You may not know that aside from real estate, our team shares a passion for music! Philadelphia is home to some of the region’s most unique music venues, ranging from boutique halls to expansive centers. The city’s live music scene is exciting with classical, hip hop, rock, jazz, pop and other genres constantly on performance. Read for our tour of the city’s most popular music venues and let us know which spot you plan to visit next.
This beautifully constructed amphitheater nestled in Fairmount Park is the perfect meeting point for residents across the city. You’ll find a very picturesque setting showcasing grass hills with outdoor seating and incredible views of the city skyline. A true sweet spot for spending the warmer months outdoors with a picnic alongside some tunes! Don’t have tickets to the show? No worries – you can always hear the music from the hill behind the venue!
On North Broad Street, this iconic establishment originally existed as the city’s Metropolitan Opera House. Built in 1908 by opera impresario, Oscar Hammerstein, the once–lavish Metropolitan Opera House is now recognized internationally for its superb acoustics and for showcasing a diverse array of top musical artists.
Found amongst South Philadelphia’s best pizzerias and cheesesteak destinations, this small concert venue frequently welcomes up-and-coming artists from all genres. Originally established in 1908 and formerly referred to as the Crystal Palace, this site has been completely reimagined and expanded over the years. This is definitely a local’s favorite for an intimate atmosphere.
Formerly referred to as the Electric Factory, this concert venue was originally founded in 1967 and was once part of the General Electric Switchgear Plant. Most recently, it was renamed Franklin Music Hall in 2018 and continues to host a variety of fan favorite musicians. It is conveniently located around the corner from Yards Brewery for those who like to get a pop before the show.
Located in North Philadelphia, the Union Transfer is one of Philly’s most historic music venues. This space formerly served as a luggage transfer station for the adjacent Reading Railroad, but since has been renovated into a beautiful and unique event hall. A wide variety of concerts are frequently hosted, including events for visitors of all ages. Fun fact – this venue was once the location of a Spaghetti Warehouse. Clients of ours played their last Philly show at the Union Transfer and they served a spaghetti dinner to the entire audience. Can you name the band?
The Fillmore Philadelphia is a 25,000 square feet live music club located in Fishtown with cutting edge space that will be sure to impress. The spacious venue offers a club within the club, called the Foundry, plus a bar with beer and liquor varieties, called Ajax Hall. The venue was inspired by the original Fillmore in San Francisco, California.
A staple location amongst Philadelphia’s art community, this club has been a coveted destination for the past decade. Since its establishment, Underground Arts has evolved to feature some of the best local and national artists and music acts. It is known for discovering underground artists who are on the rise. Their calendar of upcoming events provides a wide variety of talent with different shows occurring frequently.
One of Philly’s best kept secrets lies on the East side of Fairmount Park – The Dell Music Center. This outdoor amphitheater is located on the opposite side of the river from the Mann Music Center. This incredibly beautiful venue offers both reserved seats and lawn seats. It is managed by the City of Philadelphia’s Parks & Recreation and hosts a fabulous summer concert specializing in soul, hip hop, and R&B.
This esteemed nonprofit venue has been a vibrant part of Philadelphia’s music scene since 2004. World Cafe often welcomes guests of all ages by hosting emerging and established artists. Moreover, they have created innovative educational programs for the youth and people with disabilities. A place that both attracts and inspires, you’ll definitely want to check out this spot! Make sure to swing by on Friday for their Free at Noon concerts – you’ll never know who will be performing!
More Local Venues That We Love
On the Move for Music: Elle’s Experience at Coachella
While our city is certainly filled with many incredible music venues, concerts, and events, it’s always fun to travel and create new experiences outside of our region! Our team member, Elle Durbin, recently went to Coachella, so read on for her recap of the festival.
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is held in Indio, California. This two weekend event hosts the top artists from all genres of music – including pop, rock, indie, hip hop and electronic dance music – as well as large art installations and sculptures. My friends and I were excited when we purchased tickets in June 2019 for the April 2020 festival, but little did we know that it would be postponed for two years due to the pandemic. After the long awaited return, Coachella set up their stages for 2022. With over 150 artists performing, this year’s headliners included Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, the Weeknd with Swedish House Mafia, Phoebe Bridgers, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Jamie xx, Run the Jewels, Disclosure, Flume, 21 Savage, and many, many more.
As basic as it sounds, the artist I was the most excited to see was Harry Styles. Since his One Direction days, it has been a long 11 years to see him – and he did not disappoint. An absolute highlight of the weekend was when he brought out his surprise guest, Shania Twain, and performed ‘Man I Feel Like a Woman!’. People tend to only want to go to festivals that have artists they already love on the lineup, but Coachella is the best festival to discover up and coming artists. With the vast amount of artists performing, it is easy to find people you’ve never heard of. My lucky find was a French band with a groovy melodic vibe – L’Impératrice. The layout of the festival is well-thought out, allowing you to see multiple amazing art installations and fun activities to do on your walk in between the seven stages. You will never be bored when you’re on the Coachella grounds.
When it comes to where to stay for the weekend, there are a couple options – hotel, Airbnb, or camping on-site. With many pros and cons to each option, my personal favorite is camping because you really get the full experience. The campgrounds are next to the festival so you are able to walk to the music venue, whereas staying at a hotel/Airbnb, you have to plan the logistics of shuttles and ubers. Nothing says “the night is over” like waiting over an hour in line and a 30 minute drive home. The campgrounds are filled with entertainment, food trucks, vendors, and more that create a wholesome community the whole weekend. You set up your little home for the weekend with your crew and then meet all your neighbors!
Overall, Coachella was an amazing experience. The energy throughout the whole weekend is unmatchable. From the live music, to the people you meet, to the beautiful scenery of the mountains and palm trees, it is one of my favorite festivals.
Thanks for reading!