The South Bethlehem Greenway was full of students, visiting families and Bethlehem residents supporting different local artists and vendors during a free pop-up musical festival on Sept. 17.
Presented by the Southside Arts District, the city of Bethlehem and the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce, the event was held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the Greenway.
According to the Southside Arts District website, the community event featured local restaurants and food trucks in addition to the live musical acts.
Among the live performances were Catatonic Suns, a three-man band hailing from Allentown.
The 90s-inspired, “indie psychedelic” bandmates have been friends since childhood, lead singer and guitarist Patrick Shields said.
“We started making demos in my basement,” he said. “Then we started taking it more seriously in 2019 and got together with some local bands and put on shows and we’re still doing it.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Shields said the band has been eager to play more live shows. He said he was happy with the turnout at this performance on the Greenway.
While Catatonic Suns are now making cross-country debuts, Shields said he wants people to continue to support local music in the Lehigh Valley.
Ruben Mogaburo Kessler, ‘24, said he tries to attend as many Lehigh Valley music events as possible.
He said the pandemic put a damper on the music scene at Lehigh, but he has found new talent emerging in the surrounding South Bethlehem area.
“It’s fun to go see any band,” Mogaburo Kessler said. “Any music. I don’t care about the genre. It could be anything from classical at Zoellner to rock at the IceHouse.”
Mogaburo Kessler also went to Musikfest this summer and said he was impressed by the number of people who attended. He said Bethlehem feels “alive” during that week.
Mogaburo Kessler said he is familiar with many of the bands that performed at the Greenway because of “Jam Night.”
The Lehigh Music Creatives club regularly holds Jam Night in Lamberton Hall, where anyone is welcome to perform or watch music performances.
Enzo Zechiel, ‘24, said he heard about Live on the Greenway through word of mouth and attended with a group of friends.
Zechiel said it was nice to see South Bethlehem as a community coming together.
He said his favorite part of the event was Catatonic Suns’ set.
“(They had a) cool vibe,” Zechiel said. “Very grungy. Very punk rock.”
Zechiel said the music community in the Lehigh Valley is a lot bigger than he thought it was and is excited to attend more music events in the area.