Thrival Festival 2018 had a lot to live up to after the large crowd it pulled in for 2017’s headliners Logic and Wiz Khalifa.
Back in May 2018, I saw the opportunity for Thrival 2018’s blind faith tickets and went for it trusting the 2018 lineup would blow me away and it didn’t even move me. The two day event was cut to one day for 2018 and the venue moved from previous industrial settings like The Carrie Furnace and Almono Development to Highmark Stadium. After quite the wait Dillon Francis and Matt and Kim were announced as headliners. Dil is cool but I was like what? Not only did I sell my tickets but I made quite the profit.
So what did I do with my unusually free Friday? I finally got the chance to check out The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s quarterly Art Gallery Crawl. Going in I only knew three things about this event: there would be art, it was free, and it would be fun. One gallery stop even had free food and wine and it happened to be my favorite. It was a curated gallery of art by local women of color and it was cool to see the different mediums of expression.
There was a man on stilts and a mermaid! I don’t even know why she was there but it was cool and the big kid in me approved. Art in the alleyways were my favorites as we think of alleys as creepy and avoidable spaces. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust managed to change the perception of that. There were also lots of live music in the alley. I met a magician who must have been attracted to my skepticism because he made me a believer. I was upset that I only had a dollar but I did insist on sending him money through Venmo until he pulled out his prehistoric flip phone that was magical itself. There was a unicycle rider, dancing, live paintings, glow sticks, and people everywhere.
The Pittsburgh Cultural District was thriving with people everywhere. They even had bars set up in the alleyway selling booze and brews right next to the food trucks These gallery crawls are quarterly and judging from Friday’s crowd, they have no problem getting people because Pittsburgh shows up for its art rain or shine.
The city may lack diversity in a lot of spaces but there’s no room for lack of diversity in art.