Summer Will Rock with Free Movies and Concerts in University City

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

UCD, The Rotunda, and Penn partner to bring back free music for the 40th Street Summer Series, and UCD and Friends of Clark Park team up to host 2014 Awesome Fest Films

The University City District will help provide Philadelphians with plenty of reasons to enjoy summer in the city as they partner with local institutions to bring back two great event series to the area, each with a musical theme.

40th Street Summer Series

We’re pleased to announce the return of the annual 40th Street Summer Series for its tenth year. The University of Pennsylvania, The Rotunda, and UCD are once again teaming up to bring a slate of free music to the beautiful green space just behind the Walnut Street Free Library at 40th and Walnut Streets. Scheduled for the last Saturdays from June through September and beginning at 6pm, the Summer Series will transform the 40th Street Field into a family-friendly center of global sounds and good vibrations featuring a wide array of musical acts. The concerts will also feature face painting, balloon animals, and complimentary (first come, first served) Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. See the full lineup for June, July, and August below, with September’s performance still to be announced.

Awesome Fest Music Films in Clark Park

Kicking off on June 26th and running Thursday evenings through August is The Awesome Fest, returning to University City in beautiful Clark Park. The Awesome Fest has showcased over 150 Philadelphia premieres from the world's most prestigious film festivals, and has partnered with dozens of regional organizations including the Philadelphia Film Festival and Rooftop Films (NYC).

This year UCD and Friends of Clark Park are working with the Awesome Fest to present seven films about music for their Soundtrack of Awesome series, and will turn picturesque Clark Park (43rd and Baltimore) into a unique outdoor movie theater. Films are presented on a breathtaking state-of-the-art, 30-foot outdoor screen, and are free to the public. Food trucks Poi Dog Philly, The Flavor Spot, Mom Moms, and Curbside Creamery will be on hand to provide snacks for the crowd.

See a complete lineup and film descriptions below. 

40th Street Summer Series Lineup


  • Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra
  • Music Over Matter (MOM)

A high-energy celebration of polyphonic rhythms, Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra unifies four percussion batteries into one distinct voice: North Indian tabla, Afro Cuban bata, Brazilian samba and West African djembe.

The sounds of Music Over Matter (MOM) feeds the souls of children, teens, & adults encouraging the reticent to boldly embark on an adventure in which we call Maha music Soulful Ancestral Beatze Rhythms.


  • Raphael Xavier W.O.R.X. Meets Bobby Zankel & The Warriors of the Wonderful Sound  
  • Avalon String Band

Raphael Xavier W.O.R.X. Meets Bobby Zankel & The Warriors of the Wonderful Sound is a fusion act whose concept for this project is based on the idea that there are constant, fundamental elements of African American culture that transcend discipline, time period, style, and place of origin.

The Avalon String Band, a member of the Philadelphia Mummers String Band Association, has a custom sound with deep roots in traditional American sing-along music, popular music from the early to mid 1900s, swing, and big band.


  • Nation Beat
  • The Highwater Preachers

The heartbeat of Nation Beat’s sound lies in a deliciously original 21st century fusion between thunderous Brazilian maracatu drumming and New Orleans second line rhythms. Nation Beat’s audacious energy seamlessly bridges folkloric Brazilian maracatu with classic NOLA roots.

The Highwater Preachers brings fresh takes on classic mountain songs, incorporating precision picking and soulful vocal harmony. This troupe of young pickers carries the torch of hard-driving traditional bluegrass music.


TBA soon! 

Visit the official website for the 2014 40th Street Summer Series:


2014 Awesome Fest Films in Clark Park


6/26 - Opening Night

 RIOT ON THE DANCE FLOOR (Philadelphia Premiere)
co-presented by the This Is Hardcore Fest

The story of Randy Now and City Gardens is a documentary from director Steve Tozzi that features the stark and iconic photography of Thrasher Magazine's Ken Salerno. It is told through an oral history format of in-depth interviews and archival footage, bringing to life the gritty story of one of New Jersey's most infamous clubs and its larger-than-life promoter. City Gardens was a venue for underground music and traversed the entertainment spectrum from the comedy of Henny Youngman to Nine Inch Nails, New Order, and Nirvana. Riot on the Dance Floor is a journey of musical champions and underdogs and above all, the freedom and liberation of having complete creative control.



LIVING STARS (Philadelphia Premiere)

Living Stars is an uplifting film of real people from Buenos Aires dancing—in kitchens, living rooms, office and streets—with a rawness usually reserved for the bathroom mirror. An infectious crowd-pleaser!




Join us as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of one of the all-time greats, The Wizard of Oz. Experience the film as you've never seen it before: outdoors on a giant movie screen, synced up with Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of The Moon!



DEATH METAL ANGOLA (Philadelphia Premiere)
Co-presented by BlackStar Film Festival

War-ravaged and potentially the richest country in Africa, Angola is the epicenter of the African hardcore music scene. Sonia Ferreira and Wilker Flores live and breathe rock and roll. They run and live in the Okutiuka orphanage in Huambo, Angola, and have a dream to mount the first ever national rock concert, bringing together for the first time the best and the brightest in Angolan hardcore death metal, thrash metal, and melodic death-core.


7/24 - Christmas Eve in July Party!

JINGLE BELL ROCKS! (Philadelphia Premiere)

Jingle Bell Rocks! is a trippy, cinematic sleigh ride into the strange and sublime universe of alternative and underground Christmas music, featuring The Flaming Lips, Run-DMC, The Free Design, Low, Miles Davis & Bob Dorough, Clarence Carter, John Waters, Akim & The Teddy Vann Prod. Co., The Mighty Sparrow, A Girl Called Eddy, El Vez and many more.


8/7 - PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE (30th Anniversary Screening)

In Brian De Palma's (Scarface, Carrie) satiric, unofficial remake of The Phantom of The Opera, a disfigured composer sells his soul for the woman he loves so that she will perform his music. However, an evil record tycoon betrays him and steals his music to open his rock palace The Paradise.



SKANKS (Philadelphia Premiere)

In the winter of 2012 a community theatre in Birmingham, Alabama mounted an original drag musical Skanks in a One Horse Town. The film Skanks follows the actors and creators from rehearsal through performance, at work, at their homes, and with their families. The cast of amateur performers bond to form a family of sorts while creating an unconventional show in religion and football-obsessed Alabama.

Visit the official website for the Awesome Fest in Clark Park at: