ACANA African Festival. Sponsored by the African Cultural Alliance of North America, this year’s festival looks to celebrate the cultures of the African-American community and the African immigrant community. Aug. 5, 2pm. Free. Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, Columbus Blvd. at Chestnut St. 215.928.8801. delawareriverevents.com
Southeast Asian Dragon Boat Festival. In addition to celebrating Southeastern Asian countries, there will also be several teams competing in dragon boat racing down the Delaware River, a nod to the area’s ancient traditions. Aug. 11, noon. Free. Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, Columbus Blvd. at Chestnut St. 215.928.8801. delawareriverevents.com
PW Concerts in the Park. Our favorite live music series returns to Rittenhouse Square! Aug. 15: Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band with special guests TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb. Aug. 22: Ground Up featuring the Lawsuits. Aug. 29: The Strapping Fieldhands and the Spinning Leaves. 7pm. Free. Rittenhouse Square. philadelphiaweekly.com
The Molly Blooms. Combining guitar, upright bass, violin and vocals, this local group produces a dreamy fusion of celtic, folk and bluegrass. Aug. 15, 7:30pm. Free. Kahn Park, 1100 Pine St. kahnpark.org
Literary Salon. Discuss Barnaby Rudge, Charles Dickens’ first historical novel, as it tells the story of the anti-Catholic Gordon riots in 1780 London, intertwined with a murder mystery. Aug. 16, 6:30pm. Free. Central Library, 1901 Vine St. 215.686.5322. freelibrary.org
Marina and the Diamonds. If the success of fellow U.K. pop outfits Florence + The Machine and Ellie Goulding are any indication, this Welsh singer-songwriter will soon be creeping up the American Billboard charts with her keyboard-based ballads and up-tempo New Wave tunes. Aug. 17, 7pm. $16. With Ms. Mr. TLA, 334 South St. tlaphilly.com
mewithoutYou. Best known for their spoken-word vocals and free ranging drums, base and guitar, this four-piece local band have just released their fifth full-length album, Ten Stories. Aug. 18, 7:30pm. $17. TLA, 334 South St. 215.922.1011. tlaphilly.com
Caribbean Festival. Soca, calypso, reggae, hip-hop and gospel music come together with traditional island fare for this 26th annual festival. Attendees can browse vendors selling island fashions and crafts, and children can attend the Children’s Village to learn about African-Caribbean culture awareness. Aug. 19, 12pm. Free. Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, Columbus Blvd. at Market St. delawareriverevents.com
James Rouse and the James Rouse Band. If you enjoy the intersection of funk and soul, you’ll be sure to love this performance by James “Biscuit” Rouse and his band. Aug. 24, 7pm. Free. The Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. 866.849.7056. barnesfoundation.org
The Long Now. This exhibit explores the relationship between film and photography. Aug. 24-Oct. 3. Various times. Free. Moore College, 20th and Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. thegalleriesatmoore.org
Sublime with Rome. Following the success of 2011’s Yours Truly, Sublime with Rome promise to make it truly sound like summer at Festival Pier while headlining the Hemp Heals Music Festival. Aug. 25, 4pm. $49. With Cypress Hill, Pepper. The Festival Pier, Columbus Blvd. and Spring Garden St. 215.928.8801. delawareriverevents.com
Dead Can Dance. This ethereal neoclassical world music duo from Melbourne, Australia, may have disbanded in 1998, but in 2005, they wound up temporarily reuniting for a sold-out world tour. Still going strong, they’re now hitting the road once again, visiting 17 cities across North America. Aug. 26, 7:30pm. $44.50. Verizon Hall, 300 S. Broad St. 215.893.1999. kimmelcenter.org
Budweiser Made in America Festival. Jay-Z, Budweiser and United Way present the Budweiser Made in America Festival. Jigga headlines the fest, which also features Skrillex, Pearl Jam, Santigold and more. Sept. 1-2, noon. $135. Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. madeinamericafest.com
Looking for summer excitement in your neighborhood—or an excuse to explore new parts of the city? Either way, you’re golden: Here’s our compass-based manual for locating the hottest fun to be found around Philly, one direction at a time!
OK, so maybe South Philly doesn’t have as many museums and theaters as Center City. It also lacks the bustling college scene of University City and all the super-trendy, “up-and-coming” allure of North Portfishington. Nevertheless, when you take a stadium complex, a beautiful green oasis, a vibrant arts community, and a slew of stellar dining establishments and mix them together into one giant melting pot, inevitably you wind up with a pretty awesome recipe for summertime amusement.
From the convenient entertainment hub that is NoLibs to the booming cultural mecca better known as North Portfishington, there are pretty much an endless supply of things for you to do, see, hear and eat this summer in North Philly.
Who’s ready to have too much fun in West Philly this summer? We are!
Unless you weren’t already convinced, hopefully we’ve proven to you by now that Philly is jam-packed with awesome summer events. But for a little suburban staycation, we threw in our top picks for events happening outside city limits.
Sunny enthusiasm, morbid fascination or retro nostalgia: Whatever mood you feel like cultivating in your culture, you can find it just inside the roundabouts-northerly edges of the Philadelphia city limits.
PW's Music Issue 2014