Philadelphia’s free music event of the season — the Philly 4th of July Jam — is no longer just a one-day blowout.
The main event of the 4th of July Jam is hosted this year by Philadelphia comedian Kevin Hart with performances from headliners John Mayer, J. Cole, Grace Potter, Jill Scott, Ne-Yo, Demi Lovato and — of course! — The Roots. And those are just the artists that have been announced. If you’ve watched the Jam in the past, you know music director Questlove and The Roots usually bring out a few special guests (surprise guest Lauryn Hill killed it last year).
But after curating the music of the Philly 4th of July Jam for the past three years, Philly’s hometown heroes The Roots and friends turn the dial way up by kicking off the 4th of July Jam a day early.
Starting at 2 p.m. today, head to Northern Liberties’ Piazza at Schmidt’s for the free music, fashion and food festival dubbed The City Festival.
This new blockbuster festival is set to feature 10 acts of live music spanning pop, R&B, hip-hop, rock and more, with headliner GoGo Morrow.
Read on for our guide to this brand-new fest — which is expected to be an annual event!– and follow along on Twitter and Instagram by tagging #NorthernLiberties #TheCity.
The open-air plaza in the heart of Northern Liberties, The Piazza at Schmidt’s, is built to host festivals. Located right at North 2nd Street and Germantown Avenue, just below Girard, the Piazza is easily accessible via public transportation and via car. Take Septa’s Market-Frankford Line to Girard Station and walk seven blocks west to 2nd Street.
Of course, any festival presented in part by The Roots naturally has a deep music lineup. With intermittent live bands and DJs, live tunes will set the tone for the whole festival.
Hosted by Quincy “Q-Deezy” Harris of Hot 107.9 and Fox 29, the live music is set to begin at 3:30 p.m. and finish up at 9 p.m.
Live bands are scheduled to kick off at 4 p.m. with KontraBand215, followed by Speaker of the House, Bok nero, Cody Wise, The Lawsuits, Leaf Walker (a.k.a. Khadafi Dub), Fleeting Ends, Modern Inventors and, finally, GoGo Morrow from 8 to 9 p.m.
For the more on the artists to take the stage during The City Festival, check over with our friends at Philly 360° here.
Food and Drink
No festival in Philadelphia would be complete without a team of food trucks.
With the help of the Philadelphia Food Truck Association, a handful of top vendors will be dishing throughout the event.
Look for super arepas and Venezuelan fare from Delicias, addictive cheese curds from Cow and The Curd, surf and turf from Johnny Bravo’s and cupcakes courtesy of Sweet Box.
For more on The City, see below.
Fashion, Vendors and More
This bash is sure to showcase Philly’s finest festival fashion, but in case you could use some pointers, The City has that covered, too. The good people of Philly Fashion Week have curated a runway showcase highlighting apparel and accessories from a seven designers.
Between sets of music, fab fashion will rock the Piazza stage in brief 10-minute shows.
Designers set to show include Las Swimwear, Lillie Designs, Tarantula, PNKelephant, Bellargo, Closet by Christobal and Suede Square.
In addition to the fashion show, check out vendors at the fest like Patrick Michael Accessories, LEAF Clothing, Blues Babe Foundation and more.
Plus, Visit Philly and Philly 360° will be onsite giving away ear buds and selling sweet Philadelphia Neighborhoods tote bags. Stop in and snap a pic in the photo booth with a backdrop painted by Stacey Flygirrl Wilson. And rumor has it that Cody Wise will be in the booth to sign autographs after his performance!
The City ought to be an extremely photogenic and social event, so while you’re out there be sure to share the scene and tag your photos and tweets with the hashtags #NorthernLiberties and #TheCity.
After the afternoon’s festivities, diehard Roots fans should head to South Street to catch Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of The Roots and D’Angelo performing as Brothers in Arms at the Theatre of the Living Arts. The doors open at 10:30 p.m. and tickets will be on sale online prior to one hour before door time. After that tickets available at box office window.
If you’re still up for more after the concert, head over to Midtown Village club Voyeur to dance until the wee hours with Philly Sound Konnoisseurs (PSK), a hot international DJ event. PSK has definitely sold out in the past, so club goers should get there early.
Now, whose ready to rock the 4th?
Philly 4th of July Jam and The City Festival
When: July 3, 2-9 p.m.; July 4, 7-11 p.m.
Where: July 3, The Piazza at Schmidt’s, 1050 N. Hancock Street; July 4, Benjamin Franklin Parkway
More info: www.okayplayer.com