As summer rapidly approaches, it’s time to block off some dates on the calendar for an amazing group of concerts coming through Philadelphia over the next few months. It’s only right that we start with this week’s huge announcement from Jay-Z and Mayor Michael Nutter, in which they unveiled the Budweiser Made in America festival, which Jay-Z will headline with support from 28 other artists to be named May 21. The festival will take place Sept. 1 and 2 across three stages on the Ben Franklin Parkway, with tickets going on sale May 23 through Live Nation. This marks the first major festival the City of Philadelphia has ever had, and it will bring 50,000 people to the steps of the Art Museum this Labor Day weekend.
Once again, The Roots are bringing their annual picnic to Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing June 2 and 3. This marks the first time the event has spanned two days. It will feature legendary acts including De La Soul, who will perform with The Roots; Rakim, who will perform his classic album, “Paid In Full”; and young stars KiD CuDi and Wale. This year’s picnic also will bring in renowned electronic star Diplo, as well as Major Lazer and James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem. Tickets are on sale now through Live Nation and are available for purchase by day ($63 per day) or as a two-day pass ($106.80). With this great lineup, the fifth annual picnic is likely to be the best yet.
But this isn’t the only major show The Roots are involved in this summer. They’re also headlining Philly’s Fourth of July Jam once again and are bringing Queen Latifah, Common and Joe Jonas with them. Last year, the free all-day event on the Ben Franklin Parkway, sponsored by Wawa, drew over 500,000 people to celebrate America’s independence, and this year’s show is expected to top that mark.
If you’re in the mood for a nice drive over the Ben Franklin Bridge into Camden, N.J., the Susquehanna Bank Center has two major shows lined up for you this summer. On Friday, August 3, Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller will headline “The Influence Tour,” which will feature Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, Chevy Woods and the former Drexel students now known as Chiddy Bang. If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, this could be the show for you. Tickets start at just $27 for the lawn area and $62.50 for orchestra seating.
Finally, Drake brings the most anticipated tour of the summer to Camden on Saturday, June 9. The “Club Paradise Tour” began in the fall and winter with Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky as the three rappers made their way around college campuses. Now, the tour features five new faces: J. Cole, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz, Waka Flocka Flame and French Montana, and it has already begun selling out amphitheaters across the country. Drake and his five friends should put on the show of the summer in the Philadelphia area. Tickets are available now through Live Nation, ranging from $48.25 for lawn tickets to $201.75 for orchestra seating.
With an amazing lineup of hip-hop acts coming through Philadelphia this summer, there’s a little bit of everything for all fans. Hopefully, I’ll see some of you at these five concerts and festivals over the next few months.