Has Festival Pier sung its final Swan Song?

Festival Pier in 2016

In the wake of the Trocadero’s reported closing on the horizon, news broke that another iconic spot for concerts in Philly may no longer be hosting shows. According to, the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing, a longtime host of outdoor summer concerts, will not open for a 2019 season.

One event Festival Pier may be best known for is the home of the annual Roots Picnic — so it was a bit of a red flag when it was announced earlier this week that after 11 years at the waterfront venue, the Picnic will be moving to the  Mann Center this year.’s Dan De Luca spoke with Geoff Gordon, the regional president of Live Nation, which booked shows at Festival Pier and operates several venues across town, including the new Met Philadelphia. Although the exact term Gordon used regarding the venue’s closure was “sabbatical,” it appears more likely that Festival Pier’s hiatus will be a permanent one. Continue reading →


Scenes from Ms. Lauryn Hill’s Miseducation anniversary concert at Festival Pier

Lauryn Hill | photo by Senia Lopez |

Singer-songwriter Lauryn Hill is celebrating the 20th anniversary of her 1998 album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill on tour this summer, and her July 13th stop at The Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing featured not only a full set of songs from the iconic album, but also a stacked roster of guests to open the show.

Below, check out scenes from the concert — including performances from Tierra WhackJo Mersa MarleyBusta Rhymes and M.I.A..
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M.I.A., Busta Rhymes, Tierra Whack and more will join Lauryn Hill at Festival Pier next month

Busta Rhymes | photo by John Vettese for WXPN // M.I.A. | still from video // Tierra Whack | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

When iconic singer/rapper Ms. Lauryn Hill announced her upcoming tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of her debut solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, it seemed too good to be true. She’ll be playing the classic album in full, but if that isn’t reason enough to attend, we now know the opening acts for the Philly stop on the tour, happening at Festival Pier on July 13.

Two well-loved and long-running rappers are lined up for the show — Busta Rhymes, who recently appeared at the Firefly Music Festival for the second consecutive year, and M.I.A., whose last album was 2016’s AIM. Also in the mix is reggae artist Jo Mersa Marley (who just happens to be the grandson of Bob Marley). But perhaps the most exciting part of this announcement is the addition of a local act — Philly-based hip hop artist Tierra Whack. She released a new visual album, Whack World, last month, and recently appeared at Roots Picnic and Firefly. Continue reading →


Listen to Dr. Dog’s brand new single “Listening In,” see them at Festival Pier on June 23rd

Dr. Dog | photo by Ryan McMackin | courtesy of the artist

After a quiet year and change, Philly rock five-piece Dr. Dog is back with a new single, a new album on the way and a tour that has the band headlining Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing on Saturday, June 23rd; Philly house show scene favorite (Sandy) Alex G opens the night.

The new single from the band’s forthcoming tenth album Critical Equation, out on Thirty Tigers on April 27th, marks a surprising first impression from the band; “Listening In” is dark, it’s pensive, unrelentingly so. As I wrote on NPR Music’s Songs We Love this morning, “It’s the moment of realization just before emotional trauma hits home; it’s a sadness so profound that it can’t be spun into a lighthearted song.” Continue reading →


Hall and Oates to return to Philly with headlining set at brand-new self-curated festival HOAGIENATION

hall & oats
Hall & Oates | Photo courtesy of the artist.

Remember that scene in The Office where there’s a fire in the office and Michael Scott is yelling at everyone to “stay f*cking calm”? Well, we’re trying.

The legendary Philly pop / soul hitmakers  Hall and Oates are coming back to Philly this summer to headline their personally curated (and aptly named) HOAGIENATION Festival. Taking place on May 27th at Festival Pier, the festival is a “celebration of everything Philly”, from an array of multi-genre performances from Tears for Fears, G Love & Special Sauce, Son Little, Allen Stone, Marah, Kandace Springs, Vivian Green, and more to “Philly-centric food offerings, craft beer, and spirits.” Continue reading →


Just Announced: Ween to bring reunion tour to Festival Pier this August

Ween | photo by Dana Distortion | courtesy of High Road Touring
Ween | photo by Dana Distortion | courtesy of the artist

Buenas Tardes indeed: Legendary New Hope funk-folk duo Ween reunited back in November, and their subsequent tour has added a stop in Philly this summer – August 21st at Festival Pier.

Gene, Dean, and the rest of the band will be bringing the jams from almost two decades of sporadic yet prolific work: Chocolate and Cheese, 12 Golden Country Greats, Pure Guava, and GodWeenSatan: The Oneness are only the beginning. Ween are the kings of weird and they are back to reclaim their throne, Boognish and all. Continue reading →


Deftones bring new LP Gore to Festival Pier this summer

Deftones | photo by Frank Maddocks | courtesy of the artist

An expanded world tour for Deftones includes an August 6th show at Festival Pier. The California metal band will release its eighth studio record Gore next week, which features lead single “Prayers/Triangles.” Along with follow-up single “Doomed User,” the track is on the subtler end of alternative metal with exceptionally smooth production and spacey instrumentation. Tickets and information for the all-ages show with Refused go on sale Friday, April 1st and will be available here. Listen to “Prayers/Triangles” below.

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Just Announced: Chris Stapleton added to Jason Isbell / Frank Turner show at Festival Pier


Outlaw state of mind: Country rock fugitive Chris Stapleton, who just snagged a bunch of Grammys last month for his terrific album Traveller, has just been added to the Jason Isbell gig at Festival Pier on June 17th.

What had already looked to be a solid night of singer-songwriter madness (Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls had already been announced as support) has morphed into what is most likely to be mini-festival of epic acoustic-rock proportions. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Dr. Dog at Steel Stacks, Sonnder at Siren Records, Alt-J at Festival Pier and more…

Dr. Dog
Dr. Dog at The Electric Factory | Photo by Caitlin McCann |

Yes, the Pope is coming this weekend. Many people are leaving town for a long-weekend vacation but if you’re staying put, you may be happy to know that things will be business as usual for many Philly area venues, including the ones below.

WXPN welcomes Dr. Dog to the Steel Stacks in Bethlehem tonight. The band is coming off of a four-night run of their stage show SWAMP (IS ON), an interactive collaboration with Pig Iron Theater Company for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Tonight’s show returns Dr. Dog to their traditional role as concert musicians, though you can be sure it will still be an off-the-wall and imaginative night of music. Tickets and information can be found here. Watch the band perform “Broken Heart” below.

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