Downtown Alive will return this summer with free concerts in Reading, PA!

The Downtown Alive free outdoor concert series 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
Penn Street
Reading, PA, 19602



June 20 -- Go Go Gadjet

July 18 -- TBA

August 15 -- TBA

September 12 -- TBA

September 19 -- TBA



Go Go Gadjet band photo 1.jpg

It’s official! Go Go Gadjet will kick off our free Downtown Alive outdoor 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.



Sugar Hill Gang logo color.jpg
Nova 2.jpg


Armed with the hits “Rapper's Delight”, “8th Wonder”, “Apache” and “Jump On It', 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.

Negotiations are being finalized with performers for the other three concerts scheduled this summer. Those acts will be announced in the coming weeks. Here are tentative dates for the other concerts:

· Wednesday, July 18

· Wednesday, September 12

· Wednesday, September 19

We'll also be announcing soon the food and beverage vendors we'll have lined up for the shows. Stay tuned!




Downtown Alive is a free outdoor concert series designed to support the revitalization of downtown Reading, Pennsylvania.  This concert series is funded by Berks County Community Foundation and Berks County Convention Center and produced with the help of the Reading Downtown Improvement District in partnership with Illusion Sound & Lighting. 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 prime sponsor of the series, Savage 61 Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram is the stage sponsor, and 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 food vendors, beer and wine for sale, and a summer festival ambiance.


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
  • GoPros

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.