Thrival 2015 Recap

Thank you to everyone who made the Thrival Innovation + Music Festival possible this year. We had over 11,000 attendees at this year's festival, over 100 speakers and presenters, more than 50 strategic partners, 40 live music performances, 30+ innovation-focused programs, a dozen host locations, and one incredible event.

It wouldn't have been possible without the support of Pittsburgh and the greater Thrival community — which we're proud to say is growing everyday. Attendees traveled in from both coasts, throughout the Midwest, and as far away as Germany. We've always known that Pittsburgh is a leader in new ideas and innovative thinking, and we're excited to help tell our story.

There was a lot to take in over the course of Thrival week. Take a look below at some of the highlights from this year's festival. 

Thanks again for everything you do to help make Thrival a continued success — particularly to our presenting sponsor, UPMC Enterprises. We're already looking forward to next year! 

- The Thrival Team


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Major Growth and Full Houses: Quick Numbers
The Thrival platform approached 100 percent growth in virtually all key metrics.

Attendance in 2015 increased by almost 5,000 people compared to 2014.

Thrival Innovation doubled in attendance from last year.

Concert attendance increased by 4,000 attendees.

11 Thrival Innovation programs were "sell-outs." Only one event during Thrival 2014 was at capacity.


Thrival Innovation

 

The Energy Innovation Center in the Lower Hill District hosted "Education Frontiers and Engagement." Photo credit: Maverick Visuals.

The Energy Innovation Center in the Lower Hill District hosted "Education Frontiers and Engagement." Photo credit: Maverick Visuals.

Over 2,000 people attended 35+ innovation-focused programs focused on six respective "themes":

  • 21st Century Cities and Global Leadership;
  • New Media, Gaming, and Information Sharing;
  • Education Frontiers and Engagement;
  • Health & Wellness Revolution;
  • Investment, Entrepreneurship, and Growth Strategy; and,
  • Creative Reuse, Sustainability, and the Arts.
LUMA Institute's Pete Maher discusses human-centered design during the "New Media, Gaming, and Information Sharing" sessions at the RE360 space, hosted by Work Hard PGH with support from theBenter Foundation. Photo credit: Maverick Visuals.

LUMA Institute's Pete Maher discusses human-centered design during the "New Media, Gaming, and Information Sharing" sessions at the RE360 space, hosted by Work Hard PGH with support from theBenter Foundation. Photo credit: Maverick Visuals.

Cool things from Thrival Innovation to keep an eye on:

  • Three companies were hand-selected by UPMC Enterprises leaders during the "Health Care Startup Pitch" to continue diligence discussions and explore collaborative opportunities. 

  • The Sprout Fund and Thrill Mill launched a strategic partnership that will help grow and support the Ed-Tech Refinery — a new program offering grants to enable education resource partners to provide support services at no cost for up to eight education technology companies in order to enhance the applicability and usability of new ed-tech products in a variety of education settings.
  • RE360 used Startup Weekend and Thrival to test out new warehouse space in Allentown that will be dedicated to collaborative workspace for artists.
  • Venture for America has expanded to Pittsburgh — and will look to increase the amount of fellows it connects with local startups here in the city, according to the organization's founder and CEO, Andrew Yang, during his featured talk at Thrival.
  • Cafe Con Leche announced it is spearheading a campaign to market, curate, and promote the people, places, and culture of Pittsburgh's Latin community (called "Best of Latinoburgh) — a small but growing demographic that is already playing an important role in the city's reemergence.
Companies pitch to UPMC Enterprises leadership for an opportunity to collaborate and partner with the health care giant's commercialization arm. Photo credit: Maverick Visuals.

Companies pitch to UPMC Enterprises leadership for an opportunity to collaborate and partner with the health care giant's commercialization arm. Photo credit: Maverick Visuals.


Thrival Music

Nashville-based blues/rock performer, Adia Victoria, performs on the Revival Stage. Photo credit: Maverick Visuals.

Nashville-based blues/rock performer, Adia Victoria, performs on the Revival Stage. Photo credit: Maverick Visuals.

More than 25 live music performances and eight DJs performed at Thrival's two-day outdoor concert held in Hazelwood — on 10 converted acres of industrial brownfield along the Monongahela River (called "Almono"). The concert marked the largest gathering of people on the former steel mill site in over 17 years.

This year's concert doubled the amount of performances, and set a new attendance record — all while transitioning to a new (and hopefully permanent) location in the Hazelwood community.

A packed crowd gathers at the Thrive Stage to watch Panic! At The Disco headline Friday, September 25. Photo credit: Tony Piscitelli, Primetime Shots.

A packed crowd gathers at the Thrive Stage to watch Panic! At The Disco headline Friday, September 25. Photo credit: Tony Piscitelli, Primetime Shots.

San Fermin front woman, Charlene Kaye, performs as the sun sets on Saturday night. Photo credit: Tony Piscitelli, Primetime Shots.

San Fermin front woman, Charlene Kaye, performs as the sun sets on Saturday night. Photo credit: Tony Piscitelli, Primetime Shots.

Cool concert site figures:

 

  • 1,300 feet — The length of the steel mill bordering the concert site (called Mill 19). The entire structure was up-lit through the collaborative efforts and imagination of LUXE Creative and Lightwave International.
  • 2 miles — Distance that the 300+ watts of Lightwave Prism Series - Diode Solid State and OPS Full-Color lasers traveled from the concert site along the river.
  • 8 — Number of artists who collaborated on eight pieces of original artwork through the design of Radiant Hall's art "cubes."
  • 3,000; 100; 3 — Weight in pounds, amount of individual pieces of iron and scrap metal, and days it took the Mobile Sculpture Workshop to create an original piece of sculpture art directly on site (see below).
  • 14,000 - The amount of kilowatts provided by Zero Fossil to power back of house and front of house operations.
One of the eight original pieces of collaborative art created on site through Radiant Hall's art cube exhibit. Photo credit: Tony Piscitelli, Primetime Shots.

One of the eight original pieces of collaborative art created on site through Radiant Hall's art cube exhibit. Photo credit: Tony Piscitelli, Primetime Shots.

It's a big flower. Photo credit: Dan Law's bad iPhone photography.

It's a big flower. Photo credit: Dan Law's bad iPhone photography.