The City of Brotherly Love may be known for its cheesesteak sandwiches, but Philadelphia is also a bright spot in the country’s music industry. Dating back to the late 1800s, Philadelphia’s music scene has influenced artists across the U.S. From hip-hop and folk music to classical orchestras, musicians have worked across all genres in Philadelphia. In fact, the city’s Curtis Institute of Music, founded in 1924, has seen some of the world's greatest American composers and performers pass through including Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon, and Lang Lang.
Even with the rise of technology and modern music, Philadelphia still remains a hub for jazz and cabaret. There are tons of jazz clubs peppered throughout the city, including Chris' Jazz Cafe, Warmdaddy's, and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. One of the most popular is World Cafe Live (WCL) which is a three-story music hall that’s been graced by the likes of Rhett Miller, Natalie Cole, KT Tunstall, Allen Toussaint, and many more.
Philadelphia also has many connections to the world of opera. In fact, one of the city’s very first concerts was an opera led by composer, William Henry Fry. In 1900, the Philadelphia Orchestra popped up and, eight years later, the Philadelphia Opera House was born. Chamber music also gained popularity in the late 1960s.
Of course, pop music and rock and roll also have strong Philadelphia roots. In fact, Questlove and Billie Holiday are just a few of the famous musicians from this city. Not only that, but many mega stars and headliners pass through Philadelphia during their worldwide concerts and tours. Lincoln Financial Field is the home stadium of NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and has a seating capacity of nearly 70,000, making it the go-to stage for the world’s greatest musicians. Past performers have included One Direction, U2, and Taylor Swift.
Philadelphia Concert Venues
The city’s oldest, most historic venue, the Academy of Music, dates back to 1857 and is America’s longest-running opera house. Other popular venues in Philadelphia include the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Financial Field, and the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, a large outdoor amphitheater. Boot & Saddle is another live music venue that also offers a great farm-to-table menu. The Trocadero Theatre, TLA, World Cafe Live, and Union Transfer are all smaller and mid-sized spots to check out a local show.
Philadelphia Concert Ticket Prices
The average cost of concert tickets in Philadelphia is $136 per ticket, though this can vary depending on the artist.
Philadelphia Music Festivals
The city’s most popular music festival, Made in America, was founded by Brooklyn native Jay-Z. This festival is held each September on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and features both established and up-and-coming artists. The Philadelphia Folk Festival and Jazz on the Ave Music Festival both draw in large crowds and celebrate musical genres that have strong roots in this city. Speaking of roots, the Roots Picnic is another popular festival that was created and hosted by hip hop group, The Roots. Past performers have included John Mayer, Pharrell, and Usher. Of course, The Roots perform each year at their namesake event.