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Musikfest 2022: The platz thickens with return to Payrow Plaza

To paraphrase the lyric from Prince’s song, “1999,” you can party like it’s 2019 at Muskfest 2022.

Musikfest is back for full-fledged festing, opening with a preview night Aug. 4 and continuing through Aug. 14 on the north side and south sides of Bethlehem.

There are more than 500 free concerts on 16 stages.

It’s the 39th Musikfest, give or take a Covid year Musikfest began in 1984.

Musikfest 2020 was mostly online. Musikfest 2021 was not quite back to full speed.

Musikfest 2022 promises to be the way the fest used to be in “The Before Times,” i.e., before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shutdown.

Several featured performers were to perform at Musikfest 2020, but are now at Musikfest 2022, including Willie Nelson, Kelsea Ballerini and Poison.

Headlining Musikfest on the Wind Creek Steel Stage for ticketed concerts are: Disturbed, Ja Rule & Ashanti, Kip Moore, Ziggy Marley, Olga Tañón, Counting Crows, Willie Nelson, Kelsea Ballerini, Alabama and Poison.

For preview night, Aug. 4, Boyz II Men headlined the Wind Creek Stage.

Musikfest is held in the 18th Century Industrial Quarter and along Main Street on the north side and on the Wind Creek Stage, Levitt Pavilion and in ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks on the south side.

There’s a new Platz in town. After more than a decade, an old favorite is back. At Payrow Plaza, Bethlehem City Hall and Bethlehem Public Library, is PNC Stadtplatz (City Place or Town Square). The site was formerly Americaplatz. Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks became the location of Americaplatz.

New this year are “backstage experiences” for fans at Wind Creek Stage and PNC Stadtplatz.

After debuting its first Inclusion Zone for Musikfest 2021, ArtsQuest, in partnership with Accessible Festivals, has added a second Inclusion Zone for 2022.

Musikfest Inclusion Zones are sensory-supportive areas that provide services, tools and amenities for persons of all ages and abilities with sensory-processing difficulties. There will be ASL interpreters for Inclusion Day at Musikfest, Aug. 7.

Sponsored by Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network, the Inclusion Zones are on the north and south sides. The first Inclusion Zone was at Musikfest 2021.

Here are highlights of free concerts at Musikfest.

Concerts at Air Products Americaplatz at Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks include JJ Grey & Mofro, Aug. 9; We Banjo 3, Aug. 10, and Shovels & Rope, Aug. 11.

Also on the South Side, in ArtsQuest Center is Frank Banko Alehouse Cinema, with Lutron Jazz Cabaret and Martin Guitar Lyrikplatz, and concerts in Musikfest Café presented by Yuengling.

On the North Side, concerts at T-Mobile Plaza Tropical stage include Screaming Females, Aug. 7.

Wells Fargo Festplatz includes The Aardvarks, Aug. 6, and Sofa Kings, Aug. 7.

Provident Bank Main Street concerts include Mosey Beat, Aug. 11.

IBEW Local 375 Liederplatz concerts include BC Blue, Aug. 12 and the Dina Hall Band, Aug. 13.

Guardian Life Insurance Company of America Zinzenplatz has a variety of concerts.

Concerts at PNC Stadtplatz, Payrow Plaza, include Kat Wright, Aug. 7 and Boat House Row, Aug. 10.

Musikfest CashCards, introduced in 2021, are back for Musikfest 2022. Re-loadable CashCards are available at cash conversion booths. The goal is to keep food and beverage lines moving.

Credit-debit cards and digital payment methods are accepted on the North Side. Cash will be accepted on the South Side.

More than 30 food vendors are expected at Musikfest.

A free Musikfest app has information about concerts, artisans, vendors and family activities.

Information: www.musikfest.org

CONTRIBUTED IMAGE: MUSIKFEST Lehigh Valley native Bart Cooper created the 2022 poster for Musikfest. Cooper says he hopes the work, which depicts a father and daughter enjoying the fest at SteelStacks, inspires unity and inclusion.