Downtown Alive will return this summer with free concerts in Reading, PA!
The Downtown Alive free outdoor concert series presented by Weidenhammer is returning for the fourth time to Reading starting in June. The series will feature a dynamic lineup of performers from varying musical genres.
Each concert will feature a festival atmosphere and include food trucks, beer and wine for sale. All shows will be held in the 500 block of Penn Street and start at 5 p.m.
500 Block of
Reading, PA, 19602
June 20 -- Go Go Gadjet
July 18 -- The Magpie Salute and special guest Flux Capacitor
August 15 -- Sugar Hill Gang and special guest Nova
September 12 -- Los Monstros & PA Mambo Orchestra with Manny C
September 19 -- Galactic Empire
ALL SHOWS START AT 5 PM
OUR OPENING SHOW ON JUNE 20 – GO GO GADJET!
It’s official! Go Go Gadjet will kick off the concert series on June 20 in downtown Reading! The high-energy, locally-bred band blends the rhythms of dance music with familiar melodies from the past and present. Known for its ever-morphing visual display, Go Go Gadjet believes imagery and music go hand in hand. Witness for yourself on June 20 in the 500 block of Penn Street! Opening for the band will be Glassbeard, a duo comprised of DJ Aaron Miller and drummer Evan Kirkley, who have been carving out their own place in the Dance Music World.
TAKING WING ON JULY 18 -- THE MAGPIE SALUTE!
WITH SPECIAL GUEST FLUX CAPACITOR
The Magpie Salute is an exciting new band that features musicians who have played together for decades throughout various projects and share a musical bond. The band brings Rich Robinson, the guitarist and co-founding member of The Black Crowes, together with two key members of Crowes fame -- guitarist Marc Ford and bassist Sven Pipien -- alongside drummer Joe Magistro, keyboardist Matt Slocum and lead singer John Hogg (Hookah Brown, Moke).
Following close to 80 appearances over the course of 2017, The Magpie Salute entered Dark Horse Studios in Nashville this past winter to record their debut release of original repertoire. That album will be released late-summer. The band’s performance at Downtown Alive on July 18 will feature these new songs alongside others culled from a catalog of over 200 compositions the band has played since their inception.
SUGAR HILL GANG & NOVA COMING ON AUGUST 15!
Armed with the hits “Rapper's Delight”, “8th Wonder”, “Apache” and more, Sugar Hill Gang will have downtown Reading rocking during the August 15 free concert. Opening the show will be Reading’s own up-and-coming rapper NOVA, along with 3’s Co.’s DJ Gregg Nyce and Evolution.
Sugar Hill Gang, known as the first nationally popular African American hip-hop group, comprised three members: Mike Wright (Wonder Mike), Henry Jackson (Big Bank Hank), and Guy O’ Brien (Master Gee), all from Englewood, N.J. The group is best known for its 1979 hit single, “Rapper’s Delight,” which was also the first hip hop single to rank in the top 40 hits and to become part of a multi-platinum-selling album.
The song is also credited with popularizing hip hop as a new musical genre. In 1979 they became the first hip hop group to perform on American Bandstand. At the time “Rapper’s Delight” was ranked No. 36 on the U.S. pop chart and No. 4 on the rhythm & blues chart. The song eventually went on to sell over 2 million copies, and became the highest selling 12-inch single ever. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it No. 248 of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Julio Franceschi Jr. of Reading is professionally known as "NOVA". He began performing at various community events and won several school talent shows in his early teens. In 2016, he was selected to participate in Season 3 of Lifetime Network’s hit television show "The Rap Game", produced and executive produced by Queen Latifah and Jermaine Dupri. Over the course of the 13-week show, NOVA survived several competitive challenges and went on to win the coveted title.
Galactic Empire Will Blast Onto The Scene September 19!
Here’s the official bio for Galactic Empire:
Not all that long ago in a galaxy not all that far away… A band the likes of which the universe had never seen was formed for one purpose – to create an unstoppable musical “force” known as Galactic Empire.
By reinterpreting classic selections from legendary composer John Williams’ iconic scores from the Star Wars saga into guitar driven heavy metal, Galactic Empire has created a musical juggernaut feared in many systems.
Comprised of some of the most infamous and feared villains in the galaxy – lead guitarist Dark Vader, drummer Boba Sett, guitarists Red Guard and Kyle Ren, and bassist Bass Commander – Galactic Empire’s commitment to their mission is unparalleled.
From a foreboding rendition of “The Imperial March” to the sweeping guitars of “Duel of the Fates,” the band’s faithful translations of Williams’ classic scores has created a new “force” where fandom and music overlap.
The band is on social media at: Facebook/Instagram: @galacticempireofficial
To be announced soon -- details about our show on September 12.
Downtown Alive presented by Weidenhammer is a free outdoor concert series designed to support the revitalization of downtown Reading, Pennsylvania. This concert series is produced with the help of the Reading Downtown Improvement District in partnership with Illusion Sound & Lighting and Red Tie Affairs. The series focuses on generating lively events, bringing commerce and new business in order to create a vibrant downtown. Downtown Alive provides an exciting atmosphere for the community to enjoy.
Major funding for the concerts is provided by Berks County Community Foundation and Berks County Convention Center Authority, and Weidenhammer is the Platinum Sponsor of the series. Greater Reading Chamber Alliance is another significant sponsor. The DoubleTree by Hilton hotel is the hospitality sponsor. Free parking is provided by the Reading Parking Authority.
These concerts are free of charge and are adding to the growing momentum of activity in downtown Reading. Each concert features a summer festival ambiance and a wide variety of food and beverage vendors. They include:
- Sly Fox Brewery
- Calvaresi Winery
- Reading Distilling Guild
- SMG/Santander Arena
- Mi Casa Su Casa
- Sammy's Steaks
- Brocmar Smokehouse
- Aaron's Tacos
- Sweet Ride Ice Cream
Where are the Downtown Alive concerts held?
Downtown Alive concerts are held in the 500 block of Penn Street in Reading, Pennsylvania. The block is closed off to vehicular traffic for each concert.
Where can I park?
Thanks to the Reading Parking Authority, free parking will be available in the 4th and Cherry Street garage starting at 4 pm. the day of each concert. Most other Parking Authority rules apply.
Where will I be standing to watch the show?
The stage is at Sixth Street and Penn Streets facing west (toward the Penn Street Bridge and West Reading). The fans will be in the 500 block of Penn Street, facing east away from the sun.
What if it rains?
The concerts will take place rain or shine. Only severe thunderstorms would delay or force cancellation of the shows.
How do I buy tickets?
You don’t have to! Each concert is free and open to the public.
Is the concert series family friendly?
Of course! All concerts are open to all ages.
Can I bring my dog to Downtown Alive since it is outside?
Come on down with your dog, but remember that you are responsible for how they interact with other people.
Are there prohibited items at the shows?
Yes The following items are prohibited at all Downtown Alive concerts:
- Guns, knives or weapons of any kind
- Laser pointers
- Selfie sticks
Can I bring my own food?
Sure! In addition, we will have food, beer and wine available for purchase from food trucks and stands on site. And several stand-alone restaurants downtown will also be open for your convenience during the concerts.