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Inaugural Art and Music Festival… What We Learned

Last weekend’s first ever Sewickley Art and Music Festival was a great success for the village and a lot of fun for our residents and visitors. Everything came together…food, beer, community and especially music. We won’t soon forget the festival’s rock n’ roll conclusion on Saturday night. Even the weather contributed one more summer forecast.

In order that we can continue to improve community events in the village, we wanted to find out what festival goers thought about the event itself and Explore Sewickley’s events generally, so we asked. Our intrepid reporter conducted nearly 50 in-person interviews right on Broad Street (thanks to all who participated) to get the scoop.

Here are some of our findings:

  • Nearly 50% of festival attendees were from outside the borough. Many of them had visited on some other occasion for shopping, dining, or to participate in some other village event.
  • Everyone loves the flat, blocked off streets providing a safe and comfortable venue…particularly for children.
  • Food trucks are fantastic…more trucks and more variety please!
  • Village events provide a great opportunity to shop at village stores and eat in village restaurants. Please stay open shopkeepers! Many of those interviewed showed off their shopping bags and named their dinner destinations. One woman said, “This is the only time I can get my husband in the stores so we can shop together.”
  • Having artwork in the shops made walking Beaver St. and stopping in various stores fun and encouraged shopping for art as well as regular shop goods.
  • Music is a big draw…Saturday night was much anticipated and the performances were enthusiastically enjoyed.
  • Many visitors spoke about Sewickley’s charm and the small-town ambiance…residents uniformly talked about walking everywhere.
  • Logistics and accommodations matter…more tables and chairs for diners, and a few more porta-johns would be great too.
  • Many non-Sewickley guests commented on the need for better advertising announcing our events.
  • One couple put it this way, “Sewickley is more than a feeling. It has so many great things to be proud of.”

Some of these observations are not new, but they do help to explain the great reception the inaugural Art and Music Festival received. We can’t wait ‘til next year.