If you’re between the ages of 16-22, live in the Philadelphia area, and own a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses (or the knockoff equivalent), then there’s a high likelihood that you spent Saturday afternoon at the 618 Festival.
Located next to the Seaport Museum, the Great Plaza on Penn’s Landing was the setting for this all day hip-hop and electronic music festival presented by Pixie and Buck.
The festivities kicked off as the gates opened at noon, followed by several hours of hip-hop music. Aside from the music on the waterfront stage, the Great Plaza held booths by vendors selling various wares from t-shirts to funnel cakes.
For those 21+ there were two beer/alcohol tents selling overpriced drinks and a poor selection of beer (ranging from Pabst, to Pabst light). In an elevated area to the right of the stage there was a VIP hooka lounge for those with a taste for flavored tobacco.
At the top of the Great Plaza, kids sat by the fountains, hula-hooped on the stairs, and watched artists spray painting on the graffiti wall.
The venue is so expansive (for a single stage) that it was hard to tell exactly how many people turned out for the 618 Fest. While the area in the bowl (closest to the stage) was fairly packed during artist performances, other areas remained widely unused and empty.
One thing that we can say with certainty is that the fans that did come out to spend the day on the river were enjoying themselves. There was dancing, and prancing, moving, and grooving. There was eating, drinking, smoking, and laughter.
The hip-hop portion of the day wrapped up around 5pm with hip-hop headliners “Shwayze” and gave way to the electronic music evening segment of the festival that kicked off with “Jokers of the Scene”. Next up was “AutoErotique” and “T3RROR” who really got the crowd bumping.
As the late afternoon began to give way to dusk, and the sky changed to a deep shade of pink, the party people broke out their glow-sticks, glow hula-hoops, and glow whatever-else-you-can-think-of, and the event took on a rave on the river feel.
“Porter Robinson”, “Switch” (of Major Lazer), and headliners “The Cataracs” (you can check out our recent interview with them here) closed out the evening at the Great Plaza, but as we all know, after the party… is the after-party. As fans left the 618 Fest it was off to various venues (including Roxxy nightclub) to keep the party going for several more hours.
Although the 618 Fest wasn’t billed specifically for a younger audience, it was certainly a younger crowd that turned out for the event. Although we might have been a little older than the average person in attendance, we are young enough at heart to kick back on a sunny day and take in some tasty tunes.
To view an additional slideshow of Jim Soloman’s photos from 618 Fest…