For the fifth year in a row, Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus will host a free public concert Aug. 31, with this year’s music being provided by tribute band The PettyBreakers.
Chad Long, coordinator of student services with Penn State Fayette, said the free concert actually came about from the university’s 50th anniversary celebration.
“We had a year-long celebration that ended with the concert, and it was so successful that we decided to continue offering it annually,” he said.
With the school opening in 1965, they decided to get a Beatles tribute band to perform at the 50th anniversary and each year since, they’ve invited a tribute band for the free concert.
“Cover bands are family friendly, affordable and the quality each year is just amazing,” Long said. “Some of the bands we’ve worked with have been nationally recognized.”
The PettyBreakers have actually participated on a show called “World’s Greatest Tribute Band’s” and Long said the quality of their performances is just phenomenal.
Shannon Sankey with the university’s office of strategic communications, said they find that “tribute bands offer a balance of familiarity, wide appeal, professionalism, and showmanship to bring out concert-goers of all ages.
“This year, we’re excited to offer a survey to gather feedback from attendees about the event,” she added.
The cover band pays tribute to “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers” and recreates the sights, sounds and concert experience of a Tom Petty concert.
Alcohol and coolers are prohibited; however, food and nonalcoholic drinks will be available for purchase.
Long said that doors open at 6 p.m. and the concert starts at 7 p.m. Food vendors will be on site as well as a children’s area that will include inflatables.
Concertgoers should bring chairs or blankets to sit on the hillside overlooking the stage. Fireworks will immediately follow the concert.
No tickets or reservations are required. In case of inclement weather, the concert will take place in the campus Community Center. For event information, contact 724-430-4271. Visit thepettybreakers.com to learn more.
An Alumni Barbecue will precede the performance that will require a $20 registration fee. For more information, Penn State alumni should contact the Development Office at 724-430-4190.
Long said Penn State Fayette is able to offer these free concerts to the public because of the generosity of Joe Hardy, founder and CEO of 84 Lumber and Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, who established an endowment at the university several years ago.
“It allows us to pay for these kinds of entertainment and art events,” he said.
As far as reaching out to the community, Long said the campus was built by the community and they want to continue to provide opportunities to create strong partnerships.
“Obviously the Eberly family was a big supporter, but there were so many other individuals who have supported this university through hard work, donations or advocacy and they continue to do so,” he said. “We feel that we are a hub for culture, programs and education within the community and we want to continue that tradition.
“Penn State Fayette enjoys continued support from our generous community, so it’s a pleasure for our campus to offer a free, accessible, and family-friendly event to celebrate the start of a new academic year,” Sankey added.