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Music Festivals Provide Soundtrack to Summer


Here is a list of just a few of the many shows that already made a pit stop in Philadelphia and the many more to come all summer long.

Hometown hero Will Smith sang it best when he surprised the crowd at the Roots Picnic this past weekend: “Summer, summer, summer time/ time to sit back and unwind.” (No word if he visited West Philadelphia.)

With the welcoming of June, summer has unofficially officially started, and with that comes the allure of sitting outside at BB&T Pavilion or Festival Pier enjoying the sounds of summer.

Lucky for us, there are plenty of musical happenings going on all summer long, including a vast array of festivals, all sprinkled with a healthy dose of Jewish artists, as well.

So bust out your best flower crown (if you’re into that) and get ready for the festivities. Here is a list of just a few of the many shows that already made a pit stop in Philadelphia and the many more to come all summer long.

Roots Picnic

Coachella came and went back in April, but for those who couldn’t easily get to California, there are plenty of festivals going on a little closer to home.

Kicking it off, we had the ninth annual Roots Picnic at Festival Pier June 4 and 5 with what was sure to be a great lineup. Headliners included — besides, obviously, The Roots — Usher, Future and Leon Bridges.

Also making an appearance was Lil Dicky, a Jewish Cheltenham native born David Burd. The rapper-slash-comedian is probably most recognizable for his videos such as “Ex-Boyfriend” and “Save Dat Money.”

He was unavailable for comment before the festival.

Those in New York City can head to Bryant Park in October for a New York Roots Picnic, which will feature Jeremih, X Ambassadors, John Mayer, D’Angelo and more, which Roots drummer Questlove announced via Instagram on June 6.

Governors Ball

If you were heading to New York the weekend of June 3 to 5, you likely heard tons about Governors Ball NYC — or more affectionately referred to as just Gov Ball NYC — and you’ll also be hearing about how it’s one of the few festivals with female headliners, such as Haim.

Haim is made up of three Jewish sisters, Danielle, Este and Alana Haim. Watch for Este’s notorious “bass face” and listen for their cool, pop rock sound.

This festival, too, was cut short due to the inclement weather, but at least Haim got to play its set, as well as Beck.

Mountain Jam 2016

If more folksy, bluegrass, rock sounds are more your style than the head-throbbing EDM found at festivals like Coachella or Electric Daisy Carnival back in May, you might have been more into Mountain Jam up in — you guessed it — Hunter Mountain, N.Y. June 2 to 5.

There — had the rain not interrupted yet another festival  — you would have found the music of Brandi Carlile, Beck, Gary Clark Jr., Wilco, Houndmouth and the Avett Brothers, among many others.

Firefly Music Festival

Firefly is a local favorite. At just about one hour and a half’s drive, the four-day festival takes place in Dover, Del. from June 16 to 19 and will feature headliners such as folk-rock Englishmen Mumford and Sons, as well as Florence and the Machine.

Other acts will include St. Lucia, Kings of Leon, Ellie Goulding, Of Monsters and Men and even Ludacris.

Firefly is only going into its fifth year, but it has already brought on some huge artists. Past acts include Foo Fighters, Outkast, The Killers, John Legend, Red Hot Chili Peppers and tons of other big names.

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

The Manchester, Tenn., festival has a lineup well worth the trek this year should you want to, with plenty of bands and comedic acts that will please all ages.

It has past featured some — no offense intended here — older artists who have long been in the game such as Bruce Springsteen and Sir Paul McCartney (who also headlined Firefly in 2015), and this year is no exception.

In addition to acts such as Haim, Andra Day and Lord Huron, and comedians such as Saturday Night Live’s Vanessa Bayer and Pete Davidson, along with some M.O.T. performers such as Josh Rabinowitz and Judd Apatow, fans will get to hear some well-known headliners.

Pearl Jam and Dead and Company — featuring Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir with John Mayer who has stepped into Jerry Garcia’s big shoes — will bring their musical expertise to Bonnaroo. Dead and Company will be back in the area again playing BB&T Pavilion June 20.

XPoNential Music Fest

From July 22 to 24, head over to Wiggins Park for the 12th annual XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru and WXPN. This year, you’ll get to hear artists such as Father John Misty, The Felice Brothers, The Districts, Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band, and many more.

Following each day at Wiggins Park is a big performance a few steps away at BB&T Pavilion featuring Ryan Adams and The Shining, Kurt Vile and The Violators and Tommy Stinson on Friday; Alabama Shakes, Gary Clark, Jr. and Chicano Batman on Saturday; and Brandi Carlile, Old Crow Medicine Show and case/lang/veirs on Sunday.

Also performing at Wiggins Park is the fun and energetic rockers (and a favorite of President Barack Obama, who picked their song “Boozophilia” for his summer playlist in 2015) Low Cut Connie.

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