Back when he lived nearby, in the summer of 2012, Max Kovalchuk remembers noticing the great view Grandview Park had overlooking the city. He knew he wanted to do a show there someday — but then he moved.
Late this past March, as Kovalchuk began planning a block-party-style show near his Lawn Street home, in Oakland, he starting running into logistical issues; the initial location and a second proposed location, South Oakland's Dan Marino Field, were both scrapped.
By that time, all the bands were booked, and that's when things clicked: Kovalchuk thought of Mount Washington, and remembered Grandview Park, "a better spot than any to do the festival."
The result: Mountain Top Music Festival will be held Sun., June 8, starting at 1 p.m. The day-long festival will feature 12 bands, including Philly's Cold Fronts, Pittsburgh's Legs Like Tree Trunks, Kovalchuk's band Nevada Color and more.
The festival lineup ranges from DIY bands to bands signed to major labels, and Kovalchuk hopes to help bridge the gap between the two scenes.
"I think the music scene in Pittsburgh is really growing," he says. "If there was less of a disconnect there, it would be able to grow even more."
The festival's future is unknown, but Kovalchuk says he'd like to make it an annual event, possibly a two-day festival, adding vendors and tying it to the community, while making it bigger and better.
With a number of bands on the verge of breaking out, the festival could prove to be memorable, Kovalchuk says.
"This definitely can be a thing where people say five years down the road, ‘Holy shit, I remember going to the Mountain Top Music Festival and seeing this band, this band and this band.'"