For over four years the Radio 104.5 Summer Block Parties Series has called The Piazza at Schmidt’s its home. The 80,000 square foot open-air plaza has hosted popular artists and bands such as Cold War Kids, Grouplove, Matt & Kim and Alt-J garnering both widespread attention and attendance. The Summer Block Parties Series regularly attracted thousands of people to the plaza, which served as both a venue and apartment complex.
Clear Channel Media & Entertainment, the company responsible for the events, chose this year to relocate the concerts from their longstanding residence at The Piazza over to the waterfront at Penn’s Landing’s Festival Pier. The venue is considerably larger and in the past has hosted big events such as The Roots Picnic.
“Ultimately we needed more space for concertgoers to breathe,” Clear Channel’s Cory Council said. “Festival Pier is a great spot for shows, the neighborhood is vibrant and we expect a lot out of this summer’s series.”
The news of the move came alongside Festival Pier’s expansion and remodeling of their waterfront space. They plan to host food trucks with menus curated by Sampan chef Michael Schulson, along with a stretch of beach, boardwalk and sand dunes leading right up to the river. The beachside vibe is aimed at attracting maximized crowds for the summer 2014 concert season.
Fishtown resident Mary Lutz was a regular attendant of the Summer Block Party Series while it was hosted at The Piazza.
“I’m excited. [Festival Pier] seems like such a better spot to have big concerts and I’m happy that they’ll still be close enough for me to ride my bike there and home,” Lutz said.
The concert series is open to attendees of all ages and is free to the public. So far, Radio 104.5 has revealed headliners for each month’s tour while leaving other acts to be announced. Neon Trees, Grouplove, The Head and the Heart, KONGOS, Bear Hands and Alright Junior are all among the artists listed to make their way to the waterfront this summer.
– Text and images by Maddie Bates and Hayley Condon.