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Downtown Greensburg Music Fest merges 2 concert series

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Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
The final SummerSounds concert of the season on Sept. 7 will be part of the inaugural Downtown Greensburg Music Fest.
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Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
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Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review

The inaugural Downtown Greensburg Music Fest is “going to be a beast.”

That’s the prediction of Kelli Brisbane, special events coordinator for the Westmoreland Cultural Trust, which is organizing the event along with Greensburg’s SummerSounds concert series.

It will feature music in a variety of venues, both indoor and outdoor, along with food and other arts-related programming.

By a scheduling fluke, it turned out that Sept. 7 would be the final night of the season for both the trust’s TGIS summer concert series and for SummerSounds.

“We started with the concept of merging TGIS and SummerSounds and making one awesome night of music,” Brisbane says. “We said, ‘There’s so much going on with music in Greensburg, why don’t we just make more music?’”

Prime mission

SummerSounds organizers have talked for years about having a weekend music festival in Greensburg, so a one-night event seemed like a good place to start, says co-founder Gene James.

“One of the prime missions of SummerSounds is to grow Greensburg, to foster a sense of community and to provide more cultural outlets,” he says.

On a “beautiful, perfect night,” James says, a SummerSounds concert draws 2,000 to 3,000 listeners to St. Clair Park. Add the TGIS fans and others intrigued by the event, and downtown Greensburg should be hopping.

“It will certainly be good for the bars and restaurants,” James says. “I’m personally very supportive.”

“When you create more cultural outlets, it’s always good. That’s what’s going to save Greensburg — it’s got to be the cultural center of the county,” he adds.

If the first attempt goes well and more supporters are interested in coming on board, the festival could become an annual event, Brisbane says.

A number of local businesses, individual artists and arts organizations will participate, including The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival, Stage Right, Latrobe Art Center and Greensburg Craft Beer Week.

The festival schedule, which Brisbane says is subject to change, includes:

DV8 Espresso Bar and Gallery, 4-6:30 p.m.: Open mic sessions, display of photos of musicians by Westmoreland Cultural Trust Artist in Residence Savannah Butler of Savvy Shots Photography

Fitness Envi, 7:30-8:30 p.m.: Drop-in class

The Palace Theatre, 6-10 p.m.: TGIS Art and Music Finale.

In addition to live music, there will be individual artists, art vendors and food trucks in the nearby Art in the Alley and the Helman-Ghrist parking lot. Caffe Barista will be serving in the theater’s intermission suite.

Four acts featured during the weekly summer concert series will perform on the theater stage from 6 to 10 p.m.

Up-and-coming local musicians will play on the theater loading dock beginning at 5 p.m. The bill includes Kaelber, winner of the trust’s 2017 Rock the Palace battle of the bands, and Aubrey Burchell of Irwin, a recent “American Idol” contestant.

Caffe Barista, 6-8 p.m.: Janie Wilcox and Cameron Taylor

SummerSounds, 6:15-9 p.m.: Hayley Daily and Joshua Carns, opening for headliners Jocelyn and Chris Arndt

J Corks, 8-11 p.m.: The Joint Commission, dinner and drink specials

Mr. Toad’s, 9 p.m.- midnight: SummerSounds after-party with Hayley Daily and Joshua Carns

Hugo’s Taproom, 9 p.m.-midnight: Josh Starrett and Pie

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

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