One of the many wonderful things about the Philadelphia music community is its desire to rally around causes and make a difference in the city. As cliched as that sounds, its true – the latest example being hometown musician John Francis‘ new City of Love Festival, benefiting Broad Street Ministry and their “Breaking Bread” hospitality initiative. Amidst debate over whether or not outdoor meal services for the homeless should be allowed in Philadelphia, the Broad Street Ministry has created its own safe haven for the city’s homeless men and women where they can receive a hot meal and a variety of services (including medical attention, art therapy and assistance for veterans) every Thursday afternoon.
Francis founded the secular City of Love Festival to help Broad Street Ministry pastor Bill Golderer reach his goal of increasing servings to nine hot meals a week in 2013. The festival will be a bi-annual event, with the first concert happening on Friday, January 12th at Underground Arts. The bill for the evening includes sets from The Districts, Levee Drivers, The Lawsuits, Caleb Hawley, Sean Hoots (of Hoots & Hellmouth), Kuf Knotz, Ross Bellenoit Band, Ryan Tennis, Blayer Pointdujour & The Rockers Galore, Zach Djanikian and John Francis & The Midnight Choir, plus special surprise guests.
The City of Love Festival is presented by the Philadelphia Folksong Society and is free for PFS members, with a suggested donation to aid in the Broad Street Ministry’s efforts, and $12 for non-members. The event is 21+; more information can be found here. Below, watch John Francis perform “Who” in Nashville.