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Benefit Concert Follows St Basil Festival Cancelation

A benefit concert to raise money for St. Basil Parish will be held at 8:00 PM in Grandview Park this evening. The free concert, organized by Gone South and the Zone Three Public Safety Council, follows cancelation of the St. Basil Parish Summer Festival due to fighting. Gone South, a band that features southern and classic rock, was originally scheduled to play at the festival this evening.

Along with being a longtime community event, the annual outdoor festival was the parish's biggest fundraiser until being canceled on Thursday. It had been expected to bring in about $45,000. Donations to St. Basil Parish will be accepted at tonight's concert. All proceeds collected will go to the church. Funds may help to cover expenses associated with the closed festival and repair the church roof.

Violence and fighting marred the festival after it opened Wednesday evening. Hundreds of teenagers were involved in fighting, according to reports. The festival, which had been scheduled to run through Saturday, was canceled over concerns for public safety. No arrests were made on Thursday and no weapons were used in the fighting, according to reports.

"My heart goes out to the parishioners, neighbors, families, and youth who were affected by this incident and who will not be able to experience the joy and community of continued celebration," City Councilor Natalia Rudiak wrote in a prepared statement that encouraged all Pittsburghers to join the community at tonight's concert.

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