Bloom-Fest to fight social inequality with music

Courtesy of Jordan Wong

By: Sam Fatula | A&E Editor

In the past year, Pittsburgh hosted various music festivals, drawing awareness to factors that have helped the city evolve into a progressive metropolis that has young adults gravitating to its limits.

Whether the emphasis was placed on small and upcoming businesses or simply just to place a spotlight on the emerging musical talent, the message was well received attendees with a positive evaluation.

Despite festivals like Thrival and VIA pinpointing regrowth from an economical perspective, the city faces another issue to solve. The prevalent problems of racism and gender equality have been heavily documented in the past six months and have startled many.

These issues cannot be fixed overnight, but people in Pittsburgh have been combating social inequality through music. This Friday, the citizens of Pittsburgh and local bands will come together for Bloom-Fest, a night that will celebrate the surrounding talent from around the city as well as raise money to “rock against racism.”

Courtesy of Jordan Wong
Courtesy of Jordan Wong

A total of six locations will be hosting sets throughout the evening, all representing the Bloomfield neighborhood. Places such as Brillobox, Runaway Studios and Howler’s Coyote Cafe will all be participating in the festivities and each currently plans to hold as many as eight different sets per location, with each performance lasting approximately 30 minutes.

Do the math; six spots all hosting eight of their own acts? That’s 48 mini shows in the span of five hours.

Conceptually, Bloom-Fest may sound overwhelming, but having the opportunity to discover the next breakout band that calls Pittsburgh home overrides the dilemma, especially considering the fact that one of the headlining acts comes straight from Duquesne University.

The band, The Semi-Supervillains have secured the last allotted time slot (10:45 p.m.) at Runaway Studios. Since forming at Duquesne, the self-proclaimed garage rock outlet has recently received high honors in the local music industry, winning the 2014 PennRock Scholarship and ultimately putting together its first full-length debut, Tricks in 2013. Additionally, (and you will have to make a crucial choice in this situation), hometown favorite Chet Vincent and the Big Bend will be playing at the same time at Howler’s Coyote Cafe. The americana folk-rock band has compiled a respectable tenure in the local scene in recent years, and continuously puts together enjoyable shows.

If you find yourself anxiously waiting for these late-night sets, do not hesitate to trek to another nearby location, specifically Brillobox. The lounge will be hosting the talents of young singer-songwriter Roger Harvey and the Wild Life at 9:10 p.m. Harvey has been around the Pittsburgh circuit for some time now, starting numerous small projects before forming punk band White Wives in 2010. From there, he continued to put together various solo material that generally emotes a softer tone, resulting in a progressive following from the indie pop scene.

With the amount of time spent enjoying the music that will be played, it’s possible that you may forget that food eventually becomes a necessity. Why not listen to a couple sets and eat at the same time? Poppy’s Bistro and Pub relinquishes you from having to make the tough choice of picking one by supplying attendees with both food and music. While listening to the youthful string quartet Ferdinand and the Bull at 9:30, grab a signature steak sandwich or burger. Dinner theater never sounded so quaint.

Additionally, attendees can find shows at The Shop and the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern that offer similar music styles and genres. The festival does require a $10 admittance fee in order to get into all locations advertised, but all proceeds will go directly towards We Change Pittsburgh, which exists to create awareness of social injustices that go unannounced within the city. Not only are you receiving a night of great music, but most importantly you are coming together with a community to continue the fight that has plagued citizens for too long.

Wristbands for entrance into Bloom-Fest can be purchased at the door of any venue participating and additional donations are currently being accepted at It is a small price to pay for a cause that continues to ensure that people are treated respectfully in society.