Cracker end the 2019 concert Series and Usher in the Reading Royals home opener

It’s a full on block party as Cracker lead Downtown Reading into the home opener of the Reading Royals.
The party begins at 3 p.m. in the 700 block of Penn Street on Saturday, October 19th. Local Band Talk Louder! performs at 3:30 p.m. with Cracker taking stage at 5:00 p.m.

Known for radio hits like “Low,” “Teen Angst,” and “Euro-Trash Girl,” Cracker have been rocking eardrums since 1990. Cracker mix influences and sounds from rock, punk, grunge, psychedelia, country, blues and folk. More than just the music, Cracker is a group of survivors. Cofounders David Lowery and John Hickman have been with Cracker through every iteration of the band and appear on all 10 studio albums.

Despite changes to the band and the music industry at large, Cracker continue to grow in popularity. Their double album, Berkley to Bakersfield, was able to capture the attention of both country and rock fans alike. Invoking the drive down the The Golden State coast, The Berkley album is influenced by punk and garage, while the Bakersfield album leans toward the band’s “California country” side.

The concerts block party atmosphere will be accompanied by food trucks, alcoholic beverages for adults and an expected appearance of Slapshot for kids. Vendors include Sly Fox, Pagoda Cafe, Mi Casa Su Casa, Sammy’s Steaks and French Fries, Santander Arena and the Reading Distilling Guild.



Since we added Southern Culture On The Skids to our schedule of concerts earlier this week, we’ve also added them to our Spotify playlist! Check it out here: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3E5w01jy64N5TxRVjihvo5 

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

The Downtown Alive free outdoor concert series is returning for the fifth consecutive year to Reading starting May 29! As always, you can expect 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.


Scroll down to see who’s performing!



500 Block of
Penn Street
Reading, PA, 19602



May 29 -- Go Go Gadjet & Black Caviar

June 19 — A Flock of Seagulls and Sloth Love Chunk

July 17 — Local H and Anthrophobia

August 14 — The Revolution and DJ Gregg Nyce and Evolution

September 18 — Southern Culture On The Skids

Mid-October — Date and Acts to be announced later




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Downtown Concert Series 2019


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It’s official! Go Go Gadjet & Black Caviar will kick off the concert series on May 29 in downtown Reading! The high-energy, locally-bred Go Go Gadjet opened the 2018 series to huge raves, so they’re back bigger and better than ever! The ever-popular band blends the rhythms of dance music with familiar melodies from the past and present. Go Go Gadjet believes imagery and music go hand in hand, so expect to see mind-blowing visuals at this show. Joining the band will be Black Caviar, the high-riding electronic dance duo comprised of Jarred Piccone, a Berks County native, and Troy Hinson, a former Kutztown resident. Black Caviar has been described as “one of dance music's most versatile producers, fusing elements of Chicago House and NYC Hip Hop, with a blend of New Orleans bounce and a twist of Latin rhythm.” This wildly popular DJ duo was involved with the award-winning soundtrack for the latest “Spiderman” movie – Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.


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Grammy winner A Flock of Seagulls will headline the June 19 Downtown Alive free outdoor concert!

A Flock of Seagulls made musical history as one of the trailblazing bands during the ‘80s new wave era. With hit singles such as “I Ran” and “Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You”), the group was started by Mike Score (lead vocals and keyboards) in 1980 in Liverpool, England. He was joined by his brother, Ali (drums), and Frank Mausley (bass), and guitarist Paul Reynolds was added a few months later.

Opening for A Flock of Seagulls will be local band Sloth Love Chunk, an ‘80s cover group.

July 17 : Local H

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Local H, an alt-rock duo known for its blistering live shows and pioneering two-piece band setup, features frontman Scott Lucas, who covers both guitar and bass (through an extra pick up in his guitar), and drummer Ryan Harding. Formed more than two decades ago, the band has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years, buoyed by global touring along with the release of some of their most critically acclaimed work to date. 

 Opening for Local H will be local alt-rock band Anthrophobia, which will be appearing with Local H at other shows on multiple dates this summer.


August 14 - The Revolution


The Revolution -- Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Coleman, Bobby Z, BrownMark, and Dr. Fink -- merges funk, rock n' roll, rhythm and blues, pop, and psychedelia genres. The band rose to international fame in the mid-1980s with Purple Rain, a rock operatic project centered on Prince that catapulted him and the group to instant stardom.

 The Revolution have achieved two number-one Billboard 200 albums (Purple Rain and Around the World in a Day), multiple top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and have won numerous awards, including three Grammys and three American Music Awards. The band officially disbanded in late 1986.

 Following Prince’s death in April 2016, The Revolution reunited to honor the musical genius that he instilled in them and upon the world. The band continues to pay tribute to Prince in the best way possible – playing the music they helped create with him.

 Opening for The Revolution will be the local DJ duo 3’s Co., featuring DJ Gregg Nyce and Evolution.

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September 18th : Southern Culture On the Skids

Southern Culture On The Skids has been spreading the rock and roll gospel since they formed in Chapel Hill, N.C. in1983. Guitarist/singer Rick Miller, drummer Dave Hartman and bassist/singer/heartbreaker Mary Huff “play a greasy mix of surf, rockabilly, R&B and country-fried garage with a side of psych,“ according to their Facebook page. “It’s a musical gumbo Miller calls ‘Americana from the wrong side of the tracks.’”

The band has toured everywhere from the North Carolina Prison System to Mt. Fuji, Japan and delivering what Rolling Stone calls “a hell raising rock and roll party.”

Opening for the September 18 show will be Drew & The Blue, Reading's very own popular surf/rockabilly trio. 


Cracker to Help Kick Off Reading Royals Home OPener Hockey game

The Downtown Alive free outdoor concert season will wrap up on Saturday, October 19 during the free block party that will kick off the Reading Royals hockey season. The party starts at 3 p.m. in the 700 block of Penn Street. Cracker will be the featured band with Talk Louder! as the opening act.

Cracker has been described as a lot of things over the years: alt-rock, Americana, insurgent-country, and have even had the terms punk and classic-rock thrown at them. But more than anything Cracker are survivors. Cofounders David Lowery and Johnny Hickman have been at it for over a quarter of a century – amassing 10 studio albums, multiple gold records, thousands of live performances, hit songs that are still in current radio rotation around the globe (“Low,” “Euro-Trash Girl,” “Get Off This” and “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out With Me” to name just a few), and a worldwide fan base – that despite the major sea-changes within the music industry – continues to grow each year.

Cracker‘s tenth and most recent studio effort, the acclaimed double-album, Berkeley To Bakersfield, finds this uniquely American band traversing two different sides of the California landscape – the northern Bay area and further down-state in Bakersfield.




Downtown Alive is a free outdoor concert series designed to support the revitalization of downtown Reading, Pennsylvania.  This concert series is produced by the Reading Downtown Improvement District. 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. 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, including:

  • Sly Fox Brewery

  • SMG/Santander Arena

  • Mi Casa Su Casa Cafe

  • Sammy's Steaks & French Fries

  • Brocmar Smokehouse

  • Reading Distilling Guild



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. Depending on the circumstances, we may be able to arrange to hold the concert indoors. If that occurs, we will try to give as much advance notice as possible of the change in location.

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 and beverages?

Sure! In addition, we will have food, beer and other alcoholic beverages 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.

Please note: While non-alcoholic beverages are permitted to be brought in from the outside, alcoholic beverages are prohibited and will be confiscated if discovered by security personnel.