Inflation hits Musikfest, but show must go on

"Across the festival, we are seeing a 20% increase in expenses period," said Kassie Hilgert, president and CEO of ArtsQuest.

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Saturday, August 6, 2022
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Nationally, in one year, the price of plastic products has increased 18.8%, food and alcohol are up 16.9% and apparel, footwear and other accessories are 5.6% more costly.

BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Last year over 1.1 million people from 45 states and 20 countries converged on Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for Musikfest, and that was with COVID-19 protocols. This year, they are dealing with inflation.

"The last month or so, it's caught up with everybody. That's no secret and it did affect us 15-20% and some things quite a bit more," said Mike Kelly, with Heaven on a Bun.

Kelly is helping run Heaven on a Bun after his beloved father-in-law, best known as Jack Sinnitz, passed away earlier this year.

"My father-in-law loved Musikfest," he said.

Kelly says they've tried to keep their prices down as best they can, but some products are either too expensive or too hard to find.

"The hardest thing is, believe it or not, a boat. The cardboard thing you get French fries in," he said.

And while the festival itself is still free, it's more expensive to put on this year.

"Across the festival, we are seeing a 20% increase in expenses period. Table chairs, ice, merchandise, it's all up 20%," said Kassie Hilgert, president and CEO of ArtsQuest.

Nationally, in one year, the price of plastic products has increased 18.8%, food and alcohol are up 16.9% and apparel, footwear and other accessories are 5.6% more costly.

Kassie Hilgert hopes if you come to Musikfest for any of the 500 artists performing over 16 stages in 10 and a half days, you'll keep the local businesses in mind.

"We've got all the small businesses, the food vendors that are here, all the crafters, they haven't been able to make some revenue in the last two years so this is huge in supporting small businesses in our community," said Hilgert.