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Musikfest hopes giant sculpture will give 2017 festival its ‘wow’ factor

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Inside the Architects of Air exhibit. (Contributed)
Inside the Architects of Air exhibit. (Contributed)

Entering its 34th year, Musikfest officials know they need to keep things fresh to keep crowds coming back each year.

As one of the largest annual tourism draws to the Greater Lehigh Valley, regularly attracting in the neighborhood of 1 million visitors, it has about a $60 million direct and indirect financial impact annually on the region. Keeping it fresh is important, said Jon Lunger, marketing director for ArtsQuest, the organization that runs the annual arts and music festival.

This morning, Lunger announced what he thinks will be the “wow” factor to this year’s festival, which is Aug. 4-13.

Besides the national and international music acts that will descend on Bethlehem next month, there will be a traveling architectural and artistic display at Experienceplatz, “Architects of Air.”

The inflatable sculpture, about the size of a football field, combines color, light and sound as visitors walk through it, giving them an immersive experience, Lunger said.

“Each year, we want to bring in something that gives people a truly one-of-a-kind experience,” Lunger said.

With three generations of Musikfest-goers with memories and expectations of Musikfest, the nonprofit looked far and wide to find an impactful art experience.

Designed by British artist Alan Parkinson, “Architects of Air” has made more than 600 appearances in 41 countries since it debuted in 1992.

Not only is it a good experience, the exhibit can help the festival with its grassroots marketing, Lunger said.

With the popularity of Instagram, the exhibit will give festival-goers exciting photo opportunities, he said. Once shared, including on other social media, the photos will spread the word about the festival.

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Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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