Balkan Brass, Cumbia, Live Hip-Hop, Activist Big Bands, Social Justice Organizers: a one of a kind musical festival, free and open to all, connecting the dots between community, organizers, and euphoric musical experiences.  

“It’s like a perfect second in time where everything feels incredibly blissful and fun.”

“You’re part of something bigger, something magical. You’re part of something where everyone values you for who you are. And in that moment, you can totally let loose and be free.”

Pittonkatonk is more than just the annual picnic; it also does educational outreach year-round in the Sto-Rox school district and elsewhere. But the picnic is its keynote event, last year drawing a crowd estimated at about 3,000.

Bill O’Discoll WESA 90.5 FM

The focus of Pittonkatonk is on community. It’s about bringing together people who might otherwise never convene, and blurring the line between performer and spectator.

By Caralyn Green, Pgh City Paper

Authentic and grassroots, Pittonkatonk erases boundaries between performers and attendees, which means there are no stages, green rooms, tickets or corporate sponsors. Sounds representing West Africa, Chicago, Providence and more will fill the pavilion and spill into the park actively engaging listeners in live performance. It’s uplifting to see, hear, and be a part of.

Through educational programming and community events, Pittonkatonk encourages social engagement between musicians, audiences, and community members, in ways that blur the lines between performer and spectator. We focus on  supporting music education in Pittsburgh area high schools.

The annual Pittonkatonk May Day BBQ is a volunteer-supported celebration attended by more than 3,500 people. On a Saturday in May, [the Pittsburgh community] gathers at the Schenley Park Veterans Pavilion to hear performances from local, national and international activist bands, and interact with social and environmental justice organizations..

The event is a FREE and potluck-style: everyone is encouraged to bring food to share. This event can’t happen without your support.

This year Pittonkatonk will commission three Pittsburgh artists to write new songs in collaboration with social justice organizers called The Social Impact Experience. The project encourages artists to form deep working relationships with environmental and social justice organizations that work to clean our air and water, support immigrants and prevent displacement, will partner with musicians to get their message out in creative ways. The songs will live on after their premiere at the May Day BBQ helping these organizationsNew collaborative works will premiere at the 2019 Pittonkatonk May Day Picnic on May 11.



provided by

The Heinz Endowments

The Pittsburgh Foundation

The Opportunity Fund

Grable Foundation

New Sun Rising

Timo Foundation

individual sponsors and supporters