It’s time to prep your best outdoor festival fashion and apply copious amounts of sunscreen as Philadelphia’s summer music season gets fully underway.
This summer, Philly hosts some incredible performances including an expanded Philly 4th of July Jam, the return of the Made In America Festival, can’t-miss concerts, festivals and more.
To help you navigate the live-music landscape, we’ve put together our top concert picks for the summer, below.
As always, you can reference our events calendar to see what’s happening on a specific day or weekend, and look out for additional concert coverage in the days and weeks to come.
• Wawa Welcome America Philly 4th of July Jam: Thursday, July 4. This is it. The big show. Philadelphia’s annual celebration of America’s independence is bigger than ever, culminating in a massive free concert and fireworks show on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Hosted by comedian Kevin Hart, this year’s Philly 4th of July Jam features performances from John Mayer, J. Cole, Grace Potter, Jill Scott, Ne-Yo, Demi Lovato and, of course, The Roots.
• XPoNential Music Festival: July 26-28. Take a short jaunt across the Delaware River to the Camden Waterfront for fantastic weekend performances during the 2013 XPoNential Music Festival. The three-day festival spanning Wiggins Park and the Susquehanna Bank Center features live music from Bob Dylan, Dr. Dog, The Lumineers, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Dr. John, Dawes and many more.
• Made In America Festival: August 31-September 1. One of the best music festivals of the year returns to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Labor Day weekend. The Budweiser Made In America Festival is truly massive this year with performances from Beyonce, Nine Inch Nails, Solange, Public Enemy, Queens of the Stone Age, Deadmau5 and many more. Last year’s fest was epic (seriously) and we don’t expect this to be any less.
Read on for more of our most anticipated music festivals and concerts, below.
• Postal Service at the Mann Center: Monday, June 17. It’s been a decade since the first and only album from Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello was released, but the impact of The Postal Service’s breezy, electro-pop remains. It could be another decade before you have a chance to see them again, so grab your spot at the Mann Center while you still have time.
• Rolling Stones at Wells Fargo: Friday, June 21. True to the name, the Rolling Stones have not stopped moving for more than a half century. The stalwarts of classic rock, Mick, Keith, Ronnie and Charlie, will kick-off the first day of summer atht e Wells Fargo Center with country superstar Brad Paisley during the 50 & Counting tour.
• Steve Martin with Eddie Brickell at Verizon Hall: Thursday, June 27. Known for a quick wit and dry sense of humor, Steve Martin is also an accomplished banjo player and bluegrass musician. Expect one-liners and nimble fingers as he takes the stage with Eddie Brickell (minus the New Bohemians) at Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center.
• Philadelphia Orchestra Neighborhood Concert at Penn’s Landing: Tuesday, July 2. Now in its sixth year, the free Neighborhood Concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra is a fantastic evening of music for the entire family. Relax with the sounds of the orchestra on the RiverStage at the Great Plaza followed by a spectacular fireworks display.
• James Murphy at Morgan’s Pier: Saturday, July 6. James Murphy left a massive hole in the heart of concert-goers when he announced his supergroup LCD Soundsystem would be playing their final shows in April 2011. But those pining for the glory days can reminisce at Morgan’s Pier as Murphy returns to DJ for one-night only. This riverside party is going to sell out fast, so get tickets now!
• English Beat at Eakins Oval: Friday, July 19. In the ’80s, the English Beat found radio fame with the infectious choruses and horns riffs of hits like Save It For Later and Mirror In The Bathroom. Now reunited, the Beat returns to Philadelphia for a free concert at Eakins Oval as part of Awesome Fest. Stick around after the show for an outdoor screening of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” featuring the English Beat’s song “March of the Swivel Heads.”
• Mad Decent Block Party: Saturday, July 27. Former-Philadelphian Diplo is bringing a few new friends to his annual block party in city this summer. Expect a full day of dancing at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing with energetic performances from Major Lazer, Dillon Francis, Flosstradmus, RiFF RAFF and many more.
• Justin Timberlake And Jay-Z Legends Of The Summer Tour at Citizens Bank Park: August 13. Get out your “Suit & Tie,” Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake are coming to Citizen’s Bank Park this summer. Since he’ll most likely watch his wife from the sidelines during the 2013 Made in America Festival, this may be your one opportunity to see Hova perform. Not to mention, JT puts on one classy show.
• Philadelphia Folk Festival: August 16-18. Grab your tent and head to Old Pool Farm, just 35 miles outside Philadelphia, for the 52nd Philadelphia Folk Festival. The longest-running outdoor music festival of its kind in North America, the festival is three full days of live music, dancing, arts, crafts and special events.