Thrival Innovation + Music Festival

September 20 – 24, 2016 – Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh PA (July 14, 2016) – Celebrating its fourth year, the Thrival Innovation + Music Festival announces the lineup and scope for its immersive, interdisciplinary, and celebratory programs and two-day live music experience.

Thrival introduces an array of keynotes, demos, panels, after-parties and programming that will provide occasion for a cross-pollination of thought leadership and unique social engagement with vital issues and ideas relating to sustainability, art, education, investment, healthcare, and cutting edge technology. Three days of innovation are capped by a diverse two-day music experience featuring The Chainsmokers, Thievery CorporationCHVRCHESMetric, Ty Dolla $ign, Hudson Mohawke, and Lettuce amongst others. The outdoor concert is located at the national historic landmark and dramatically-sited Carrie Furnaces.

Produced by the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit Thrill Mill and presented by UPMC Enterprises, Thrival Innovation takes place from September 20-22 and gravitates around three main themes — corresponding with each of the three days of programs — “Lost and Found,” “AuthentiCity,” and “The Ripple Effect.”

“We’re confronted with a rapidly evolving and changing society, in countless ways, from technology to community development — and we need to talk about it. We need to have open, respectful, honest explorations of who we are and where we’re going. Thrival is a platform to do just that,” says Dan Law, Thrival Executive Producer.

Located at the newly debuted Alloy 26 on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side neighborhood (a 50,000 sq. ft. collaborative work space housed in a former Woolworths), Thrival Innovation will feature four keynotes, 30+ programs, and over 50 speakers. With thought talks hosted in the complex’s new amphitheater, the festival features an adjacent 20,000 square foot exhibit floor demoing dozens of startups, interactive art pieces, and activities. All daytime activities are free of charge and open to the public, although registration is required. The exhibit floor is open for anyone who desires to walk through.


Day 1. Lost and Found.

Thrival Innovation begins with an inquiry into the elements of our lives and history that have been forgotten over the passage of time, or abandoned in the shadows of technological growth. Themes of creative reuse, reclamation, and redevelopment will frame discussions around concepts of identity, place, and culture, within the intersection of technology and human behavior.

Taking the “Lost and Found” concept into the realm of medical discovery, Dr. Bennett Omalu will lead attendees on an exploration of the impacts of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, otherwise known as CTE. The disease has made global headlines, leading Dr. Omalu to be the subject of the blockbuster film Concussion, starring Will SmithJeanne Marie Laskas, a University of Pittsburgh professor and New York Times bestselling author of the book Concussion, will offer introductory remarks and host a fireside chat with Dr. Omalu following his featured talk.



Day 2. AuthentiCity

Throughout Thrival’s second day, the festival explores the meaning of a city’s culture and identity in the midst of a technological, artistic, architectural, and culinary revival. Methods and approaches to revitalization, an examination of the opportunity cost associated with growth and resurgence, as well as a look at evolving communities are but a few components of this theme’s programming slate.

Expanding the conversation to a national level, Pulitzer Prize-winner and nationally-syndicated columnist Eugene Robinson and America Now host and Fox News contributor Meghan McCain will jointly discuss the social, political, and cultural divides in the United States during the evening keynote titled, “The American Identity.”



Day 3. The Ripple Effect

Thrival Innovation will conclude on Thursday, September 22 with the theme “The Ripple Effect” — the festival’s examination of “small” ideas and actions that have significant and enduring impact. Consistent with the festival’s dual focus on innovation AND music, Thrival shines the spotlight on artists, musicians, and creative technologists who contribute to shaping our collective experiences and culture. A range of thought leaders who have succeeded in “disrupting” industries and status quo will join the conversation.

Teenage wunderkind inventor of the “Hollow Flashlight,” Ann Makosinki will deliver the evening’s keynote, focusing on the elements of being a “differentist” in a society fraught with labels and categorizations.



Altogether, these three themes are supplemented by a multi-dimensional array of programs that include art installations, healthcare innovation, documentary film screenings, music technology, virtual reality, as well as policy and education. Thrival emphasizes the fluidity of its themes, acknowledging that they are both symbolic of Pittsburgh’s revitalization, while extremely relevant to the national discourse.

After the three days of innovation programming, all roads will lead to the Carrie Furnaces, a former blast furnace site on the banks of the Monongahela River just outside city limits. Transformed for this music event by Luxe Creative and the Thrival team, the unique setting and eclectic lineup promises a singularly impactful experience. The Chainsmokers, CHVRCHES, and festival mainstays Thievery Corporation anchor a lineup that reflects the complexity and cultural diversity that Thrival represents.

Pittsburgh is referred to as the ‘City Of Bridges’ and the Thrival festival has built this ambitious festival as a way to connect the past with the present, and celebrate the many facets of our exciting future.

As a leading partner in healthcare innovation, UPMC Enterprises is excited to focus national and international attention on the region’s thriving innovation community,” said Dr. Rasu Shrestha, chief innovation officer at UPMC and executive vice president at UPMC Enterprises, the commercialization arm of UPMC. “Thrival has proven to be an excellent platform for promoting the ideas that are crucial to solving problems not just in medicine but across all of our society.”

For more info on specific innovation programming and presenters, please visit: HERE.

Daytime innovation programming is all available free of charge, but attendees are required to RSVP via Sched: HERE.

For evening keynotes, attendees will have the option of purchasing $15 single passes or a full week pass for only $30: HERE.

To purchase tickets for the Thrival 2 Day Outdoor Music Experience at Carrie Furnaces, visit: HERE.