The summer free-concert season is still a way off, but the folks at Omicelo and Dream Cream Ice Cream are teaming up this weekend to present a three-day outdoor event that will bring lots of music to Market Square.
The first-ever DreamOn Festival starts at noon on Fri., April 11, and continues through Sunday, bringing Grammy-nominated duo The Foreign Exchange (Phonte Coleman and producer Nicolay) along with a long list of Pittsburgh musicians. Besides the all-day music, there will be a lot of ice cream, supplied by Dream Cream, and a film premiere at Wood Street Galleries: The End Again, whose cast includes Scandal's Columbus Short, and whose soundtrack features The Foreign Exchange.
The festival is the brainchild of Omicelo, a startup music and lifestyle company that hopes to eventually work in both education and music promotion. DreamOn is the company's first big project; festival producer Jasu Sims explains that while she's based in New York City, some of her business partners are from Pittsburgh, and the company believes in the city's potential.
"We thought we could highlight Pittsburgh and all the assets that it has," Sims says. "One of the best ways we know that everyone connects with each other is through music — it's a universal language."
Local acts appearing in the three-day lineup range from Smooth Tutors to The Big Bend and Rivka. Jazz and soul are represented by the likes of The Groove Aesthetic; Formula 412 delivers hip hop, while Falling Andes bring up the indie-rock end.
Hosts for the event include: Pittsburgh native and Boardwalk Empire actress Margot Bingham; comedian J. Russ; model Tunisha Hubbard; and Wendy Heimann, a former radio host who Omicelo found in an unlikely place — she works with the company as a lawyer.
As always, proceeds from Dream Cream ice-cream sales will go to helping individuals and small businesses pursue their goals, whether they be personal or charitable. Sims says Omicelo hopes to make DreamOn an annual event — and hopes for a warm weekend.
"I've been asking everyone on Twitter to pray for nice weather!" she says with a laugh.