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Pittsburgh summer festivals and concerts to attend in 2024

A person holds a sign at an LGBTQ Pride celebration.
Kiley Koscinski
90.5 WESA

It’s about to be summer in Pittsburgh, which means festivals, concert series and tons of fun outdoor activities. Pack up your picnic blanket, grab your water bottle and get ready to experience the city’s favorite annual events.

Free concerts at South Park and Hartwood Acres

“Hey, hey we’re the Allegheny County summer concert series!” — Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, probably.

But really, this annual tradition is a great way to see national and local acts for free! WESA’s Bill O’Driscoll has the highlights of this year’s lineup, including Dolenz, singer-songwriters Patty Griffin and James McMurtry and an all-star Pittsburgh tribute to David Bowie. The first show kicks off at South Park on May 31, when River City Brass take the stage.

Summer Staycation

Like Arthur Read, we know you understand the importance of a library card — and so does the Allegheny Regional Asset District, which is giving out 100,000 free tickets this summer to the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium, the four Carnegie Museums, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and more. It’s part of the county’s new “Summer Staycation” initiative. Tickets are available now, you just need to make sure to reserve a pass in advance.

City's Summer Concert Series

The CitiParks Office of Special Events has announced its annual summer concert series, which includes 23 free events at four locations throughout Pittsburgh. Mellon Park will host "Bach, Beethoven and Brunch" with the Pittsburgh Symphony; multiple artists will perform at Riverview Park; check out the jazz scene at Highland Park; or jam at Grandview Park in Mt. Washington. The full lineup is here.

Dollar Bank Cinema in the Park

Each summer, the City of Pittsburgh rolls out the red — well, green — grassy carpet at 11 locations to show free movies! You can check out the full lineup of parks and the programs that'll be showing beginning at dusk.

Three Rivers Arts Festival

From May 31-June 9 in Downtown Pittsburgh, the annual Three Rivers Arts Festival returns with live performances every day (Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Los Lonely Boys, Ben Folds and more), as well as local artists showing their creations. This is a must for the summer, and this year will also include a musical instrument petting zoo, a “Splash and Sculpt” for kids at the waterfront (a water table for all ages) and a giant chess set.

Show your pride at Pride

Whether you’re part of the LGBTQIA+ community or an ally, everyone is welcome at Pittsburgh Pride. Opening ceremonies will take place on Friday, May 31 at Allegheny Commons Park West with performances by more than 30 local artists and “the #1 Beyonce impersonator in the USA, Riley Knoxx.” On Saturday, June 1, the Pittsburgh Pride March and Celebration will begin on Liberty Avenue at 11th Street beginning around noon and ending at Allegheny Commons Park West. And then Sunday, June 2, head over to Bloomfield near Trace Brewery and COBRA for the Pride Festival Closing Block Party.

Western Pennsylvania’s Juneteenth Festival

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Head to Downtown Pittsburgh for the region’s annual celebration of Juneteenth, a holiday to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. The festival organized by the Western Pennsylvania Juneteenth Celebration takes place in Market Square, Stanwix and Liberty Avenues and Point State Park on June 14-16. Check out live performances, including from Keke Wyatt, Beanie Sigel and Freeway.

The City of Pittsburgh has also organized a Juneteenth festival, which has not announced a date or details.

OpenStreetsPGH from the Hill to the North Side to the East End

OpenStreets is a time to grab your rollerblades or skateboard or bicycle and experience Pittsburgh in a new way! The event series blocks off vehicular traffic in several neighborhoods throughout the summer so you can hit the streets and explore. On Saturday, June 29, the route will run from the Hill District to the North Side, and on Saturday, July 27, it’ll be from the East End to Homewood.

WYEP’s Summer Music Festival

WYEP’s Summer Music Festival returns for its 25th installment on June 29! The annual outdoor summer concert — put on by our sister station — is fun for the whole family, so pack a picnic basket, grab those blankets and lawn chairs, and meet us on the lawn at Schenley Plaza for a full day of free live music. This year’s headliners include Middle Kids, Oh He Dead and Jade Bird.

Anthrocon returns with all the furry fun

If you’re new to Pittsburgh, let me introduce you to Anthrocon! The annual convention celebrates anthropomorphic characters, which are people who dress up as human-like animals and socialize, hold panels and dine throughout the city. This year’s convention takes place from July 4-7, with the popular Anthrocon Block Party and Parade on Saturday, July 6 beginning at 11 a.m.

Picklesburgh on Boulevard of the Allies

I’ll spare everyone the pickle puns for this blurb, since they might be a bit too jarring (maybe just the one). This year’s event will be on the Boulevard of the Allies from July 18-21. As always, you can relish (sorry, last one) in the glory of the giant pickle balloon overseeing all the festivities. It’ll also include the pickle juice-drinking contest, local vendors with pickle-related food and drink items, and live entertainment.

Katie Blackley is a digital editor/producer for 90.5 WESA and 91.3 WYEP, where she writes, edits and generates both web and on-air content for features and daily broadcast. She's the producer and host of our Good Question! series and podcast. She also covers history and the LGBTQ community.