When guests arrive at Musikfest this August, they’ll discover a few changes designed to have a huge impact on their experience and the overall safety of everyone attending the festival.
Over the past several months, the City of Bethlehem; Bethlehem Police, Fire and EMS Departments; Northampton County Emergency Management Services and ArtsQuest have met regularly to discuss opportunities to enhance patron safety and the guest experience at Musikfest. Among the enhancements that will be made for 2015 are:
– Additional temporary lighting will be installed on Main Street to aid with crowd control, as well as help to better illuminate the sidewalk areas of Main Street. Starting in March, the City will also be repairing the sidewalks on Main Street where needed, with work expected to be completed well in advance of the festival.
– Bethlehem Police and Northampton County Emergency Management Services will add at least four additional video cameras in the Main Street area to enhance safety and surveillance efforts on Main Street and at Musikfest.
– The City’s police department will continue to provide its enhanced level of service at Musikfest, including bicycle, motorcycle and mounted patrol units at the festival.
– ArtsQuest will provide Events Staff support when and where needed to assist with crowd flow and other services.
Locations of the additional lighting and cameras in the Main Street area will be determined jointly by Bethlehem Police, Fire & EMS services and Northampton County Emergency Management Services prior to the festival. During Musikfest, ArtsQuest and Bethlehem police, fire and emergency medical services personnel will meet daily to provide updates on festival operations, logistics and communications, allowing them to make any adjustments in services when and where needed. In addition, the City, County and ArtsQuest will be holding joint training exercises in February and April to review and update emergency preparedness and response plans for the festival and other large-scale events held at SteelStacks throughout the year.
“The City of Bethlehem and ArtsQuest work together year-round on planning for Musikfest, coordinating our efforts with the FBI, Northampton County Emergency Management Services, Pennsylvania State Police and other law enforcement and emergency services personnel,” says Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez. “Our number-one goal with Musikfest, as with all of the events held in the City, is to ensure the best and safest possible experience for all of our guests.”
Hours at Main Street will remain the same as in previous years so that festival patrons and merchants can take advantage of the venue’s primary objective, bringing people together to explore the city’s vibrant and charming historic district.
“One of the goals of Musikfest when it began was to attract visitors of all ages to historic Bethlehem and its then struggling Main Street,” says ArtsQuest President and CEO Kassie Hilgert. “The festival’s unique atmosphere and free admission have long encouraged everyone to enjoy not only the live music and food, but also the shops, businesses and historic and cultural attractions that have made Bethlehem one of the best cities in America to live and work.
“We’re excited to present the 32nd edition of the nation’s largest free music festival this summer, and we look forward to working closely with the City of Bethlehem and all of our partners on making this the best festival and best guest experience yet.”
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