Spirit co-owner Leigh Yock describes Summer Recess as “all-encompassing,” with tons of live music, as well as food and local art. This is the fourth year of the festival and is set to be the biggest one yet.
“This year, we're taking it to the streets,” says Yock. “We blocked off 51st Street so it will have a more of a block party feel this year for sure.”
This year, Spirit partnered with the Persad Center and will offer fun carnival games, with proceeds donated to the LGBTQ resource organization. The event will also feature more non-food vendors, such as the Mello & Sons vintage clothing bus.
The event kicks off in the afternoon with family-friendly festivities and continues inside with two floors of live local music performances and an adults-only after-party with the Jellyfish DJ trio.
However, plenty of live music will take place outdoors as well, with a stage built right on 51st Street, complete with what Leigh describes as a "captain's bar with the Pittsburgh mermaid."
Musical performances this year will include several New York acts, including Future Punx, Giggly Boys, Las Hormiguitas, and Kaleta & Super Yamba Band. In terms of local acts, fans can expect to see, among others, hip hop artist Benji. and the metal band Lady Beast, of whom Yock says "we've been trying to get them to play for years.”
Those looking for dance beats will find them in the Make Sure You Have Fun Dance Tent with DJs RB, Bamboo, FEMI, Arie Cole, and TJ Groover.
For Yock and the rest of Spirit’s staff, the Summer Recess festival has been a dream since Spirit’s inception. She believes the popularity and staying power of the festival is all due to the simplicity of celebrating the end of summer and pairing it with music and food.
“Before we even opened the doors, we always knew that we wanted to have an outdoor day party that celebrated everything that we love," says Yock. "It's been amazing to see how the event has evolved. This year is going to be one for the books.”
Spirit’s Fourth Annual Summer Recess Outdoor Food and Music Festival. Sat., Aug. 24. 12p.m.-2 a.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. Free/$7 inside after 9 p.m. spiritpgh.com