Forbes Under 30 Music Festival at The Piazza

The ‘Forbes Under 30 Summit‘ kicked off in Philly on Sunday, October 19th with the Forbes Under 30 Music Festival, a free outdoor concert at the Piazza at Schmidt’s in Northern Liberties. The 21+ event was free to enter but fans had to win a ticket by completing one of four easy action steps via Global Citizen who partnered with Forbes and AEG Live to throw the concert.

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It was a beautiful, albeit chilly day in Philly when the doors to the Piazza opened at 330pm. After some brief announcements by the promoters, the show kicked off at 5pm with local rappers ‘OCD: Moosh & Twist’. We last had a chance to see the duo perform at the Budweiser Made in America show over Labor Day weekend.

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OCD Moosh & Twist did an admirable job of warming up the crowd, performing a mix of hip-hop covers as well as their own material. OCD Moosh & Twist might not be our particular cup of tea, but it’s clear they have a strong following here in their hometown.

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After some brief statements from Congressman Bob Brady, alt-rock singer LP took the stage. At this point the Piazza had begun to fill in a lot more and the crowd hooted and cheered for LP as she belted out her lyrics. Admittedly, we were not that familiar with her prior to the show but found ourselves impressed by her vocal range and catchy tunes.

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After LP wrapped up her set, the crowd was addressed by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. Mayor Nutter asked the crowd to begin to act locally to try to wipe out global poverty by 2030. The 2030 time-line was something laid out by the event promoters and repeated several times throughout the day.

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Up next was Wiz Khalifa and the rapper was clearly the act that most fans had come to see. He hit the stage with his purple hair and gold microphone and the crowd went nuts. Performing a slew of his hits like ‘We Dem Boyz’, ‘Black & Yellow’, and ‘Young, Wild, & Free’, the Pittsburgh native had the Piazza eating out of the palm of his hand.

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No matter where you were situated, from the front row, to the back row, to those watching from the apartments that line the Piazza, everyone was rocking out. To our surprise, once his set ended, a large majority of the crowd departed the event. The Piazza remained about 1/3 full for the final performance, EDM superstar Afrojack.

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It took a while for the stage hands to get Afrojack’s L.E.D. wall and lighting properly set up and the crowd grew somewhat restless. Stuff like this makes us question why so many DJs feel the need to have large lighting rigs and CO2 canons. Shouldn’t their music be enough? When a final announcement was made to the crowd about combating Ebola, it was greeted with “boos” by the Philly faithful. What else is new? This is the same city that has booed Santa Claus on several occasions.

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Afrojack finally took to the decks and immediately dropped some house and electro bangers that got the place bumping. The Dutch DJ has a rabid fan base and certainly knows how to work a crowd. Had this been on a Friday or Saturday night (or in a different setting that didn’t have an early sound curfew) the party would have raged on well into the night. As it was, Afrojack played for less than a hour before the show ended around 10pm.

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The Forbes Under 30 Music Festival was a great way to kick off the three day Forbes Under 30 Summit, allow fans to hear several top-notch performers, and shed some light on the plight of global poverty. We hope the event will return to Philly in the future.

[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

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