burned down the Tax Inspector’s house. $20 gets you admission, a pair of cocktails and discounts on Wigle spirits not available in PLCB stores. There are all sorts of games and activities all day long, live music from Lone Wolf Club, and La Palapa and Franktuary will be on hand to dish out the grub. Buy tickets.
Bunker Projects Performance Art Festival at SPACE Gallery: June 10 & 11
22 local, national, and international artists will participate in Bunker Projects’ third annual Performance Art Festival (PAF), downtown at SPACE Gallery June 10-11. What will they be doing? Nobody knows. Maybe someone will lock themselves in a room with a wild coyote, or cover people in paint and use them as giant brushes to paint the floor. You may leave feeling flabbergasted, provoked, outraged, enchanted, enlightened and/or delighted—there’s just no telling what might happen, and that’s what makes it great. An additional day of activity takes place on Friday, June 10 at Bunker Projects in Garfield.
Killer Heels at The Frick Pittsburgh: June 11 — September 4
Fresh out of Carnegie Tech, a young Andy Warhol took a job in Manhattan drawing designer shoes for high-end department store advertisements. These were displayed at some of his earliest exhibitions, and Warhol continued to draw high-heeled shoes well after he achieved fame. Find your own fab footwear infatuation at Killer Heels at the Frick. See what women have stepped into throughout time and around the globe—from 19th-century embroidered Chinese silk shoes and metallic space age designs, to glamorous stilettos bound for runways and red carpets. Some of the most extravagant high-heeled shoes ever to be designed will be on display, from innovative historic and contemporary makers such as as Balenciaga, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Zaha Hadid, and dozens more.