Summertime is always a favorite time of year to enjoy outdoor music throughout the city. While some concerts require costly tickets, there are also plenty of free events where you’ll just need your sunscreen and dancing shoes. Here’s a list of just a few of the summer’s best free concerts. Be sure to check each website closer to the event dates for the full lineup.
601 N. Columbus Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
Dates: June 5, July 10, August 7 and September 18, 2016
Radio 104.5 is hosting its popular Summer Block Parties again this summer. Concerts are held one Sunday per month from May through September at Festival Pier. The first concert took place on May 1 with performances by X Ambassadors, Nothing But Thieves, Run River North, Kaleo and Modern Colour. Be sure to check the website for the rest of the summer’s lineup. These all-age concerts are free to the public, but you must have a ticket to attend. Check the website and listen to Radio 104.5 for chances to download free tickets and other ways to win entry to the events.
40th St. and Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Dates: June 18, July 23, August 20 and September 17, 2016
Building upon the success of the past six years, the University of Pennsylvania, The Rotunda and the University City District are co-producing this year’s 40th Street Summer Series. Four free concerts, one Saturday per month from June through September, will take place on the lawn behind the Walnut Street Library. The family-friendly events are suitable for guests of all ages and feature a concert stage with performers from a folk, jazz or world music background. In addition, there will be free activities such as ice cream, face painting, balloon art, human circus tricks, juggling and more. This year’s performers haven’t been announced yet, but past performers included Sun Ra Arkestra, Man Man, Bobby Zankel’s Warriors of the Wonderful Sound and many more.
Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
101 S. Columbus Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Date: July 2, 2016 from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
With 4th of July falling on a Monday this year, it’s the perfect excuse to celebrate all weekend long. On Saturday, Penn’s Landing hosts the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” for an evening of patriotic music that’s sure to have you tapping your feet and bursting with pride for the ol’ Red, White and Blue. The event ends with the spectacular Waterfront Fireworks Celebration over a beautiful view of the river. If you’re looking for a fun, but more low key Independence Day celebration (compared to the main event on the 4th, this is it.
Party on the Parkway
Benjamin Franklin Parkway
From 20th Street to Eakins Oval
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Date: July 4, 2016
As the birthplace of the USA, Philadelphia goes all out to celebrate Independence Day. Wawa Welcome America is the largest of the city’s celebrations, with several days of events leading up to the grand finale on July 4. Party on the Parkway is a massive themed party featuring live music, games, food and other family-friendly activities. Rumor has it that The Roots, who have played at the event every year since 2009, will not be headlining the 2016 festival. Stay tuned for more details on who will headline this year’s concert. Whoever it is, visitors can count on an impressive fireworks display to end the night.
Delaware River Waterfront at Penn’s Landing
121 N. Columbus Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Dates: August 5, August 12, August 19 and August 26, 2016 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Smooth Jazz Summer Nights is a weekly concert series, occurring on Friday nights in August. While this year’s list of performers hasn’t been announced yet, the series is known to host nationally renowned acts such David Benoit and Valerie Simpson. Enjoy a relaxing evening of some of the best jazz music in the country, all with a beautiful view of the waterfront.
Related: Top Jazz Lounges In Philadelphia
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