There are so many great places to catch free concerts in the Philadelphia area in 2018. I started the season with the West Philly Porchfest, a great DIY neighborhood music festival. Other events on the 2018 summer concert calendar contains a diverse list of locations and bands that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and musical tastes. Here are some of the best spots to catch free concerts in the Philadelphia area this year:
Spruce Street Harbor Park (All Summer) – As far as location, Penn’s Landing may be the best place to take in free concerts in Philadelphia this year. Spruce Street Harbor Park is hosting free music performances throughout the summer as a part of XPN Welcomes Waterfront Sessions. The 2018 summer concert series began with Harmony Woods. I watched the show and was blown away by the serene environment of Spruce Street Harbor Park.
Acts are currently posted for June and July. Joshua Howard, Ivy Sole, and Radiator Hospital are some of the bands scheduled to play.
Spruce Street Harbor Park is also running Jazz In The Park on five different Sunday afternoons from May 20 through September 16. The Bellinger-Giess-Washington Ensemble and Kim Pedro led off the summer schedule in May. Tara + DM Hotep Middleton and Tim Brey, Julian Hartwell and Chris Stevens, Korey Riker and Ernest Stuart, and Ross Bellenoit and Jakeya Sanders + V. Shayne Frederick are the remaining musicians on the calendar.
Haddon Lake Park (June 6 – August 15) – The Camden County park will be the site of six concerts. The concerts are all apart of their Sunset Music Series and begin at 7:30 PM each night. Liza Anne, Orleans, Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express (highly recommended), Ruthie Foster, and The National Reserve are scheduled.
One Philadelphia-area note: Dave Hause & The Mermaid are slated for August 1. Hause has performed with Brian Fallon of New Jersey’s Gaslight Anthem on more than one occasion. It may be a tease for hardcore Gaslight Anthem fans, but Fallon does not have any dates scheduled around that time and it would not surprise me if he popped on stage.
Dave Hause and Brian Fallon of Gaslight Anthem covering U2:
Wayne Music Festival (June 8-9) – The Wayne Music festival begins on June 8 with a pair of performances from Uncle Juan’s Band and Ben Arnold. Joan Osborne headlines the Saturday slate. that will also include local favorite Good Old War.
Matt Santry, Stolen Rhodes, and The Samples are among the other bands playing the Wayne Music Festival’s three stages. The concerts will all take place near Lancaster Avenue and are within walking distance of the Wayne Train Station.
Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks (June 8 – September 8) – Bethlehem holds one of the most unique concert settings that you will ever see. The former Bethlehem Steel manufacturing plant makes for a visually-striking backdrop for any performance.
While the SteelStacks are a bit of a drive from Philadelphia, it is hosting a free concert series every Friday night this summer. Highlights of the concert schedule include Pokey Lafarge on June 30, The Drifters on August 8, and Low Cut Connie on September.
Delaware County Summer Festival In Rose Tree Park (June 13 – August 12) – Delco is hosting free concerts every Wednesday through Sunday evening at Rose Tree Park this summer. The festival dates back to 1975 and is one of the longest-running free concert series in the Philadelphia region. The Delaware County Symphony plays on June 13 and local luminary Charlie Gracie is slotted for July 15. The U.S. Army Field Band & Soldiers’ Chorus will be at Rose Tree Park on August 9. There are also tribute acts for The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Van Halen, and Frankie Valli. Showtimes begin at 7:30 PM.
Ambler Arts & Music Festival (June 15 – June 16) – Performances start at 6:00 PM on Friday and 11:00 AM on Saturday. The festival’s headliner is The Trammps, who are best known for the Saturday Night Fever single “Disco Inferno.” The two-day festival also includes craft and food vendors.
Green Lane Park (June 23, July 15, July 29) – Green Lane Park in Montgomery County is hosting three free shows for their Summer Concert Series. Southern Edge and The Perfect Strangers band are the music acts scheduled for Green Lane Park. On July 15 the Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company is performing The Complete History Of America (Abridged).
Welcome America (June 28 – July 4) – The Fourth of July bash is a staple of the Philadelphia area. Past performers of the event include Elton John, The Roots, and Hall & Oates. The 2018 Welcome America slate includes live music at Valley Forge, Penn’s Landing, and the annual concert on the Parkway.
On The Delaware music festival takes place on June 30 at Pennypack Park. The United States Army Band will play a concert at Penn’s Landing on June 30. In addition to the Philly Pops, Grammy winners Heather Headley and Pitbull will play at the Art Museum this year.
The Roots Putting Their Spin On The Action News Theme Song At The 2015 Welcome America:
Summer Sounds On The Square (July 21 – September 1) – This music event is new to 2018. This free series takes place at Franklin Square on some Saturday evenings throughout the summer. The exact schedule may vary from week to week, but the first concert takes place on July 21 and will feature performances from different members of the Philly Pops.
Smooth Jazz Summer Nights (August 3 – August 31) – The end of summer will be capped by a smooth jazz concert series at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. The series will take place on every Friday evening in August and feature a different performer. Boney James, Jeff Kashiwa, Adam Hawley, Leela James, and The Baylor Project are scheduled to play.
Haverford Music Festival (September 8) – The eighth edition of the Haverford Music Festival will include over thirty bands on four different stages. John Paul White (The Civil Wars) and Sloan are the most established names at the festival. Indie artists Lily & Madeline and alt rockers Pi Power Trio are also on the calendar. The festival is a fundraiser for the Haverford Township Civic Council.