By Loren Smith | Staff Writer
England has the Reading Festival, Chicago has Lollapalooza and for the past three years, Pittsburgh has been home to its own annual show, the Four Chord Music Festival. This one-day event, which will be held on Nov. 13 at the Xtaza Nightclub in the Strip District and features both locally and internationally-known rock bands, has been enticing fans since its debut in 2014, with large numbers turning out to see the impressive lineup of artists.
Since its inception, the Four Chord Music Festival has featured numerous popular groups, including The Wonder Years in 2014, Yellowcard in 2015 and this year’s headliner, Mayday Parade.
Mayday Parade, a pop punk band from Tallahassee, last played in Pittsburgh in October 2015 to support its fifth album “Black Lines,” which was released the same month. The band has toured both nationally and internationally every year since its formation in 2005 and has sold over 600,000 albums worldwide. Mayday Parade has played in Pittsburgh many times at different venues in the city, including Stage AE on the Northshore and the Altar Bar on the Southside, but this will be its first time at the Xtaza Nightclub.
Other artists that will be playing at the festival on Sunday were announced over the months leading up to the it. The show will feature a grand total of 18 bands that all have similar alternative styles, including The Spill Canvas, Hit the Lights, Against the Current and Hawthorne Heights, to name a few.
Some of the groups, like Hawthorne Heights, fall more into the hardcore-rock genre, but still fit in with the rest of the bands while adding their own distinct sounds. Most of the performers in the festival started out in the early 2000s, and are now well-established in the rock and pop punk scenes.
The Four Chord Music Festival has enjoyed success in the previous two years with large turnouts in its first shows due to lineups of well-known rock and pop punk bands. In the past, the festival has seen bands like Real Friends, Modern Baseball and Citizen perform in addition to the show’s main headliners. Eternal Boy, a local Pittsburgh rock band that was known as The Spacepimps have played at the festival each year since its inception, so it is not surprising to see them making another return to the event this year (and hopefully returning to future iterations as well).
The Xtaza Nightclub includes both a smaller stage for the local, lesser-known bands, as well as a main stage for the festival’s headliners. The club is also conveniently located on the western tip of the Strip District, so not a far walk for Duquesne residents.
Apart from musical performances, the festival includes an abundance of other activities throughout the day such as food trucks, sponsor booths and merchandise booths to keep concert-goers entertained. The festival also features a VIP option, which allows purchasers to interact with the bands, among several other perks.
Tickets for the festival will give you access to 10 hours (1 p.m. to 11 p.m.) worth of entertainment that only comes around once a year and can still be purchased online for $33. There was also a VIP event that has sadly sold out but should be considered for any fans looking forward to next year. For a day filled with listening to the music of both local and well-known rock bands in an intimate setting, you definitely won’t want to miss out on Pittsburgh’s third annual Four Chord Music festival.