The annual Philly Fourth of July Jam announced today it is partnering with VH1 for exclusive broadcast, digital and live streaming rights. The concert will be available to viewers nationwide through live broadcast on VH1 and high-definition music channel Palladia and live streaming on VH1.com.
The Philly Fourth of July Jam, America's largest free concert, is the highlight of the weeklong WAWA Welcome America Festival, which regularly draws crowds of 500-600,000 to Ben Franklin Parkway over the past 20 years with a full scale fireworks display following the final performance.
The deal was negotiated by Shawn Gee, manager of The Roots and Jill Scott and head of touring for Blueprint Group and Scott Mirkin, the fest's longtime executive producer.
2012's Philly Fourth of July Jam line-up. }
Shawn Gee, The Roots members Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson and Tarik "Black Thought" Trotter, became executive producers of the festival in 2010, joining Scott Mirkin and Geoff Gordon, President, Mid-Atlantic of Live Nation. Under the leadership of the executive team, many changes to the show were implemented, such as changing the concert format from a traditional opening, support and headline act format to that of a two hour long, multi-artist, multi-genre jam session The Roots as house band.
The Philly Fourth of July Jam has featured a wide range of music over the years, including: Elton John, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Jonas Brothers, Lionel Richie, John Legend, Sara Bareilles, Queen Latifah, Common, Lauryn Hill and others.
"We are excited to partner with VH1 for this extraordinary concert," said Shawn Gee in a statement. I've worked in the past with Rick Krim, Lee Rolontz, Ben Zurier and the VH1 team as a producer on VH1's Divas and Hip Hop Honors shows, and I couldn't think of better partners to present the Fourth of July Jam to the world. As a native Philadelphian, I may be a bit biased, but it's only natural, given the historical significance, and the musical relevance, that Philly own the Fourth of July holiday…it's only right that the world gets to see the Largest Free Concert in America, even if from the comfort of home."
Tom Calderone, President of VH1 and Palladia, added: "We are plussing the 4th of July holiday for our VH1 viewers with simply one of the best and biggest concerts of the summer. We are so looking forward to sharing the city's musical and historic heritage for all the music lovers around the entire country to enjoy."
The Philly Fourth of July Jam executive team will work alongside VH1/Palladia on talent booking. A formal line-up announcement with additional details will be made in spring
Philadelphia's other summer music festivals include The Roots Picnic and Jay-Z's Made in America Festival.
The Philly Fourth of July Jam regularly draws crowds of
500-600,000 to Ben Franklin Parkway
(Courtesy Scott Mirkin and Shawn Gee)