Local favorites Mt. Joy and Saleka featured at Ardmore Music Hall
by Davis Giangiulio, Managing Editor
Philly Music Fest is back … live and in person. The indie rock festival returns October 10-15 with a line-up that includes performances from Mt. Joy, Low Cut Connie, Screaming Females and a host of other acts. The shows are scheduled for Ardmore Music Hall, World Café Live, Johnny Brenda’s and other venues in Philadelphia. Get the full schedule here.
Philly Music Fest founder Greg Seltzer packed this year’s schedule with local favorites, including Mt. Joy, whose Conestoga grad members named their band after the mountain in Valley Forge National Park. Another Main Line star: Saleka, the up-and-coming R&B singer, daughter of Willistown Township’s M. Night Shyamalan and Dr. Bhavna Shyamalan.
The music festival is a nonprofit venture that funds musical education programs, and it is a labor of love for Greg Seltzer, the Narberth lawyer who produces the event. The first Philly Music Fest was in 2017. “I wanted it to be reflective of our city’s culture in the music scene… having a genre-less festival, and making our genre a location.”
Philly Music Fest features artists across genres, from rock and punk to folk, R&B and pop. Diving into the music industry to create a festival was a completely new endeavor for Seltzer. Some of his work has been on the legal side of the music industry. That built him a few connections within the market and gave him a basic understanding of it too.
“I basically combined a passion of going to shows and festivals as a fan with a bunch of skills and disciplines I gathered with some of the brightest folks from around the country,” Seltzer said.
Since entering the industry, Seltzer’s been surprised at how many different levels of it are difficult. He didn’t realize how rough it is for venues, record labels and ticketing platforms. “It’s endless how tough of a business it is.”
That’s why Philly Music Fest hosts Inside Hustle, a panel and networking event for those in and looking to get their starts in the local industry. At the event, artists share their stories about how they navigate scoring deals and booking gigs, and this year promoters, agents, radio representatives, accountants, legal experts and more will be hosting tables to discuss one on one their roles. “It takes a village to build a music scene and to support musicians,” Seltzer said. He hopes people can find that village at Inside Hustle.
Aside from the musical appeal, Seltzer said Philly Music Fest’s non-profit structure also drives attendance and artist participation. The investment into music education programs means concert-goers aren’t just going to see headliners, they’re also helping build the foundation for the next generation of artists Philly Music Fest will book. “We’re recycling the talent base,” Seltzer said. “You can know that you are giving to the local music scene.”
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