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Performance Venue Options in Philadelphia

Date February 24, 2024

Performance Venue Options in Philadelphia

Independence Mall is shown. A large lawn of lush green grass is in front of Independence hall. There are people shown standing on the sidewalk taking a picture. The sky above is a light blue with fluffy clouds. There are dark and light green trees lining the outdoor space. There are skyscrapers beyond the historical building.

Philadelphia offers many dramatic options for your group’s next memorable performance, including historic sites, parks, museums and more.

Below are just a few of the performance venue options available around the city. For more options, and for other group travel assistance, contact the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Independence National Historical Park

Perform with one of the most important historical sites in America as the backdrop. School bands, orchestras, choruses, and many other groups who would like to perform for park visitors at Independence National Historical Park must obtain a Special Event Permit directly from the park. The permit holder can be either the commercial tour company or a band leader/music teacher. The ideal performance location is People’s Plaza, located adjacent to the President’s House on Independence Mall. This area is easy to load in and out of (buses can pull over on 5th Street to unload), with electricity available as well.

More information, along with a special event permit application, can be found at the National Park Service website. The Special Events Office can be reached at 215-597-9205.

Green lawn with a historical brick building in the background.

Independence National Historical Park includes the President’s House, the Liberty Bell Pavilion and Independence Hall. People’s Plaza, on left side of Independence Mall, is available for performances. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

The Betsy Ross House

The Betsy Ross House is the home of Philadelphia’s famous flag-maker and is located in the heart of historic Old City. Adjacent to the historic house is a beautiful brick and stone courtyard perfect for intimate performances. Groups can perform in the shaded north side of the courtyard to an audience of Betsy Ross House visitors. There is a performance fee of $75, with a 50-person maximum. Equipment available includes a stage, 35 chairs, a sound system with microphone, and a screen (equipment rental fees may apply). To schedule a performance, contact Group Sales at 215-629-5801 ext. 209 or via email.

Photo by M. Kennedy for Historic Philadelphia.

Franklin Square Park

Designated as one of William Penn’s original squares, Franklin Square is now a family-friendly play place located in the heart of historic Philadelphia just steps away from the Liberty Bell and the National Constitution Center. The park’s open lawn space and enclosed pavilion are ideal for group performances and feature picturesque backdrop views of the vintage marble fountain, Parx Liberty Carousel and Philly Mini Golf. There is a performance fee of $75, with a 125-person maximum. Equipment available includes 80 chairs, a sound system with microphone, projector and a screen (equipment rentals fees may apply). To schedule a performance, contact Group Sales at 215-629-5801 ext. 209 or via email.

Photo of a family in the park near a fountain and a carousel.

Photo by J. Fusco for Historic Philadelphia.

The Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute welcomes performance requests from both bands and choirs. Performances can be scheduled for most weekdays, with space for up to 75 performers in the beautiful Benjamin Franklin National Memorial Hall, which features a 20-foot, 30-ton statue of the Founding Father beneath a gorgeous 1600-ton domed ceiling modeled after the Pantheon in Rome. Chairs and electricity are available.

Inside the Franklin Institute with a Bren Franklin Statue

The Benjamin Franklin National Memorial Hall Rotunda photo courtesy of the Franklin Institute.

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)

The John and Richanda Rhoden Arts Center is a 15,000-square-foot multidisciplinary facility located on the lower level of PAFA’s Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building. The Arts Center comprises a 265-seat auditorium, a new gallery for student art, and collection storage vaults for 20th- and 21st-century works of art. The state-of-the-art Auditorium is equipped with professional-grade technology for lighting, sound, and projection and can accommodate music and dance performances, lectures, film screenings, and other events. A professional theater manager is on site to manage the experience. Request more info by clicking here.

A piano on a stage inside an auditorium.

Photo courtesy of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA).

Shops at Liberty Place

The grand Rotunda at the Shops at Liberty Place is available for rentals and public performances. Groups who are interested in performing in the Rotunda can complete an application form online.

Large gathering inside a mall around a Christmas Tree.

The Army-Navy Game Pep Rally at the Shops at Liberty Place Rotunda. Photo by A. Sinagoga for PHLCVB.

Eastern State Penitentiary

Performances are booked at the discretion of Eastern State Penitentiary, are based on availability, and can only be hosted outside. The opportunity to perform is available only to groups that are scheduled to visit for group tours. While at the historic site, groups can take the music tour that explores how music plays a role in prisons past and present. Highlights include original songs written by people incarcerated at Eastern State Penitentiary, historic images of musicians who performed behind its walls, and discussion of music programming in prisons today. For more information, click here.

Group of children play orchestral instruments outdoors.

Photo courtesy of Eastern State Penitentiary.

Visit our group tour page, to find more resources for planning your group’s trip to Philadelphia.