Last Friday Musikfest kicked off their 33rd year with a performance on the Sands Steel Stage right in the heart of downtown Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Over the years many acts have come to the area for the largest music festival in the country but in recent years a shift has taken place that has brought mostly county and heritage rock acts to the main stage. This was not the case last Friday as Musikfest took a chance on rising pop star Rachel Platten and alternative power house X Ambassadors, a billing that brought together fans of all ages and types for a night of music.
Though X Ambassadors were the headliner and put on a stellar performance there is no doubt that Rachel Platten stole the show with her emotional and powerful set. Arriving to stage a few minutes late many were chattering about what was going on but all was quickly forgotten upon her arrival. Platten’s “Fight Song” has become an anthem of hope and strength for many and Platten demonstrated just how much of that strength lives in her as she confided to the crowd in near tears early in the set that she was losing someone important during the set and there was nothing she could do about it.
Rachel Platten’s grandmother passed that evening but she still brought it all for her fans and told the crowd that she needed to be on stage that night as it was the best way to honor her “nana.” As her set came to an end the entire crowd was on their fight belting the lyrics to “Fight Song” as Platten was almost moved to tears. Applause continued long after she left stage and showcased just how much she had resonated with the audience that night.
In a festival that has become so fixated traditon and the established it was fantastic to see such rising talent perform on the main stage. It was even better seeing these 2 acts deliver and Platten be welcomed into the hearts of all her fans in the Lehigh Valley when she neede them most.
Exclusive photos of Rachel Platten and X Ambassadors from Musikfest 2016 :