The Three Rivers Arts Festival

Migration Fest

July 27-29. Mr. Smalls Theater. Ticketed.

A three-day underground metal fest at Mr. Smalls? Yes, please. Presented by the 20 Buck Spin and Gilead Media labels, each of the bands were personally selected by the heads of each label. Pittsburgh instrumental duo Zombi headlines an eight-band bill night one, alongside Denver’s Khemmis and stoner metal legends Bongripper. Days two and three boast nine bands apiece, including Spirit Adrift, Panopticon, Krallice and mighty instrumental metal lords Pelican. Don’t miss the pre-show Thursday, July 26 at Cattivo, featuring Buildings, local death metal act Slaves BC, and more. Get the full lineup on the Migration Fest website.


August 16-19. Multiple Venues. Ticketed.

The punk and hardcore festival returns for its 10th year with 40-plus bands spread across four nights. Some of the acts include Swedish hardcore punk band Mob 47, Cleveland’s Inmates, Portland’s Arctic Flowers, and a rare performance from Pittsburgh punks Kim Phuc. Tickets and more info on the SkullFest website.

Rock, Reggae & Relief

August 25, Revel + Roost.

Head to Market Square for a daylong festival benefitting Puerto Rican hurricane relief and also helping out Asking for Change, a homelessness initiative sponsored by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and Downtown Pittsburgh Ministerium. The headliners are none other than Philadelphia’s G. Love & Special Sauce. Get the whole lineup on the event Facebook page.

But wait, there’s more:

  • The Andy Warhol Museum’s Sound Series continues this summer, so mark your calendar for Fleet Foxes with Amen Dunes on May 17 at the Benedum; The Magnetic Fields performing their epic “50 Song Memoir” on June 19 and 20 at Carnegie Music Hall; and Waxahatchee with Night Shop on September 12 in The Warhol’s entrance space.
  • Shadyside Presbyterian hosts the Pittsburgh Camerata and others during Music for Midsummer Nights, on Wednesday nights in June. Get the full schedule on their website.
  • Vine Rewind, a two-day block party outside Pittsburgh Winery, returns July 28-29. The lineup has not yet been announced.
  • The Frick Pittsburgh hosts food trucks and free music each Friday from June 15 through August 31 as part of their popular Summer Fridays at the Frick series.
  • Brewtal Beer Fest 3 returns to Mr. Smalls sometime this October, with the promise of more beer, more metal, and more brewtality.
  • Speaking of beer and music, NoFX and Bad Religion’s Punk in Drublic Craft Beer and Music Festival comes to Highmark Stadium May 20.
  • Vibes Under The Bridge at The Waterfront on July 21
  • Pittsburgh Blues and Roots Festival at the Syria Shrine Center in Cheswick July 21 & 22
  • Thrival Festival returns for its sixth year September 19-21 with the theme “Life.Code.” Thrival Humans X Tech programs will take place at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Phipps Conservatory and Carnegie Museum of Art. No word on bands yet, but musical performances will happen at Highmark Stadium.
  • Last but not least, Vans Warped Tour returns to the region for its final year July 16 at KeyBank Pavilion in Burgettstown, with more than 50 bands, including Every Time I Die, Motionless in White, The Amity Affliction, Underoath, Senses Fail, and many more.

Brian Conway is a writer and photographer whose articles have appeared in the Chicago Tribune and local publications. In his free time, he operates Tripsburgh. Brian lives in the South Side.