Paperhouse: On VIA

If you haven’t left campus recently and aren’t Facebook friends with any of the coolest people in Pittsburgh, you might not be aware that VIA is happening this week.

“VIA? What the hell is that?” you may ask. Allow me to explain. Back in 2010, a couple of Pittsburgh friends decided that it was time for the city to have its own cutting-edge music and new media arts festival. Since then, VIA has presented collaborative performances, installations, mobile projects, lectures, and workshops through a yearly festival, as well as sporadic events throughout the year.

While you may be familiar with Electric Zoo, Movement, Mutek, Coachella, or some other big-name music festival, VIA is a little more unique. According to the VIA website, this event focuses on enabling Pittsburgh as a “nexus for young artists working at the borders of music, art, and technology.” This year’s festival brings a variety of artists you may not have heard of, such as Moodymann, Tiger & Woods, Nadastrom, Girl Unit, Julia Holter, and Andy Stott, to name a few. Even your esteemed author isn’t familiar with every band in attendance.

What I can tell you is this: If you’re truly interested in the intersection of sight and sound and like to get your groove on, VIA is the place to be. VIA has already gained all sorts of international acclaim and press for its festivals in the past, and has secured the top spot for a U.S. festival on Resident Advisor’s Top October Festivals list.

This is not an advertisement for VIA; rather, it is an unsolicited endorsement from your campus radio station. Like any festival, there are mistakes as a result of too much experimentation or poor foresight, but it looks like VIA has learned a lot from its two first years and has planned a wide variety of music. Get ready for some deep house, bedroom pop, cold wave, Moombahton, dub techno, UK Bass, nu disco, and so much more.

(Originally published in The Tartan)

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