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Musikfest back and in person

Last year, the pandemic forced the popular multi-concert series to go virtual.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Live music filled the air inside the Steel Stacks in Bethlehem officially marking the return of Musikfest to the Lehigh Valley.

John Metzger is originally from Williamsport but now lives in Florida.

He says the multi-concert event is worth the trip north.

“It's really, really positive energy. Really, really good vibes,” said Metzger.

Liz Femmer is from Lake Ariel and this is her second time here.

“It is wonderful. We're here for an excellent show tonight,” said Femmer. “Weather's perfect and looking forward to a wonderful evening.”

Fans may be extra excited to have Musikfest back and in person, after last year's was forced to go virtual because of the pandemic.

Artsquest organizes Musikfest.

Its president and CEO Kassie Hilgert said at the time it was the hardest decision she's made, knowing the $70 million impact Musikfest has on businesses in the Lehigh Valley.

Now on its website, Artsquest says it's providing 300 free performances while still trying to recover from a 70% loss in revenue from COVID.

“Just a few months ago, we didn't even know what this was going to look like. It's just amazing to see people again,” said Nicole Harrell, Artsquest’s director of communications.

Reba Kolback and her husband own Pittston Popcorn.

They are happy to be back and in business at Musikfest.

“There's a lot of people. It's a great venue. There's always something going in. Everywhere you turn there's just people,” said Kolback.

Musikfest's final night is this Sunday, August 15, in Bethlehem.