The stage at the #EF20 press event | Photo by John Vettese

Philly venue The Electric Factory is moving into its third decade at 7th as Callowhill – and the words “Electric Factory” hover somewhere around five decades in the regional lexicon, going back to the famed center city nightclub that hosted gigs by everybody who was famous in the 60s. Moving into its 20th anniversary year, the venue and its promoters announced a handful of new initiatives in a press event yesterday.

The biggest involved free tickets: Bryan Dilworth of Bonfire Shows announced that the Factory would begin running social media giveaways for a handful of “golden tickets” a la Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, beginning on October 1st. It’s sort of like the coveted R5 Productions 10-show pass, but better, as it allows its owners a pair of tickets to every show at the Factory through October of 2016. In the first two months alone, that means Chvrches (10/1), Kraftwerk (10/2), Franz Ferdinand + Sparks (10/6), Chance the Rapper (10/22), The Districts (11/6), Minus The Bear (11/13), The Wonder Years (11/25), The Front Bottoms (11/28) and more. Not too shabby. Stay tuned to Electric Factory’s Twitter and Facebook for more on that.

Dilworth also announced food / drink vendor partnerships for the 20th anniversary season focusing on local businesses; boutique roasters Peddler Coffee, based in center city, cooked up an Electric Factory XX blend that will be served at shows, and Philadelphia Brewing Company will also be pouring an Electric Factory beer. In addition, local Szechuan culinary god Han Chiang will have a Han Dynasty VIP box at the Factory, though details were sketchy about how one gets access to it. (Dilworth: “I guess we’ll be hitting up Han for tickets.”)

Also in the mix at the conference was My Soul’s Been Psychedelicized: Electric Factory: Four Decades in Posters and Photographs, the 2011 coffeetable book by famed Philly concert promoter Larry Magid, who founded the Factory. He was on hand to share anecdotes and memories and noting that “the greatest thing is seeing local bands from Philly make it.” Eric Bazillian of The Hooters also reminisced about seeing shows at the Factory over the years, as did WXPN’s Dan Reed (who spoke of how welcoming the venue felt to his family when he moved to Philly from the midwest), Marilyn Russell of Ben FM (who shared stories of backstage hijinks when she hosted WDRE’s Feastivals at the Factory in the 90s) and John DeBella of WMGK (who said the room reminded him of concert halls he’d frequent growing up on Long Island in the 60s).

“There was a stage here, a bar over there and a big room filled with people,” he said.

DeBella also praised Magid, saying “There’s not a person in this city who doesn’t have a musical memory because of this man.”

For more on the #EF20 season, hit up the Factory’s website.


Dan Reed, at left, Marilyn Russell and John DeBella at The Electric Factory | Photo by John Vettese


Larry Magid addresses the #EF20 press conference | Photo by John Vettese


A collection of band t-shirts at the #EF20 event | Photo by John Vettese