The City of Philadelphia Gets Its Bluegrass Festival

Today, Philadelphia received news that The Mann Center for the Performing Arts will conclude its 2018 season with a one-day bluegrass festival on September 30 called Philly Bluegrass Revival, featuring The Infamous Stringdusters, Del & Dawg, Jeff Austin Band, and other top-tier bluegrass acts.

For decades, the Delaware Valley has been home to world-class outdoor acoustic music festivals such as the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival and the Philadelphia Folk Festival, each of which will bring some of the best bluegrass in the world to our area once again in 2018.

Still, for the past six years, urbanite Philadelphians have watched their neighbors to the south in Baltimore create the Charm City Bluegrass Festival, which has quickly become the nation’s poster child for an urban bluegrass festival. Seeing this development, many in the Philly bluegrass community have wondered: could a similar event could take place here in urban Philadelphia?

Unlike the Charm City Bluegrass Festival, which started small in 2013 through an Indiegogo campaign run by founders Phil Chorney and Jordan August, Philly’s festival has the full weight of AEG Presents behind it, and comes out of the gate with an absolutely stacked lineup of the biggest names in the business.

The Infamous Stringdusters will headline the first bluegrass festival at the Mann Center.

The festival also features local bluegrass, with Midnight Flyer scoring a main stage slot. “Sharing a stage with folks like Del McCoury, David Grisman, and Larry Keel is a huge honor,” said Midnight Flyer banjoist Andy Davis, “Seems like there is going to be something for everyone at the Skyline Stage on September 30.”

Today’s news comes on the heels of this month’s first annual Philly Beer Week festival at Heritage jazz club*, at which Midnight Flyer also performed, another marker of the growing strength of the scene in Philadelphia. “Midnight Flyer is proud to be playing traditional bluegrass and to be part of a growing bluegrass scene in Philly,” said Davis.


Midnight Flyer performs at the 1st annual Philly Beer Week bluegrass festival, June 10, 2018.

Tickets go on sale this Thursday, June 28 at noon at

Stay tuned for more about this big development in the Philly bluegrass scene.

* Disclosure: this event was organized by Philly Bluegrass.

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