Love live music? You need to meet The Band Junkies - Find the best local live music this summer

– by Cara Aungst

This article is sponsored by Lion Country Lodging, the preferred hotel partner of Penn State Athletics.

Luke Cimbala has been hyping local bands all his life. “When I was in high school, we would rent out the Boalsburg Fire Hall to put on a concert, and I would stuff flyers in everyone’s lockers,” he said. “It was a long time before social media, but still, it wasn’t hard to get the word out.”

Lion Country Lodging

Today, Cimbala has turned his longtime musical passion into a side gig — The Band Junkies — that aims to help all of us find the next big show (or little show). “The Band Junkies started as a band here in State College, but grew into so much more,” he said. “We created a hub that brings together musicians, artists, and businesses together in the State College area to network relationships and band notoriety by providing resources and direct connection to amazing local musicians.”

The Band Junkies Courtesy of The Band Junkies 1

- Photo courtesy of The Band Junkies

In short: The Band Junkies have some ideas on how to have the best, most musical summer ever.

Spend an evening at Pine Grove Hall

“It’s a full listening experience,” Cimbala said of the upscale casual restaurant and bar. “Atmosphere, good sound, and music all the time.”

How to listen: Enjoy live music Wednesdays through Sundays. Reservations are recommended. See the schedule here.

Pine Grove Hall from Route 45 Getaways 1

Head out to Pisano Winery on the last Sunday of each month

You’ll want to be in Millheim for this monthly event, Cimbala said. The small-batch winery has live music from 2:30-4:30 on the last Sunday of each month. It’s a great time with local performers, wine tastings, and friends.

How to listen: Save the date, grab a lawn chair and make plans to visit the winery! Find out more details here.

Pisano Winery

- Photo courtesy of Pisano Winery

Explore walkable downtown State College on First Fridays

From April through December, experience the cool vibe of downtown State College during monthly First Friday events. First Friday goers will experience after-hours access to galleries and shops, free bites and beverages, live music and entertainment, retail and restaurant specials, and more. And there’s free parking in the Pugh, Fraser and Beaver garages with validations from participating merchants.

How to listen: On each First Friday, there is live music at the MLK Plaza on the corner of Beaver Avenue and Fraser Street. “This is a great way to see local bands — it’s outside, local and free,” Cimbala said. “I have family coming to visit this summer, and this is one of the first things I am planning to do — we can pick up some food, sit on a bench and listen to some great music.” See a lineup here.

Live After Five

…And head over to MLK Plaza on Wednesdays too!

“Live After Fives are happening every Wednesday at MLK Plaza from now through the end of August,” Cimbala said. “There is a great new lineup of local bands.”

There’s more — a lot more — to the local music scene! Find your next best show, festival or performance at and follow them on social media at @thebandjunkies to see photos and videos to learn more about artists and bands.

The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau publishes up-to-date event information at