Musikfest 2022 sets new record for attendance, ArtsQuest says

Written by on August 16, 2022

Musikfest 2022 sets new record for attendance, ArtsQuest says

By Megan Frank
August 16, 2022

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Musikfest 2022 drew record crowds to Bethlehem this year, eclipsing the mark set prior to the pandemic, organizers said.

ArtsQuest, the nonprofit organization that runs the festival, announced attendance of 1,240,000 people. The previous record was 1,226,000 in 2019.

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The festival’s 11-night run saw generally good weather but was marred by a shooting that occurred late Saturday at Plaza Tropical, near West Lehigh and Spring streets.

Festival-goers went scrambling after a 20-year-old man was shot in the abdomen in what Bethlehem police described as an isolated incident. It happened on the second-to-last night of the festival, which resumed the next day.

This was the third Musikfest in the pandemic era, with the 2020 version being mostly virtual and this one occurring without significant COVID-19 restrictions. Crowds flocked to venues on the city’s north and south sides — folks from 39 states and eight different countries, ArtsQuest said.

“I’m grateful to the community for the overwhelming and continued support of Musikfest,” ArtsQuest President and CEO Kassie Hilgert said in a news release. “All throughout the festival – more and more folks from volunteers to patrons – made it obvious how connected they are to Musikfest. It’s that sense of connection, that makes what we do with Musikfest here in Bethlehem so special each year.

“None of what we do would be possible without our ‘extended family’ of performers, patrons, staff, dedicated volunteers, sponsors, members, local businesses, law enforcement, the City of Bethlehem and community leaders. That’s what is so special about Musikfest, everyone is genuinely vested.”

This year’s festival featured approximately 500 performances, most of them free.  Headlining and ticketed acts included Boyz II Men, Willie Nelson, Poison, Ziggy Marley and the Counting Crows.

Musikfest 2023 is scheduled Aug. 5 through Aug. 14.

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