Union Transfer is a joint collaboration of Four Corners Management, R5 Productions and The Bowery Presents. Housed in a historic brick structure dating back to 1889, this music venue opened in 2011 and is now among the prominent concert spaces in town. It features three fully equipped bars and a few concession stands. Most of their shows are for all ages. Some of their previous listings are Metermaids, Jello Biafra, The Antlers, Mischief Brew, Sage Francis and Guantanamo School of Medicine.
Sit on the sloping lawn or in the reserved boxes under the high shed awning. Pick up a drink or some food from the stalls by the back fence—everything from hot dogs to a full-course salmon dinner served by waiters. This outdoor stage is the summer home to the Philadelphia Orchestra, plus a schedule of jazz, rock, big band, the Philly Pops, opera, theatre, and dance. The acoustics can be unreliable and Philadelphia's erratic weather can be a problem, but you can sit in Fairmount Park, hear a good show, and look at the soft night lights of the downtown skyline.
One of the city's most unique parks and outdoor spaces, Race Street Pier stands close to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, jutting out into the Delaware River. Manicured lawns cover one part of the pier, while a beautiful raised promenade occupies the rest of the space. From joggers in the morning to picnicking families and tourists looking for some calm by the river, the park sees a lot of visitors throughout the day, and is an excellent bet for people-watching. Panoramic vistas of the city make it a favorite hangout for photographers. Check website for more.
This has been the jewel of the Philadelphia culture scene since it opened in 1857. The simple brick Federalist exterior opens into an ornate interior—art deco lamps, velvet cushions, and possibly the largest chandelier on the East Coast. The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the opera and the occasional pop show have performed at the academy. There is some criticism about the acoustics and sight lines, but none of this matters. This is where the big shows are.
The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is the new home of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Accommodated within the center is Verizon Hall for orchestral presentations, the Perelman Theater for chamber music concerts, Innovation Studio and the Merck Arts Education Center. A variety of Philadelphia's performing arts groups serve as resident companies, presenting their artistry each season along with performances by visiting guest artists and ensembles.
Franklin Music Hall, formerly known as The Electric Factory, has built a reputation for showcasing the best of rock, electronic and pop music. If a band has toured the East Coast they are likely to have performed here. Top classic rock artists like Neil Young and Blue Oyster Cult have performed here in the past. It is a great place to check out the local music scene. Private parties can also be held at this dynamic venue.
Fort Tender is not a fortress but a concert and DIY venue in the city. Only those in the know are aware of its location. Some of their previous listings are Heller Wahn, Planning for Burial and Anthro Rex.
As the largest fully-functioning pipe organ in the world, the Wanamaker Organ has serenaded visitors to the Wanamaker Building with special concerts since 1911. Although ownership of the building has since changed over to Macy's, the organ can still be viewed and heard in all its splendor. The Wanamaker Organ is played at least twice daily Monday through Saturday, so be sure to stop by and hear it in person.
Milkboy was established as a recording company in 1994 and was later transformed into a restaurant in 2006. In 2011, it was relocated to the present address which is now a full-time bar, restaurant as well as an event venue. Enjoy shows performed by local artists in genres of music and theater. Tease your taste buds with delicious dishes such as Applewood Smoked Turkey, Hangover Burger accompanied with drinks like beer and creative cocktails.
Modern classic titles such as "Cats," "Beauty and the Beast," and "A Chorus Line" commonly grace the marquee of the Forrest Theater. When these critically acclaimed, American staples of the theater world hit the road; the Forrest Theater is always the first stop. 1800 patrons can enjoy the performances in plush, comfortable seats. Be sure to make a stop at one of the excellent restaurants in the Walnut Street district before taking in a show.