Your guide to Philly's diverse creative scene, nightlife, music, food & more
Philly, it's about to go down! Jay Z’s epic Made in America Music Festival returns to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for Labor Day Weekend 2015, and we are definitely hyped for its return.
Now in its fouth year, the blockbuster urban music fest lands here in Philadelphia on September 5 and 6. Famously curated by Jay Z, Made in America boasts an impressive roster of artists, including Jay Z's superstar wife Beyonce, The Weeknd, J. Cole, DJ Mustard, Santigold, De La Soul and Action Bronson, to name a few.
Tickets to the two-day fest are already on sale here, and a two-day pass runs $150. Longing to go, but don't want to damage your wallet?
Well, we’re giving you the chance to experience all of the dope music and festival action in-person. Starting today, the Made In America Weekend Giveaway Sweepstakes has launched on Philly360.com and uwishunu.com.
Enter on any of our sites daily to win the grand prize of a pair of two-day passes to the popular music festival. Enter the Made In America Weekend Giveaway Sweepstakes below once daily through noon on Monday, August 31 for a chance to win.
For the complete contest rules, check here.
Stay tuned right here for more info on Made In America as the festival approaches.
House balls have played a significant role in the African American and Latino LGBTQ communities for decades. Now, the often-underground house ball culture takes the spotlight at the The African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) this summer.
On view now through August 16, Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene displays the work of photographer Gerard H. Gaskin, who has photographed the intimate world of house balls for more than 20 years.
Showcasing photographs from parties in five cities — with a particular focus on Philadelphia — the collection draws mostly from Gaskin’s book Legendary to immerse the viewer in the expressive grandeur of the balls.
In conjunction with exhibition AAMP will host two stellar events exploring the impact and relevancy of this artform. Tonight, Wednesday, August 5, the museum will screen Yoruba Richen's award-winning documentary The New Black, which explores the story of how the African American community is grappling with gay rights in light of the recent gay marriage movement and the fight over civil rights.
That screening will be followed by a night of color, creativity, costuming and care, as AAMP present the "A Night on Broadway" Mini Ball.
Set to be an epic night, “Loyal” singer Chris Brown is bringing his One Hell of a Nite Tour just across the bridge to the Susquehanna Bank Center on Friday, August 21.
The 25-city tour, which is making its way to town just as concert-goers are getting all their last shows in for late summer, features a lively lineup of acts including Fetty Wap, Kid Ink, Omarion and Teyana Taylor!
Brown is a veteran in the game at only 26-years old, getting his start in 2005 when he was signed to Jive Records and released his self-titled debut. Immediately fans fell in love with the charming kid from Tappahannock, Virginia and fans across the globe are still entranced by his singing, dancing and catchy hooks.
Bringing a dynamic array of intricate dance moves and upbeat records, Brown’s live show is entertaining to say the least. Brown’s well known idol is Michael Jackson and it’s evident that he has studied how to entertain and engage a crowd. From songs like “Ayo” to throwbacks like “Take You Down” fans will be in for a treat with this one for sure!
Tickets are already on sale for this one and you’ll want to grab them soon! With an array of special guests and Brown’s boyish charm, tickets probably won’t be around much longer!
No summer is complete without a few classic Philly block parties, right? True. This week, Mad Decent Block Party is back on the scene to take your summer block party to the next level — actually the next 100 levels.
Starting seven years ago as a small party held outside of Diplo’s Philadelphia label headquarters, the Mad Decent Block Party (MDBP) has grown into a massive, traveling music festival that’s been dubbed “America’s Biggest Block Party.”
This year, Mad Decent will bring its monstrous block party to 19 cities across the US, including a two-day affair on the Philadelphia waterfront with international turntablist and original Mad Decent mastermind Diplo.
MDPG 2015 is set to take over Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing on August 6 and 7 and features dozens of must-see performances by top DJs and musical acts, including Flosstradamus, ILoveMakonnen, Jack Ü, JAUZ, Nadus, Porter Robinson, Swizzymack, What So Not and more.
Friday night, once the main show is done, the festivities will move over to another popular Columbus Boulevard venue, SoundGarden Hall, for the Mad Decent Block Party Afterparty. This 18-and-over finale will have hot music, decent drinks, and plenty of opportunity to sweat it out on the dancefloor to the sounds of the country’s freshest DJs. After party tickets are just $25, the party kicks off at 10 p.m. and goes until 2 a.m.
Keep in mind that MDBP is an outdoor, general admission and standing room only event. So when selecting your festival fashions, be sure to go for comfortable, lightweight clothing and shoes options. Also, consider bringing along a refillable water bottle to keep hydrated throughout the daylong festivities.
Browse this Mad Decent FAQ page for other general tips, including a list of allowable and prohibited items.
Now, grab your party people crew and make plans to hit the Philadelphia stop of this city-hopping music festival. Trust us, you don’t want to be the only person not there.
Philly soul duo, Kindred the Family Soul is back with their signature community-centered, family-friendly festival, The Kindred Family Reunion.The Reunion will be jam-packed day of fun, music, food, and much more. The best part — it’s totally free and open to the public.
A Philly-famous husband and wife soul group, Kindred The Family Soul are the proud parents of six children and through their music and community work stress the value of placing family first. Their smooth sound has led them to the tops of the charts and all across the country performing their great music. Kindred will perform material from their latest release, A Couple of Friends.
The group was even featured on a recent Walmart Ad. You can watch it here.
For the third annual Kindred Family Reunion, the celebration moves to West Philadelphia and takes over the KingChessing Field at 49th Street and Chester Avenue. Along with a celebrity softball game, kickball, a jerk chicken cook off, and soul karaoke, Reunion attendees will also enjoy a stellar lineup of performances by A-list talents like Chill Moody, Teedra Moses, Dwele, Jeff Bradshaw, Brotherly Love, Eric Roberson, Cheryl Pepsi Riley and many others.
The event will also include a water ice contest between two local favorites, Fred's Water Ice and Dre's Water Ice. Even Little League Super Star Mo'Ne Davis will be on site to make an appearance and greet fans. Kindred The Family Soul will take to the stage and perform around 4:30 pm.
So, lock in the date, tell your friends and fam — then get ready to watch two of Philly's finest give back like only our city can. Let's go!
Philly’s go-to expert for all things pertaining to natural hair care, Syreeta Scott is the owner of one of the most successful natural salons in the country, Duafe Holistic Hair Care. With an impressive list of clients that include notable celebs like Jill Scott, Janet Jackson, Questlove and Smokie Robinson, Syreeta works tirelessly around the clock as she continues to build her empire.
Held from 1 to 5 p.m., Scott will present the Community Collaborative at at Panati Recreation Center of Allegheny West. A free community-focused festival will present programs from other local entrepreneurs, artists and activists with the mission of igniting change within North Philadelphia. The day will be filled with food, games, music, speakers, vendors and more.
Along with music by DJ Lean Wit It and art-making by Ivben Taqiy, the First Annual Community Collaborative includes the return of the Tees vs. Tanks Basketball Tournament with Kings Rule Together founder Curran J. This signature Philly event pits local brands against each other for a friendly game of ball while onlookers shop their products.
So, come out and support these Philly-born entrepreneurs and brands as they bring it back home and invest in their hometown neighborhoods and businesses.
This Thursday, July 30, BlackStar Film Festival, the brainchild of Philly 360° Creative Ambassador Maori Holmes, kicks off its four-day celebration of independent black cinema.
Attracting movie-lovers, filmmakers, directors and actors from around the country, BlackStar shines a light on the full range of contemporary black films that are currently being produced around the world.
Now in its fourth year in Philadelphia, BlackStar runs through Sunday, August 2 with screenings of more than 60 films and a host of panel discussions, workshops and free events that explore life through the lens of the global black experience.
Returning to West Philadelphia again in 2015, the popular festival presents its core programming at two University City-based cultural hubs: International House Philadelphia and the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania.
If you’re looking for what’s now — and next — in black filmmaking, then make sure to check out this Philadelphia-born cinematic fête over the weekend.
Read on for our guide to the festival.
The BlackStar Film Festival screens films of all sort — feature films, documentaries, short films in addition to a number of Philadelphia premieres.
On Thursday night, movie-goers can enjoy the feature length mockumentary Red Bone Guerillas, which chronicles the fictional rise of a counterculture art group of the same name. Friday, the evening screenings will culminate with Jimmy Goes to Nollywood, a newly released documentary that gives viewers an inside look on Nigeria’s booming film industry.
Saturday, BlackStar celebrates the life’s work and impact of legendary Philadelphia poet Sonia Sanchez, with a screening of BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez.
Additionally, throughout the four-day festival, attendees can enjoy a number of free programs at the Institute of Contemporary Art, a popular city museum that offers free admission and programs year-round.
For more on the BlackStar Film Festival, see below.
Once again anchored in University City, the majority of this year’s screenings and programs will take place at two cultural venues: International House Philadelphia and the Institute for Contemporary Art.
With additional BlackStar screenings, programs and after parties being held at popular Philly venues, including World Cafe Live, Franky Bradley’s and Pipeline Philly, the festival continues to fill public spaces across the city with the very best in today’s black cinema.
For more on the venues, check here.
Tickets for individual films are $12 for general admission and $8 for students and seniors. For those looking to catch all of the action, full-festival passes, $150, are available online. Individual tickets and festival passes are available online and can also be purchased at the International House box office.
BlackStar has partnered with two University City hotels, Sheraton Philadelphia and The Inn at Penn, to offer discounts on rooms during the 2014 festival. Both festival hotels are within walking distance from the main festival venues.
You can also explore overnight lodging options with the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package™. This two-night package includes free hotel parking so you can drive into town and not have to worry about finding and paying for parking.
While in town, be sure to browse this University City neighborhood guide on visitphilly.com for other must-see attractions and local dining options to check out while enjoying the festival.
The cutting-edge musical initiative PHL Live Center Stage is back for the second year and they are kicking it off big at The TLA on South Street on Tuesday, August 18.
The large scale project launched last year and gave tons of musicians in the city the opportunity to have their music heard through contest and live concerts. Now partnering with Philly Fashion Week, this kick-off will feature fun, fashion and music by Philly’s own Chill Moody and Kid Felix.
PHL Live was developed and nurtured from the office of Councilman At-Large David Oh, the Chairman of City Council’s Committee on Global Opportunities and Creative/Innovative Economy. As way to bring more attention to the talented artists in the city, PHL Live consisted of multiple music competitions across 10 genre categories to give artists more platforms for exposure and opportunities to grow their brands.
This year’s competition will be open to entries on the day of the kickoff. PHL Live is inviting artists, bands and musicians of every genre to submit their original music for the opportunity to compete for amazing prize packages and other performance opportunities around the city.
The submission period starts on August 18 and runs through September 30. Artists interested in submitting will be able to do so at www.phllive.org.
In the meantime, be sure to grab your ticket to the kickoff celebration at the TLA. In addition to great music, there will also be a Philly Fashion Week fashion show to celebrate their upcoming 10th anniversary. PHL Live is blazing the trail and celebrating all of the great things happening across the city's creative economy.
Philly! On Friday, July 31, The City of Philadelphia and First Person Arts will team up to address hot-button, timely and relevant issues affecting black males through personal storytelling and performance.
That evening, the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, anchored along Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts, will host a must-hit program headlined by Tarik 'Black Thought' Trotter, lead MC of hip-hop legends and hometown favorites, The Roots.
Along with Black Thought, BEyond Expectations: Engaging Men of Color will feature Philly-based DJ and producer Rich Medina, celebrity boxer Bernard Hopkins, along with a curated list of local storytellers and community members. Together, the group will share real-life inspired stories that shed light on the true perspectives of African-American males here in Philadelphia, and beyond.
“African American men in the country face unique challenges,” said Dr. Arthur C. Evans, Commissioner of the DBHIDS. “By giving them a forum to tell their stories in their own voice, the city will be able to better address their mental health and wellness needs.”
A pre-event reception invites the general public to meet with Engaging Men of Color creator Commissioner Dr. Arthur C. Evans and a post-show talkback will allow audiences to talk about ways the City of Philadelphia can help promote health and wellness in the African American community.
Tickets for this event are $15, but Philly 360° has partnered with First Person Arts to provide a $10 discounted ticket for our followers. Simply enter the code PHILLY360 at check out. There are a limited number of discounted tickets available, so grab yours now. We'll see you there!
BEyond Expectations: Engaging Men of Color
When: Friday, July 31, 8 p.m.
Where: Suzanne Roberts Theater, 480 S Broad Street
Cost: $15, Discounted $10 with the promotion code PHILLY360
More Info: Click here for details.
As a singer, songwriter, musician and composer, Lydia Rene's versatility gives her music an undeniable rich sound.
The soulful singer/songwriter was raised right outside of Philly and cites Jill Scott as one of her influences in crafting her rich sound and poignant, positive music. She was raised in a musical family where the bare minimum was learning piano. Outside of her solo efforts, Rene has also been able to work with some talented artists in their own right.
She really began writing songs for others after a chance opportunity with producers Tejumold and Johari Newton who were a part of the classic Miseducation of Lauryn Hill project. She has worked and performed with artists like Eric Roberson, Jaguar Wright, Jean Baylor and more.
On Tuesday, July 28, Lydia Rene headlines the next edition of Pier Entertainments popular new artist showcase, The Souncheck Series at Pub Web.
Earl Sweatshirt When: Saturday, September 5, 11 p.m. Where: The TLA, 334 South Street Cost: $27 More Info: Click here for details. Born Thebe Kgositsile, Earl Sweatshirt is a West Coast rapper and member of the Odd Future Wolf…
Jay Z's Budweiser Made in America Festival When: Saturday, September 5 - Sunday, September 6 Where: The Benjamin Franklin Parkway Cost: $150 More Info: Buy tickets here. All good things come to an end, but great things always come…
John Coltrane Tribute Festival When: Sunday, September 6, 12 - 6 p.m. Where: Church of the Advocate, 19th and Diamond Street Cost: Free More Info: www.artsanctuary.org Philadelphia's jazz roots run deep. For generations, our city has been home to…