9 concert events to check out in the borough this summer
I don’t know if you have been keeping track but there are roughly 27 concerts planned for this summer. I’m kidding, but by my count, there are nine which is still a lot. To keep it all straight here is your month-by-month guide to easy listening.
May 21 – Porchfest: West Chester’s newest concert event is generating a lot of buzz (and social shares.) A joint production between the West Chester Green Team and West Chester Mayor Lillian DeBaptiste, the May 21 concert series consists of 53 performances on 31 porches – give or take last minute finetuning. The idea, as I understand it, is to wander the borough’s southwest quadrant (most events take place on W. Union, Dean, and W. Miner Streets with a couple of stops on S. New and S. Church Streets.) listening to music and chatting with neighbors. Union Street will be closed to traffic from Darlington Street to Bradford Avenue as will the 400, 500, and 600 blocks of Dean Street. Music is planned from 1 – 7 p.m.
Each musician or group will play for 45 minutes. You are welcome to bring a chair or blanket to your destination. Some homeowners may even have chairs set up for you. There will also be food trucks, dance performances, and a children’s area.
Come and be prepared to go with the flow. It’s a bit of come and see this year. “We’ll see this year how it works out. It is a trial run,” says Green Team President Margaret Hudgings.
Still not convinced? West Chester is not a pioneer here. The first Porchfest was held in Ithaca, NY in 2007. Princeton gave it a try in April. West Philly has been holding one since 2016. There is even a Wikipedia page documenting their growth.
Move to June and you have even more options, including a rescheduled Turk’s Head Music Festival and the first of West Chester’s Concert in the Park Series.
June 5 – Turk’s Head Music Festival: In its 39th summer the Turk’s Head Music Festival is finally getting a reprieve from the worst of the summer heat. Typically planned for the absolute hottest day of the summer. It’s been moved up a month and a half this year to the beginning of June. Mark your calendar for June 5, music is scheduled for 12 to 7 p.m.
June 21 – Fete de la Musique: Another new event planned for June is downtown’s “Fete de la Musique,” a busking festival planned for the summer solstice. The worldwide festival invites local musicians to play on street corners the globe over, a celebration of the arts. This is West Chester’s first year participating but the Business Improvement District has been actively recruiting musicians to help usher in the summer. Check it out on Tuesday, June 21, 12 – 9 p.m.
June 16 – Music at Marshall, Marshall Square Park: Efficiently titled “Music at Marshall,” Marshall Square Park brought West Chester its first regular park concert series more than a decade ago. Now it is back and even bigger in 2022. “After skyrocketing turnout in 2021, we have increased to four performances instead of three,” Friends of Marshall Square Park shared in their event announcement. Kicking the series off in June is Back2Life which is returning after several years. In addition to music, there will be three food trucks and one dessert truck at each performance. Food trucks arrive at 5 p.m. Music begins at 6:30 p.m. If it rains, and it sometimes does, the performance will take place the following week.
June 30 – Concert in the Park, Hoopes Park: Also back this year, West Chester’s concert in the park series. In addition to the performances at Marshall Square Park, there will be concerts at Hoopes, Everhart, and Greenfield Park. Up first, Hoopes Park on June 30 at 6:30 p.m.
July 7 – Concert in the Park, Marshall Square Park: Keep that rocking Fourth of July vibe with Chico’s Vibe, the second of four concerts in this year’s Music at Marshall series. In addition to music, each event will offer a selection of food trucks so bring a blanket and a drink and make an evening of it. Music starts at 6:30 p.m. Food trucks arrive at 5 p.m. If it rains, and it often does in the summer, the rain date will be the following week.
July 14 – Concert in the Park, Everhart Park: Part of West Chester’s Concert in the Park series, Everhart will hold a concert event on July 14, 6:30 p.m. Bring your blanket, some chairs and a snack – although there will likely be Food Trucks if you don’t want to pack.
July 28 – Concert in the Park, Marshall Square Park: Rocking Marshall Square Park in late July will be the Fabulous Greaseband. In addition to music, each event will offer a selection of food trucks and of course, access to the park’s playground and hoops area for stir-crazy kids. Music starts at 6:30 p.m. Food trucks arrive at 5 p.m. Note, the rain date will be the following week.
August 11 – Concert in the Park, Greenfield Park: New location alert! Part of West Chester’s Concert in the Park series, new this year, a concert event on August 11 in Greenfield Park off of S. Franklin Street. Bring your blanket, some chairs and a snack – although, there will likely be food trucks if you don’t want to pack. Music starts at 6:30 p.m.
August 18 – Concert in the Park, Marshall Square Park: Closing down West Chester’s packed musical calendar will be the wonderful Sin Brothers at Marshall Square Park on August 18. Food trucks arrive at 5 p.m. Music starts at 6:30 p.m. Rain date, if needed, will be the following Thursday.
After a few years of paused and cancelled events, it seems this is the year West Chester is ready to reengage – and I personally, cannot wait!
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