By John Shumway


PITTSBURGH (KDKA)– It is going to be quite a weekend in our area.

Latrobe is celebrating the Banana Split Festival, Butler has Main Street full of pasta for its Little Italy Days, and high school football fields will be glowing with the first Friday Night Lights.

But the intrigue will be focused on PNC Park as the Pirates and Reds meet for a weekend series.

The last time the cousins of the Ohio got together the hits and slugging percentages took place just outside the Pirates dugout.  No way to know if the bad blood will boil over again this weekend but both teams are now playing for pride and next year’s contracts.

Expect only harmony on Forbes Ave between Market Square and Wood Street.  The gates open for the third year of Rock, Reggae, and Relief at two o’clock Saturday afternoon.

“It is a way to provide more live music in downtown,” says organizer Lucas Piatt.

The Piatt Foundation puts on the concert to raise money for Cancer.

This year Ovarian Cancer is the focus in honor of a Piatt family business employee Julie Ann Guss who died in January.  Guss was working to spread awareness and educate other about the warning signs of ovarian cancer.

So among the bands playing Saturday and Sunday are a lot of national acts. “It’s challenging but it’s all worth it for this great cause,” says Piatt.

Performing over the two days of Rock, Reggae & Relief 2019 will be Gavin Degraw, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Magic, Ghost Hounds, The expendables, Roots of Creation, Flow Band and Ras Prophet.

“We’ll have our gates on Forbes connected to Market Square. The stage is at the other end on Wood Street.”  Piatt says the buildings along Forbes create perfect acoustics. “It’s a great little amphitheater. It channels the sound right to where the audience is.”

A crowd of several thousand is expected to pack the venue and Piatt says security will be tight. “We have a full boat of security with St Moritz and we are working with the city to make sure we have officers on site.”

Gates open at two on Saturday and one on Sunday.  Music will begin an hour later and wrap up at 11 on Saturday and 10 on Sunday.

Tickets can be purchased at the gate or in advance at https://rockreggaerelief.com for $15 for kids, and $40 for adults.  Package deals are available on the website.