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Veteran performers and rising young talent will share the spotlight during Philly Music Fest, kicking off October 9.
The non-profit festival, founded by Jenn and Greg Seltzer in 2017, highlights emerging and established artists within the city’s influential music scene. Not only does the festival lend a platform and provide paid work opportunities for local artists, but also benefits music education in Philadelphia.
“[We thought] that could be a really incredible cycle this city could benefit from,” Greg Seltzer said. “So in 5 to 10 years from now, you have these punk rock kids or these hip hop kids that have gotten a lot of education — [a] really solid education — outside of the school system, and they’ll be the next bands on the Philly Music Fest stage in 5 to 10 years so we’re really cultivating this kind of reinvestment in the music community.”
Indie rock icon Kurt Vile leads the festival with two sold-out shows at Ardmore Music Hall on October 9 and 10. The first of which will also feature Philly’s very own Schoolly D, who’s regarded as the originator of gangsta rap, influencing legendary MCs, such as Ice-T.
Schoolly D said when he got the call to perform at the festival, he took the opportunity without thinking about it, saying Philly’s music scene is often “overlooked.”
Schoolly D will be performing on October 9 at Ardmore Music Hall for this year’s Philly Music Fest. Here he is pictured at his home studio with one of his completed art pieces on Sep. 28, 2023. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)
“Philly is the best place to learn to become who you are,” Schoolly D said. “Philly is very special in that way and another thing, I think every rock’n’roll band or every soul band has somebody from Philly that tours the world.”
The Seltzer’s said they wanted the lineup to reflect the diversity of talent Philadelphia has to offer and were ecstatic when Schoolly D accepted the offer to perform.
“You take a look at the bill, you’re going to see rock, you’re going to see hip-hop, you’re going to see jazz, you’re going to see singer-songwriters,” Seltzer said. “What we’re trying to do is have people come out and get a real cross-section of flavor of all of the music in this city.”
“Good music is just good music,” Schoolly said. “If we don’t gather each other, the audience is not going to get together.”