Blue Robot

A Guide for the Summer Concert Season

Posted by Brandon Vesely on 06/03 at 05:40 PM

The weather is warming up and so is the summer concert season.  There are enough festivals and national tours stopping in Pennsylvania and the surrounding states to suit pretty much any music taste. Here’s a guide to help you wade through the overwhelming list of musical events to check out this summer:

Equifunk: Equifunk is a diverse music festival held each year at camps Equinunk and Blue Ridge in the Poconos, and its organizers pride themselves in creating a vibrant, positive atmosphere for both audiences and performers. This year Equifunk runs from August 16-18 and the lineup includes a comfortable amount of lesser-known artists from a variety of genres with a sprinkling of larger names like Boombox and the B3’s. This festival is a great way to discover new artists and musical genres and also offers access to camp facilities, three meals per day, and unlimited beer. Be sure to check out their website for tickets or more information.

Mixtape Festival 2013: The second annual MixTape Festival will be held in Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, PA on Friday July 26 through Saturday July 27. Unlike Equifunk and other grassroots festivals, this event primarily features big-name acts from the pop, country and hip-hop genres. As you might expect, tickets are pricey, but you get what you pay for - the event’s chart-topping artists include Train, New Kids on the Block, OneRepublic, The Script, and TLC with their modified lineup. Check out the website for tickets or info.

Made in America: Made in America, another festival with big names, will be held at Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia from Saturday August 31 through Sunday September 1. The event is named after the popular song by rap icon Jay-Z, who plays MC throughout the two-day-long festival and headlines the event. Unlike MixTape, which primarily features prominent pop artists, Made in America strives to recruit a diverse set of artists from a variety of genres including rock, rap, and electronic. Some of the bands I’m interested in seeing at Made in America are Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Walk the Moon, Kendrick Lamar, and Beyoncé. For more information, check out their website or follow them on Twitter.

Musikfest: Founded in 1984, this annual 10-day festival is held in Bethlehem and is often designated as the largest ungated music festival in the country. The festival utilizes many of downtown Bethlehem’s concert venues in addition to public parks and plazas, and virtually takes over the city for most of its duration. The massive event offers performances from local and up-and-coming bands free of charge, and features a nationally touring artist at its premium stage each night of the festival. (Unfortunately, tickets to see these big-name artists are not free.) The festival accommodates a variety of genres and musical interests and this year’s notable headliners include Ke$ha, Avenged Sevenfold, Carly Rae Jepson, and country singer Darius Rucker. Check out the festival’s website for more info or to plan out your trip.

The Peach Music Festival: If modern music isn’t your cup of tea, check out the Allman Brothers Band’s Peach Music Festival in Scranton, Pa. from August 15 through August 18. Unlike other festivals that tend to spotlight emerging artists and genres, this event has a distinctly southern rock feel. The Allman Brothers Band headline two nights of nights of the event and the lineup includes veteran rockers like The Black Crowes and Rusted Root in addition to jazz, bluegrass, and brass groups. To learn more about the festival or investigate lodging options, check out their website.

In addition to festivals, there’s quite a few nationally touring groups making stops in Pennsylvania this summer. Here’s a few that I’m excited to see:

Passion Pit: The indie rock group will be playing Pittsburgh’s Stage AE on June 6 with another of my favorite groups, Cults. Passion Pit shows are a blast. The music and visual effects are fantastic, and the crowd is always upbeat and lively.

Listen to fans sing along to “Sleepyhead” at a 2012 concert in London:

The National: With the release of their highly acclaimed new album, Trouble Will Find Me, The National has quickly become a heavyweight in the alternative/indie scene, and I’m looking forward to attending one of their shows for the first time this summer. Their music blends acoustic guitar and keyboard work and Matt Beringer’s deep, brooding vocals to create folk-indie that is memorable and interesting. Check them out on June 7 at the Mann Center in Philadelphia or on June 11 at Stage AE in Pittsburgh.

Muse: Muse is one of my favorite artists of all time and I’m ecstatic that they’ll be performing at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh on September 8 and at the Wells Fargo Center in Philly on September 9. Their live shows are captivating and theatrical, and the exemplary musicianship and creativity displayed in their studio work undoubtedly carries over to their live performances.

Watch their fantastic performance at the itunes Festival in 2012:

Hopefully this guide will help you map out your summer concert schedule and ensure that you don’t miss an opportunity to see a favorite artist or discover a new one!

For an exhaustive list of musical events in Pennsylvania, check out

{name} Author: Brandon Vesely
Bio: Brandon Vesely is originally from the Pittsburgh area and is currently a junior majoring in Public Relations and Spanish at Penn State. In his free time he enjoys reading, writing, biking, and spending time outdoors. His musical interests are wide-ranging and include a variety of alternative genres including post-hardcore, indie, noise pop, and pop punk. Some of his favorite artists are Bayside, Yeasayer, Phantogram, and Fireworks.


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