On one of the few pleasant summer evenings of June 2013, I was one of 30 to 50 people who showed up just North of Girard Avenue, parked their bikes or car and sat in the grass and on lawn chairs of a green vacant lot next to a Kensington urban farm lot. Pretty soon we were treated to an acoustic music concert performed by young talented musicians who came from Queens and Brooklyn NY for the occasion.
This private concert was organized by Adrian Galbraith-Paul. Adrian works as the Hood Rich Farm Manager and he wanted to create an occasion for musician friends of his from college to perform their music in Philadelphia:
- Julian Pratt is the singer in the band “Show me the body” opened the concert by performing his band’s music “unplugged” style.
- “Poor Remy”‘ is a trio of musicians who performed right after Julian’s opening. ”Poor Remy” combines classical folk instruments and strong vocal harmonies that will sweep you in their flow. You will want to sing along with them as I did. Go check out their music.
Pretty soon people from the neighborhood came, brought chairs and their kids and sat down to enjoy the music. Music works the same as Food as some of the safest ways to bring people together. For more details on Hood Rich Farms, see “The Shape of Things to come in Urban Farming“
A lightening bolt
While sitting in the grass listening to the Poor Remy trio singing their hearts out, I experienced the equivalent of lightening bolt crossing the inside of my head. Why not an Urban Farm Music Festival in Philadelphia?
A year and half ago, I was in Austin – Tx attending “South by” as the locals call it. “South by” refers to the “South by South-West” Music, Interactive, Film and Game festival. South by SouthWest is a mad house. Imagine that the festival organizers invite 2,000 bands from all over the country to come play at SXSW, and imagine that there are an additional 3,000 bands who come to town from everywhere to perform anywhere possible in town for two weeks. You have concerts organized by the official music festival, concerts put up by every possible bar, coffee house, restaurant and beer garden in town, concerts at street corners, and then there are private concerts by famous or near famous bands or singers for their local friends. So, one night around the corner from where I was staying, in the back yard of this friend’s house I heard Micah Paul Hinson.
Imagine Bob Dylan as a young man, slightly different voice, different style, same longing, same kind of stories << use this link to access Micah Hinson’s MySpace page and sample tracks. The guy has a steady following in UK, Germany and Sweden and is almost totally unknown in the US and he is incredible.
A flash of insight
At that moment, the immediate experience of sitting in that green lot next to Hood Rich Farms, listening to “Poor Remy” singing their strong harmonies collided with the memory of the Micah Hinson’s backyard concert in Austin Tx singing his strong stories/songs.
“Why not organizing an Urban Farms Music Festival in Philadelphia” – not another SXSW, but something designed for the specific setting of the Philadelphia Urban Farms? An Urban Farms Music Festival that would encourage its audience to show up on their bicycles and which proceeds would be used to support the emerging Urban Farm movement in Philadelphia.
What do you think? Share your comments and suggestions using the comment feature.
If you want to help organize the Philly Urban Farm Festival, please contact me at email@example.com