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Firefly Music Festival, Chris Rock, 022 Fest – WHYY

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Mary J. Blige performs during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 56 football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
September ends on an upbeat note as the inaugural Philly Arts & Music Fest kicks off, the Fringe Festival continues with new works, the Firefly Music Festival drops into Dover with Halsey and Dua Lipa, and in New Jersey, a popular brewfest is the main attraction in Glassboro.


Firefly Music Festival

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Delaware’s biggest music festival returns with headliners Halsey, My Chemical Romance, Green Day, and Dua Lipa. The festival, which includes a camping option and feature-filled VIP options, takes place on the grounds of the Dover International Speedway. General camping is for up to five people with a tent and a car/SUV; general RV camping allows up to eight people. There are also ‘glamping’ packages for a more upscale experience. Also performing — Avril Lavigne, Charli XCX, Big Sean, T Pain, Willow, Yung Bae, Oh He Dead, Manchester Orchestra, Princess Nokia, and more.

  • What: Music festival
  • Where: The Woodlands, 1131 N. Dupont Hwy. Dover, Del.
  • When: Thursday, Sept. 22 – Sunday, Sept. 25
  • How much: $129 and up

New Jersey

Glassboro Craft Beer Festival

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Over 100 local beers will be on sale at the ninth annual South Jersey event, which attracts a pretty good crowd to Glassboro’s Town Square. Food and art vendors will be on hand, as will South Jersey’s own Grassn’gravel band. While 21 and over adults are welcome to attend and there’s a non-drinker/designated driver admission, no pets, children, or outside food or beverages are allowed. Most of the participating breweries from last year are back along with some new ones.
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The free, kid-friendly fest is happening at both Penn’s Landing and Camden, N.J.’s Wiggins Park to accommodate people on both sides of the river. Activities include arts and crafts, face painting, ferry rides, a scavenger hunt, games and prizes, and environmental exhibitors, including the Philadelphia Water Department, North Camden Community Gardens, the Delaware River Basin Commission, UrbanPromise, and more. (Different organizations are on each side of the river so check first if there’s one you particularly want to interact with.) On the Jersey side, you can also take a one-hour sail on a tall ship, but that is separately ticketed.

One of Philadelphia’s most beautiful and historic neighborhoods is hosting a party over several of its scenic blocks. Chestnut Hill’s 38th annual Fall for The Arts Festival showcases artists and their work at this popular annual event. Over 100 food and crafts vendors will also be competing for your time and dollars. A Maker’s Village showcases artisans demonstrating their process, a sustainability hub includes speakers and organizations combating waste and climate change and a Fun Fest with kid-specific activities is going on at Jenks Elementary School.

Cannabis has moved from controversial to legal in many states, although federal laws still lag behind. Adherents will celebrate their new freedoms, presumably with varying versions of the plant, at the second annual Canna Fest. Food, drink, and merchandise vendors will offer cannabis-related wares along with games and activities. There are several more similarly-themed festivals coming to the area this fall, so look out for those if you’re inclined.

Upper Darby hosts its fifth annual international festival with food and arts vendors as well as live music. More than 85,000 people call Upper Darby home and Delco Township is one of the area’s most diverse communities with over 100 languages spoken. There will be two stages of performances reflecting the rich cultures of area residents and a Parade of Flags to highlight all the different countries they come from. Note: the Five Points intersection will be closed to vehicular traffic during the festival.

Retired upscale shoe designer and Wharton graduate Stuart Weitzman has made a living designing shoes for fashion-savvy celebrities like Beyoncé, Gigi Hadid, Blake Lively, and just about every woman who’s ever graced a Hollywood red carpet. It’s obviously been lucrative, as Weitzman has also lent his money and name to buildings at the University of Pennsylvania and to the former Museum of American Jewish History in Old City. His personal collection of historic shoes is now a museum exhibit. “Walk This Way” is made up of over 100 pairs collected by Weitzman and his wife, Jane Gershon Weitzman, whose shoe closet must be world-class.
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Most of us can’t say we’ve been to the movies with an astrophysicist, but if you’ve seen Neil deGrasse Tyson on his first movie-related tour, maybe you can. The renowned scientist is offering his educated take on a new set of films, including “Mary Poppins,” “The Wizard of Oz” and the “Harry Potter” series, and explains the science in TV shows and films that you may not have thought had a scientific component. Author, podcast host, and longtime director of the Hayden Planetarium, Tyson just released a book “Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization” that provides a scientific view of today’s hot-button topics including race, politics, religion, gender, and war.
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Opera Philadelphia presents its first in-person fall festival since 2019 with selections dear to opera fans. Productions of “The Raven” and “Otello” as well as performances from the Bearded Ladies Cabaret and screenings of 20 opera-related films are part of the celebratory fest. While “The Raven” has mostly sold out all of its shows, “Otello” still has tickets available. The production marks the U.S. debut of South African tenor Khanyiso Gwenxane, who plays the title role.
Author, scholar, and activist bell hooks was among the early Black feminist heroines who wrote more than 35 books, including children’s books, in her storied and lengthy career. Born Gloria Watkins, the Kentucky native was an early proponent of intersectionality, which considers the links between various forms of discrimination. Though hooks died of kidney failure in 2021, her work is considered essential for understanding race, gender and class divides, especially as it relates to Black women.  Uncle Bobbie’s Bookstore, owned by author and educator Marc Lamont Hill is hosting a symposium on hooks’ life and work. Hill is moderating and will be joined by panelists including Duke professor Mark Anthony Neal, Kindred the Family Soul’s Aja Graydon, Spelman professor Beverly Guy-Sheftall, and more.
The R&B/soul musician D’Angelo has inspired many things – including other musicians, love affairs, and likely, some babies being born. Choreographer Kyle Abraham who received the 2013 Macarthur “Genius” Fellowship, was inspired enough to create a dance performance based solely on D’Angelo’s music. Abraham founded A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham in 2016, creating 15 original works and touring worldwide. The piece is intended to celebrate both self-love and Black love through the lens of community, family, and culture and includes a soundtrack that reflects it all.
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Though Puerto Rico was named a U.S. territory in 1917, residents of the island and those who live on the mainland have their own unique culture. Puerto Ricans can claim Spanish, African and Indian heritage and have drawn their food, culture, and music from all of those backgrounds. Organized by Concilio, the oldest Latin American organization in Philadelphia, the parade celebrates those traditions with participation from youth and community groups and Latin-American celebrities and musicians. This year’s theme is “The Puerto Rican Dreamers.”

On this and every fourth Friday through 2023, the Our House Cultural Center hosts a group art exhibit focused on the work of local artists of color. Wine and refreshments will be provided, accompanied by a playlist curated by guests. September’s featured artists include Dayja Chaney and Keshida Layone. All the artwork will be for sale at the event. The show was organized in conjunction with the Germantown ArtHaus, a non-profit community art center founded to encourage artistic expression in a safe, creative space.
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It’s officially fall, which means it’s officially fall festival time. That also means Oktoberfest beers and brews will be popping up everywhere. They pop up this weekend in Philly at the Frankford Fall FeastivALE, on Frankford Ave. from Girard to Columbia. Usually held in the spring, the renamed FeastivALE joins the crowded fall fest schedule for 2022 with a renewed focus on food. Live DJs and over 50 vendors selling everything you can imagine join the area’s breweries and restaurants for a day that draws a pretty large crowd.
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In her three-decade career, Mary J. Blige has gone from feeling insecure about herself and her career to an accomplished singer and actress who’s considered one of the enduring artists of her generation. Blige is on tour this fall in support of her “Good Morning Gorgeous” album with features from Dave East, Usher, and Anderson. Paak. British songstress Ella Mai and Detroit’s Queen Naija are the opening acts. (If you miss this almost sold-out show, Blige returns to the area for the last stop of the tour on Oct. 29 at Boardwalk Hall).
Philadelphia may have its issues, but enough art and music to go around isn’t one of them. The latest entry into an already full slate of festivals is the Philly Arts & Music Festival at the Philadelphia Naval Yard. Soul/jazz artist Trombone Shorty, local bands Chill Moody and SNACKTIME, and Pittsburgh singer/songwriter Suzanne Sheer are performing. Art and cultural vendors expected include Pretty Girl Kreations, Harriet’s Bookstore, Andromeda Cook’s Studio, and Brady Rain Media.
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Chris Rock is in Philly. The veteran comedian is in town for three shows, but Friday has already sold out. After Slap-gate, we couldn’t imagine a more aptly named show than ‘Ego Death’ but ironically, it was already named before the 2022 Oscars night ceremony. As you may have heard, Will Smith had a moment. Rock hasn’t said much about the incident publicly, but if you want to know what he really thought, there are at least two shows where you might find out.
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