Fan, front row at the Roots Picnic, pumped and holding his own shoes.

This weekend is going to be a little crazy. Normally, you can expect cool DJ events and parties to sprout up around the Roots Picnic. That’s still the case, but this year, the Friday before is a TKO, and on the Sunday after, Beyonce will descend and grace her acolytes at the Linc. We’re kind of overwhelmed just thinking about it all. (And we’re just talking about the music side— Philly Beer Week starts Friday.) We’re not ready to bake in heat on the Festival Pier as we attempt not to get trampled by Future fans. We’re wondering if someone can bandy us a flux capacitor because we can’t see both Grimes and Fantasia, scheduled to perform different shows on the same night. This is the most lit music weekend that we’re going to have this summer. So we guess we have to get in the game.

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Ro James

The R&B singer has drawn comparisons to Frank Ocean and D’Angelo, and that makes sense, as what they share is a heavy dose of apparent Prince appreciation. If you’re still mourning the Purple One, this is Heineken Green Room event might be the right move.

Pub Webb, Free with RSVP


Grimes is back in Philly. For some odd reason, her stop at the Electric has not sold out. Lucky you. It’s at the Electric Factory. She gives a good show. Of course she plays her consistently good electronic pop, but there’s also her dancers (who kill) and watching her work her boards is treat.

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Fantasia / Anthony Hamilton

Anthony Hamilton and Hamiltones keep going viral by flipping memes and hip hop singles into gospel quartet ditties. Hearing how they harmonize in person is something to look forward to. We are also expecting Fantasia to sing her face off because that is what she does.

The Mann Center, $34.50-$125.00

Hop Along / Waxahatchee

Eagles LB Connor Barwin is hosting another benefit concert to raise funds to rehab another city park. This time, two critically acclaimed indie bands will appear, Philly based Hop Along and Waxahatchee, the project of Alabaman artist Katie Crutchfield.

Union Transfer; $20 GA, VIP packages go up to $300

Credit: Facebook

First Time’s the Charm

This festival is dedicated to bands who are playing their first gig together ever. Twenty bands (you read that right) will play at PhilaMoca over two days. The bill is indie rock mostly, but in many forms. One band, Are You Ready Steve is described as “‘Shit, I should do my laundry’ rock.” Go you, Are You Ready Steve.

PhilaMoca, $10

The Bounce

The June edition of the Bounce will happen at its usual spot, the Barbary. To read more about the Bounce’s awesomeness and The Barbary’s for-sale status, check out this story.

The Barbary; $5 before midnight, $7 after

Animal House

This is BYOB party, and God bless the organizers for that. Secret, to-be-disclosed location.

???; $20, tickets for sale online only

Tuba Gooding Jr. of the Roots dancing onstage at the Roots Picnic in 2011.
Tuba Gooding Jr. of the Roots dancing onstage at the Roots Picnic in 2011. Credit: Cassie Owens


Roots Picnic

This is the only Roots-curated festival we’re getting this summer, sadly, so we must savor it. Anderson.Paak and Kaytranada both have produced standout albums this year. Willow Smith is on the bill. Future, Kehlani, Blood Orange, Jidenna, DMX… the line-up is so strong that we’re betting some can’t-miss sets will overlap and we’re already riled up about it. Headlining is Usher, who will be backed by the Roots, fulfilling tradition.

Festival Pier, $96 resale

First Time’s the Charm

The festival will be back for its second day.


Jeff Tweedy and co. are playing a much-anticipated show at the Mann. Richard Thompson to open.

Mann Center, $29.50-$69.50

Liberty Lands Music Festival

An all-day fest that will have a flea market and a concert. The event will benefit Northern Liberties Neighbors, and per its Facebook, is boasting Vietnamese Cheesesteaks and a line-up of acts will play folk and 80s dance, among other sounds.

Free, Liberty Lands Park




Lincoln Financial Field; Oh, you know it’s sold out, but resale tix are available.

Cassie Owens is a reporter/curator for She was assistant editor at Next City and has contributed to Philadelphia City Paper, Metro, the Jewish Daily Forward, The Islamic Monthly and Spoke,...