Organized by local husband and wife team, Greg and Jenn Seltzer, the non-profit Philly Music Fest will feature Mannequin Pussy, Low Cut Connie, Ron Gallo, Screaming Females, Shamir, Empath and more. A surprise national headliner will be announced for the festival in the coming days.
“Our genre is Philly,” says Greg Seltzer, noting that the festival features jazz, rock, hip hop, punk, bluegrass, folk, spoken word and Americana artists. Since its inception, PMF has donated $275,000 to local musical education programs and artists in need, after paying all venues and artists to perform at the festival.
Philly Music Fest focuses on emerging, up and coming bands from Philadelphia and will also feature Saleka, Electric Candlelight, Lady HD, Kayleigh Goldsworthy, Ghosh, Echo Kid, Max Swan, Stereo League, Marielle Kraft, Riverby, The Ire, Justmadnice and Perpetual Motion.
“It’s really cool to see how Philly Music Fest has grown,” says Adam Weiner, whose band Low Cut Connie returns to PMF as a headliner after playing a much smaller Philly Music Fest in 2018. “They are doing great work and I hope it continues. Music education gives kids a lifeline that they can cling to throughout their lives, and I am very happy to be participating in this festival and echo its mission.”
“Inspiring new generations of artists is what helps keep music and music scenes alive – the work that PMF is doing is so important to our community and to the people who have been unable to work and perform over the last two years,” says Mannequin Pussy’s Missy Dabice. “Philly is so lucky to have a festival that is so supportive of local talent.”
Philly Music Fest’s impact has grown each year. In 2017, the non-profit donated $15,000 to music education programs. In 2018, the total increased to $25,000, then $40,000 in 2019, $50,000 in 2020 and $75,000 in 2021. Programs that receive donations include Rock to the Future, Girls Rock Philly, Settlement Music School, Musicopia, Beyond the Bars, Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Live Connections, and Play on Philly. In addition to the donations directed to music programs for kids, PMF deployed over 330 micro-grants in 2020 and 2021 to local musicians and venue staff struggling as a result of COVID-19.
Evidencing the positive impact on local bands, Jill Ryan of Great Time recalls, “Philly Music Fest was the first music festival Great Time ever played and it felt good to participate in something that’s purpose was to uplift fellow up-and-coming acts as well as more established artists.”
Great Time played PMF in 2018 and this year the band is playing Peach Fest as well as headlining Brooklyn Bowl, after playing WXPN’s XPoNential Festival in 2021.
“I love that PMF donates proceeds to support local organizations that provide music lessons and opportunities to kids in the area. And the fact that these shows take place in independently owned venues around the city is awesome.”