Philly Music Fest returns this October with 21 different acts across 7 days

This year’s festival will feature singer-songwriter Amos Lee as the headliner at World Cafe Live on Oct. 24.

Amos Lee in a field

Amos Lee will headline Philly Music Fest during his show at World Cafe Live on Oct. 24. (Courtesy of Philly Music Fest)

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Philly Music Fest returns this October, showcasing the best of the city’s music scene, including chart-toppers, emerging artists and the “pinnacle” of underground hip-hop.

From Oct. 21–27, the festival will feature 21 acts across multiple genres and stages throughout the metro area.

The lineup for Philly Music Fest 2024
The lineup for Philly Music Fest 2024. (Courtesy of Philly Music Fest)

Greg Seltzer, along with his wife Jenn, started the festival in 2017. It has provided platforms for the scene’s emerging artists over the years, including Alex G, Mannequin Pussy and Soul Glo. On top of this, the festival raises roughly $100,000 each year for local music education efforts.

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“I usually think about our donation to music education [as] teaching the kid that is going to play Philly Music Fest 10 years from now,” Seltzer said. “But we’re also giving opportunities to the opening bands this year — and maybe in four or five years, those opening bands are headliners.”

Singer-songwriter Amos Lee will headline the festival during his show at World Cafe Live on Oct. 24. Seltzer called Lee “one of Philadelphia’s most revered songwriters,” adding that the chart-topping artist is “very intentional about giving back to the community.”

“It was really the nonprofit angle and giving back to kids’ music education that facilitated his agreeing to play World Cafe Live,” Seltzer said. “Amos has some new music coming out that he’s very excited about … I’m really excited that he’s going to showcase a lot of these new tracks in Philly at a smaller venue, and more intimate than normal.”

Philly’s underground hip-hop scene will be represented by Reef The Lost Cauze, who will be celebrating his more than 20 years in the rap game with his performance at MilkBoy on Oct. 25. Seltzer called him the “pinnacle” of the scene, and the emcee said he’s been excited to play the festival since it began seven years ago.

Reef the Lost Cauze sits in a chair
Reef the Lost Cauze will perform at MilkBoy on Oct. 25 (Courtesy of Philly Music Fest)

“Any time you have something in your city called ‘Philly Music Fest,’ I imagine, if you’re from Chicago, New York, wherever they have a music fest named after the city, you want to feel like you would be a part of that, and I definitely feel excited to get called to do it,” Reef said.

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Reef was also humbled by the chance to perform at this year’s festival after hip-hip pioneer Schoolly D rocked the stage with Kurt Vile last year.

“Anything that I’m involved in with the city, I always remember the people that came before,” Reef said. “I always remember the legacies that they brought forth … Someone like that, myself being from West Philly, obviously he’s a giant and we’re more than happy to step up to the challenge of trying to not follow in his footsteps, I would say, but complement his footsteps.”

Tickets will be on sale at 10:00 a.m. this Friday through the event’s website. For the last four years, each show at the Philly Music Fest has sold out. Funds generated from the shows will go toward multiple music education projects within the region, including Rock to the Future, Settlement Music School and Girls Rock Philly.

Other artists scheduled to perform at this year’s festival include Sheer Mag and Slaughter Beach, Dog. Another headliner yet to be announced will perform at Ardmore Music Hall on Oct. 22. In 2022, indie rock band Mt. Joy was the festival’s surprise headliner.

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