Getting its start in October 2015, Layer Cake Festival is an event that showcases local and national acts. The festival returns for its second run on June 3rd and 4th. This year, the festival has added an extra day of events, more venues, and more than doubled their lineup of musical acts. The man behind Layer Cake Festival is local promoter Ziggy Sawdust, who is redefining our concept of what a music festival should be.
According to Sawdust, the name “Layer Cake” refers to the many layers of diverse talent that are represented at the event. The fest uses music, visual arts, and performance acts all on one bill, making it one-of-a-kind to Pittsburgh’s festival scene. Sawdust’s experience organizing shows has given him the chance to get to know a great deal of tremendously talented musicians and artists.
“Combining live art and music into one event was really just a natural progression for me since I have organized both art and music shows in the past. The comedians hosting the stage are also key because they really direct the energy in the room between acts and keep the audience engaged,” Sawdust said.
Other than engaging the audience, Sawdust also wanted to make transportation as easy and safe as possible for the attendees of Layer Cake Festival. With this year’s performances taking place in venues including Spirit Lodge, James St. Gastropub, Mr. Smalls Theater, and Cattivo, a free shuttle service has been added. The transportation will be provided on June 4th by SuperShuttle, connecting all four venues. Sawdust hopes that this added amenity will create a safe experience for all attendees while also making the festival easier to navigate.
Once fans safely reach the venues, they can expect a mix of artist performances. Sawdust has assembled a line-up full of diversity and creativity. The majority of the bill includes local talent like Bad Custer, Solarburn, and Swiss Army, while national artists include Low Cut Connie, The Cordial Sins, and OxenFree. Combining performers from different locations, as well as artists who are at various points in their careers, makes Layer Cake Festival a place for artists to network with one another.
“By mixing local and national talent, you end up having performers connecting with a broader audience and also building relationships with each other, which can be very important when performing in other cities while on tour,” added Sawdust.
In an effort to increase the local music and arts scene, Layer Cake Music Festival will be expanding to Philadelphia this fall. According to Sawdust, if all goes as planned, Layer Cake will also expand to several cities in the Midwest as well. Through this expansion, Sawdust intends to build a creative pipeline for emerging talent between large markets and hopes that the scope of these festivals will increase in size and influence in the near future.
Tickets for the event are on sale at layercakefest.com. Tickets are also available for purchase the day of the event at the door. Prices are $20 for a single day venue pass or $30 for both days.
zTrip, an app-based taxi service, will be handing out free promotional coupons during the event and running a $10 off deal with the promo code “LayerCake”.