Musikfest 2018 preparing for huge crowds

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Friday, August 3, 2018
Musikfest 2018 preparing for huge crowds
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Musikfest 2018 preparing for huge crowds. Gray Hall reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on August 2, 2018.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (WPVI) -- It's almost show time! Crews are making sure the stages are set and soon, empty seats will be filled with music lovers jamming to some of their favorite performers at Musikfest 2018.

"Last year at Musikfest, we had a little under 1.2 million people from 40 states and 6 countries. I think a big part of that is the festival is free and that is really usual in this day and age and to be 10 days," said Kassie Hilgert, President, and CEO of Arts Quest.

For 35 years, the nation's largest free music festival has been a hot spot for music lovers.

This year, the event is 11 days, instead of usual 10, which includes tonight's preview experience, with performances on several stages.

"You literally can walk the entire city and just experience and explore and discover venues that you will hear and others you will just trip on. So it is a place a where you can spend a day or all 10," Hilgert says.

There is a lot to take in and something for everyone's musical taste. Musikfest touts 400 performers giving 500 performances on 17 stages. 16 are free and the artists are coming from 26 states and 9 countries. Anxious Festival goers made their way to Bethlehem before the music even started.

"It is awesome because no matter where you go, there is music and it is all different kinds of music. It is something for everybody," said Lisa Durrua of Point Pleasant, New Jersey.

"There is a lot of music, a lot of food, a lot of people. Everyone is getting together for the main thing which is the music," said Mike Dimovitz of Stockertown, Pennsylvania.

"Get ready to dance and enjoy yourself and don't be in a hurry because it is just about hanging out and having fun," said Ken Durrua of Point Pleasant, New Jersey.

It's not only the people that return to Musikfest yearly, Action News caught up with vendors who have been setting up shop at the festival for 30 years.

"There is a lot of energy. It's like you can watch a hockey game on tv but if you are in the arena, it is a lot more exciting and that is what it is down here," said Leo Osanitsch of Bethlehem.

"Over the last 30 years, it has grown. It has gotten bigger, it is spread out. It is on two sides of the river. They are up in town, across the street. There must be 9 or 10 festival sites, maybe more, I am not sure," added Osanitsch.

If you've never experienced Musikfest, organizers say there is no time like the present.

"Musikfest is in its 35th year. If you have never been here we can't describe it to you. You must see it. It is the nation's largest free music festival. It takes place almost over 60 acres in Bethlehem," Hilgert says.

For more information and a full lineup of all the happenings at this year's Musikfest, visit: