Few things make a better pairing than summer and live music. While some of this summer’s concerts require purchasing a ticket purchase and planning ahead, many are free and open to the public, making for the perfect option for last-minute diversions.
On the west side of the Schuylkill River, University City District ups the cool factor to combat the summer heat with the return of the 40th Street Summer Series, free outdoor concerts on the last Saturdays of July, August and September.
After a great series opening concert with Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra and Music Over Matter in June, the monthly series continues this Saturday, July 26, with a mixed bill of artists sure to appeal to tons of different types of music lovers.
Raphael Xavier W.O.R.X. Meets Bobby Zankel & The Warriors of the Wonderful Sound is African-American fusion act, combining the talents of break-dancing artist Raphael Xavier with the multi-instrumental jazz sounds of Bobby Zankel & The Warriors.
Plus, the show features the Mummer-style sounds of the Avalon String Band, a member of the Philadelphia Mummers String Band Association and a player of toe-tapping upbeat music that features saxophones, banjos, accordions and percussion.
The free show also includes festive activities and entertainment for both kids and adults like fire artists, face painting, jugglers, balloon art and more.
Plus, be on the look out for complimentary (first come, first served) Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and pretzels to be handed out during the performance.
All concerts take place on the green behind the Walnut Street Free Library at 40th and Walnut streets, begin at 6 p.m. and are totally free.
Upcoming concerts include Nation Beat and The Highwater Preachers on August 31 and a to-be-determined show on September 27
For more information on these free monthly events, check right here.
2014 40th Street Summer Series
When: Saturdays, July 26, August 30, September 27; 6 p.m.
Where: 40th and Walnut streets
More info: www.universitycity.org
Explore the trails of Fairmount Park through a guided six-mile run of the lesser-known areas of the expansive park.
One Saturday a month in August, September and October, join a tour guide from West Philly Runners or FixYourRun for a morning run through tunnels, over bridges and past old trolley tracks. Runners will make their way through Belmont Plateau and Chamounix trails.
Runs depart from the Car Barn parking lot at Montgomery Drive at 9 a.m. Click here for information about getting to the Car Barn parking lot via bicycle, car or carpooling from Center City.
Trial runs are completely free for members of the Fairmount Park Conservancy and cost an affordable $10 for non-members. Registration is available online.
The next run is slated for Saturday, August 16 followed by a run on Saturday, September 20 and on Saturday, October 11.
West Fairmount Park Trail Run Series
When: Saturdays, August 16, September 20, October 11
Where: Depart from the Car Barn parking lot at Montgomery Drive
Cost: Free for Fairmount Park Conservancy members, $10 for non-members
More info: www.fairmountpark.ticketleap.com
This Friday, August 1, The Awesome Fest teams up with The Oval for the second annual Philadelphia Bacon Fest — a full night of bacon foodstuffs with a side of Kevin Bacon.
Gear up for the city’s favorite bacon festival as The Oval hosts themed programming all day long. Enjoy free bacon samples (turkey bacon, beef bacon, maple bacon and chicken bacon!) from Godshall’s Quality Meats, bacon-themed games, a raffle, and photo opportunities with a model of Apollo 13 made entirely out of bacon — wait, a bacon rocket? Yes.
Later in the night, the bacon model of Apollo 13 will be launched into the sky by the good folks of The Franklin Institute.
Beginning at 5 p.m., the party really starts when DJ Apt One and lil’Dave take the stage for a full hour of live music. Following the music, from 6 to 7 p.m., chef Jack McDavid of Jack’s Firehouse and the Downhome Diner whips up one-of-kind bacon dishes and offers up his cooking knowledge with a chat.
Following the cooking demonstration, the two bands resume their jam sessions, leading up to the spotlight on Philadelphia hometown hero, Kevin Bacon.
At 9 p.m., the festivities round out with a free outdoor screening of Apollo 13, starring Kevin Bacon, of course. (No, the actor is not scheduled to make an appearance.)
Throughout the festival, guests are encouraged to fill up on plates from a number of food trucksincluding Sum Pig, Oink and Moo, Undrgrnd Donuts and Braz BQ.
The Oval’s awesome beer garden will be up and running for the event, too, so be sure to get your alfresco drink on.
Bacon Fest at The Oval
When: Friday, August 1, 5 p.m.
Where: The Oval, 2601 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost: Pay as you go
More info: www.theovalphl.com
Step right up, folks. The Franklin Institute’s adults-only Science After Hours event returns tomorrow, Tuesday, August 12, and it’s going to be a circus.
Designed specifically with grown-ups in mind (nope, no one under 21 allowed) the monthly adults-only events tap the deep resources of the museum to put on experiments, demonstrations, talks and more on a myriad of brainy topics — all accompanied by cocktails, wine and beer from a cash bar.
This month, the museum’s temporary exhibition Circus! Science Under the Big Top inspires the after-hours bash, so partygoers should be prepared for acrobatics, games and plenty of carnival-inspired eats, too.
The first traveling show to christen the brand-new exhibition gallery in the Karabots Pavilion, Circus! Science Under the Big Top explores the world and science of the circus. The temporary exhibition packs up on Monday, September 1, so don’t miss this chance to explore under the big top.
Beyond the exhibition itself, the after-dark soiree includes tons of other opportunities to discover the science of circus arts.
Four times throughout the evening, Olde City Sideshow performs a spectacle of a live show with fire breathing, a human blockhead, eye hooks, and even a bed of nails.
The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts will be on hand, too, with professional demonstrations of acrobatics and amateur trials of juggling, tight-rope walking and aerialist ring flying.
Plus, guests can try their hand at old-fashioned carnival games like ring toss and balloon darts, and snack on circus-appropriate fare like cotton candy, funnel cake and hot dogs.
Tickets, just $15 for those who aren’t members of The Franklin Institute, are available online.
Just remember, it’s a 21-and-over event, so no one with a bedtime should sign up.
And mark those calendars for next month, too, when Science After Hours returns on Tuesday, September 9.
Truly, these science lessons aren’t just for kids.
Science After Hours: Science of the Circus: Fire-Breathers & Funnel Cake
When: Tuesday, August 12, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Where: The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street
Cost: $15; $10 for members of The Franklin Institute
More info: www.fi.edu
The longest-running music festival of its kind in the entire country, the Philadelphia Folk Festivalhas become a regional legend and remains an epically good time.
Now in its 53rd year of brining the best of folk music to the Philadelphia countryside, the Philadelphia Folk Festival brings the sweet sounds of folk music back to Schwenksville, Pennsylvania this weekend, August 14-17.
The Philadelphia Folksong Society, the same organization that curated tunes for the blockbuster 2nd Street Festival in Northern Liberties just a few weeks ago, is the premiere folk organization in the greater Philadelphia region and is known internationally for this incredible annual destination festival.
The fest features a super star-studded lineup of music on seven stages, plus workshops and a craft fair, family-friendly activities and events, tons of food and drinks and more. Those who don’t want to miss a single beat can even camp out all weekend.
Read on for our guide to the Philadelphia Folk Festival, below.
With more than 100 scheduled performers on seven stages, the opportunities to groove to live music are nearly endless and this year’s fest promises something for everyone to enjoy.
Music is everywhere — from late-night singalongs, to bonfires in the festival campgrounds, to parking lot pickers having their own impromptu jam sessions.
This year’s headlining performers include Old Crow Medicine Show, Jason Isbell, Sarah Jarosz, Steep Canyon Rangers, Janis Ian, Tempest, Tommy Emmanuel, Loudon Wainwright III, The Lone Bellow, Natalie MacMaster, A Fistful of Sugar, Shemekia Copeland and many more.
Beyond the main acts, don’t forget the harmonica jams and master classes in the Cultural Tent or the family-friendly concerts on the Dulcimer Grove stage.
Plus, for those who are camping all weekend, check out the special concert in the campground Thursday night, which is only open to Festival Camping ticket holders.
For the complete lineup and stage schedule online.
Food & Drink
A vast selection of eats ensures no one will go hungry at the Folk Fest. Food vendors will be on hand from 10:30 a.m. to the end of the night’s shows in the concert area, and 24 hours a day in the campgrounds.
Look for the volunteers from the Upper Salford Volunteer Fire Company to dish up all kinds of cuisine, from barbecue to crepes to vegetarian Mexican food.
Additional vendors include Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Nader’s Bistro Mexican fare, Nyota’s Ting non-dairy vegetarian dishes, Pigs & Gigs pulled pork, Ruby’s Smoothie & Fruit Cup and more.
Plus, this year Philadelphia fave Little Baby’s Ice Cream joins the selection at the festival, and food trucks including The Tot Cart and Vernalicious will dish near the campground all day long.
Crafts & Workshops
Aside from rockin’ concerts, there are also workshops galore, ranging from storytelling to songwriting to ukelele playing. You’ll be able to immerse yourself in these honored traditions with other folk fans.
Crafts are a huge component of the folk scene. The Crafts Village is located at the top of the concert hill where you can purchase one-of-a-kind handmade pieces. Walk through and admire the vendors at work from glassblowers to metalsmiths to candlemakers.
The Folk Festival has plenty of different activities for the whole family, too. Report directly toDulcimer Grove, the shady area between the Crafts Stage and the Camp Stage, to find everything from puppeteers, jugglers and storytellers to hands-on crafts and kid-oriented musicians.
Tickets & Staying Over
Different types of tickets are available, and range in price from $29 for youth (12-17 years old) single day Friday shows, all the way up to $156 for an all-festival adult ticket, and $206 for an all-festival ticket plus camping.
Many additional ticket options are available for single-day and weekend-long tickets, with options for tent and RV camping. Reserved seating and children’s tickets are also available.
Complete ticket information and purchases are available online.
More than 6,000 people camp for the weekend at the festival, too. Camping is by weekend pass only and you must have a camping ticket to enter the campgrounds (get them at the camping gate entrance). The grounds have designated areas for both light camping (tents) and heavy camping (RVs). There are also quiet camping options for light camping.
For those who prefer to make a city weekend out of festival-going, stay overnight in Philadelphia. Check out our beautiful luxury homes here on www.urhomeinphilly.com.
Get ready for a weekend of outdoor folksy fun!
The Philadelphia Folk Festival
When: August 14-17
Where: Old Pool Farm, 1323 Salford Station Road, Schwenksville
More info: www.pfs.org