PearlPalooza returning to rock-out, in-person, for its 12th year

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — PearlPalooza will be back in Downtown Albany for its 12th year on Saturday, September 18. The music festival was held virtually last year because of the pandemic.

“We are really excited to welcome back free, live music on Pearl Street tomorrow. The weather is going to be absolutely phenomenal,” said Georgette Steffens, Executive Director of the Downtown Albany BID.

A similar yearly fall concert in Albany, Larkfest, had to be canceled this year over fears of crowds and COVID-19. Steffens says having just one stage for performances at PearlPalooza this year will give people plenty of space and allow them to safely hold their outdoor event.

The BID is predicting to see about half of their typical attendance. Masking up is only necessary for those who are unvaccinated. “Our street is a little bit wider. We’ve got three full blocks,” Steffens explained. “That will really allow people to move around comfortably and socially distance.“

This year’s headlining band is Slothrust, a group from Boston that PearlPalooza partner, WEQX, has been trying to get to the Capital Region for years. Just as exciting, according to Steffens, are the local bands performing on the Remarkable Liquids Stage at North Pearl Street and Sheridan Avenue. “It is really important to be able to highlight the incredible music talent, the local talent, that we have here,“ Steffens said.

Events like PearlPalooza signify some normalcy for local businesses like The Hollow Bar + Kitchen, another event partner, who had to close down for almost half a year because of the pandemic. “We are thrilled to be able to do this again because it means that we survived,“ said owner Dora Philip.

She’s excited to see Pearl Street come alive. “We are about community. That’s what this is about. It’s our love letter to downtown Albany,” Phillip said.

The day will kick off at noon with YogaPalooza, a street-wide, one-hour, free yoga event in its fifth year. You can register online or walk up. Then, performances from:

No outside alcoholic beverages, glass containers, dogs, or pets (with the exception of ADA-certified service animals) will be allowed. Downtown Albany BID says not to attend the event if you have tested positive or display any symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been in close contact with anyone that has tested positive in the past 14 days.

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