The Philadelphia Music Co-op offers artist showcase, networking, promotion, gig booking, and distribution opportunities. The Co-op employs cooperative values of shared ownership and a holistic approach to help artists help themselves. At PFS, we have developed relationships and frequent contact with area promoters, press, media, and venue talent buyers, which we leverage for the Co-op members. Co-op artists are immediately given weighted consideration for programs that PFS directly produces. Collectively, nearly 30 spots per year are reserved for programs including the Philadelphia Folk Festival; a season of monthly concerts, workshops and house concerts; and the Odyssey of American Music education program to name a few. Additionally, PFS is on-hand to offer contacts in many facets of the music business, including press contacts, venue managers, booking agents, managers, licensing reps, label execs, and many more.
It all starts with a consultation with the PFS staff, available to each artist member upon registration (or annually thereafter). During this consult, PFS gets information on your history and project vision, and determines potential areas of growth through the co-op. PFS staff is always available to co-op artists by email or phone to discuss possible opportunities, special project interests, and creative partnerships.
Do you want to record a CD or press a vinyl record?
Need an organization to partner on or produce your CD release show?
Would you like an opportunity to network with the most influential music executives and artists in Philadelphia?
Do you want to record a CD or press a vinyl record?
Hoping for more support during and opportunities for sponsorship to regional and national conferences?
Philly Music Co-op artists are immediately given weighted consideration for programs that PFS directly produces. Collectively, nearly 30 spots per year are reserved for programs including the Philadelphia Folk Festival; a season of monthly concerts, workshops and house concerts; and the Odyssey of American Music education program to name a few.
PFS provides Co-op artists that participate in these programs with directly some accompanying benefits, and these could include press associated with the respective event, radio interviews and play, TV interviews, promo and advertising, cd reviews, and licensing opportunities.
At PFS, we have partners that help us produce the Philadelphia Folk Festival and our recurring programs. In addition, we have contact with most area venues and talent buyers, entertainment lawyers, management and PR companies, licensing representatives, festival managers, craftspeople and artisans, and event vendors. We will host an annual meeting for co-op artists to meet each other and top Philly music industry leaders.
The PFS staff attends various conferences annually including the Folk Alliance International Conference, Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference, APAP and many more national conferences intermittently. Any Co-op artist formally participating in a conference PFS is attending is given opportunity to present at feature showcases.
Additionally, PFS is on-hand to offer contacts in many facets of the music business, including press contacts, venue managers, booking agents, managers, licensing reps, label execs, and many more.
Philadelphia Music Co-op FAQs
How are Co-op artists considered for events?
While spots are reserved and special consideration is given for Philadelphia Music Co-op, artists are directly programmed by a jury who reviews web links provided by Co-op members at the time of their membership activation or renewal. Make sure PFS is up to date on your latest CD, project, media, press, and web presence. Artists are booked at direct PFS events based on quality of craft or songwriting, cohesion with PFS mission, crowd draw and response, quality of performance media and press attention. This year PFS began holding showcasing directly designed to link the Co-op jury with artists’ live performances. We are planning more of these, as they provide an opportunity for artists to meet other Co-op members and music executive, as well as to showcase their work in a concert setting.
For the Philadelphia Folk Festival:
Any artists can submit through Sonicbids at this link. Co-op artists can submit through Sonicbids for free using codes provided by Justin Nordell, by emailing email@example.com. If you do not have Sonicbids, please also email Justin during the jurying process.
For our season of events, Odyssey of American Music, workshops, and house concerts:
For some events, PFS will provide a submission link. When applicable, an email will be sent to all current artists in the Co-op detailing the process for submission. We strive to notify our artists for consideration two to three months before the program.
When will I learn if I have been accepted to perform at the Philadelphia Folk Festival or other events?
Artist selection for the Philadelphia Folk Festival happens after April of each year for the upcoming Festival (third weekend in August). Some are announced at the time of initial lineup release, but there are other spots that are announced after this up until the time of the Festival.
Artist selection for the PFS season typically happens between August and September for the season running October to June (of the following year).
Who are some of the partners and venues who have booked Co-op artists?
National Constitution Center, Spring Gulch Folk Fest, Underground Arts, Keswick TheatreGunner’s Run, Colonial Theatre, Kung Fu Necktie, Yards Brewing Company, Free Library of Philadelphia, World Cafe Live, Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (Kimmel), REI, Milkboy Philly, Milkboy, Ardmore, Milkboy Bryn Mawr, Community College of Philadelphia, Tin Angel, Triumph Brewery and more. The list is always growing.
How can I be more involved as a Co-op artist?
PFS is currently brainstorming an artist “task force” made up of active Co-op members who are interested in brainstorming new initiatives and benefits for the Co-op. If you are interested in this level of participation, contact us at
Why is their a fee for membership?
Expenses include venue and production rental fees, food and hospitality costs, and web and promo costs. And don’t forget artist fees. The Co-op often turns around a gig or two quickly to give your membership fee back to you in the form of a concert payment. While much of the budget is provided by the overall PFS budget, member dues are important for sustaining and growing artist benefits.
Is the membership fee one time?
This is an annual fee. We consider this another sign of artists continued support in the Co-op. Artists must keep their membership active to be considered for programs. While we may offer a “grace period” in special exceptions, active membership is important for receiving continued benefits.
About Meghan Cary and
Winning over audiences from the fields of Philly Folk Fest to NYC’s infamous Bleecker Street, Meghan Cary with Analog Gypsies is equal parts folk, rock, gypsy jazz and jam band playing award-winning original tunes ranging from lean-in-and-listen ballads to get-up-and-shake-your-booty jams. At the core of the band are Meghan Cary and Peter Farrell. The Keyboard and guitar duo lays down a big musical footprint with cool grooves and tight vocal harmonies. Add to that the unique bass musings of Jocko MacNelly, the rhythmic melodies of drummer Quint Lange, the not-your-typical-bluegrass banjo playing and vocal harmony of Stacy Weathers, and the soulful and rhythmic harp and flute lines of Bob Beach, and you have the Meghan Cary with Analog Gypsies experience: an evening of great tunes, fun stories, singing in your seat, and dancing in the aisles. As one critic exclaims: “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll beg for more!” (Critic’s Pick – The News and Observer)
The music of songwriting team Autumn Walden (vocals) and Ernie Tokay (guitar/vocals) with special guests. Coming to you from Little Spiders Music Studio in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.
Cost: $15 advance/$18 at the door
Purchase here: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=82772
Showtime: Friday, January 5th @ 8PM
Location: Steel City Coffeehouse, 203 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, PA 19460
(Friday) 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Apache Trails promises nothing
Apache Trails promises nothing less than a rowdy, unbridled, and altogether good time that’ll leave the soles of your feet singing a tune of their own. Featuring a thunderous double-bass slapping alongside, soulful lead guitar, a freight-train rhythm, and a howling lead vocal. This musical arrangement might best be described as a rootsy amalgam of folk, country, blues and whiskey. Apache Trails are Jason Webb(vox/guitar), Matthew Messatzzia (bass), and Jeremy Worthington(drums), backed with accompaniment from a phenomenal cast of rotating artists on instruments including but not limited to guitar, mandolin, banjo, piano, and fiddle.
Black Horse Motel
Philadelphia’s Black Horse Motel crafts its genre-fluid sound by taking traditional folk instrumentation and lyrics, blending them with Americana roots, rock, blues, and country influences and tying it all together with rich vocal harmonies. The resulting sound is foot-stomping, heart-breaking, familiar and new.
Growling and crooning, muttering about
Growling and crooning, muttering about lost love, brimstone, and the glorious view from the underside of a rusty world-order, Owen holds the rhythm on mandolin and foot percussion. Bobby takes the opportunity to stretch bass notes into lyrical vines that vibrate somewhere north of your liver and flower unexpectedly at night. Join Driftwood Soldier and Knight Pines for a fun filled night of music!
Location: The Listening Room, 26 Maplewood Mall, Philadelphia, PA 19144
Showtime: Friday, January 19, 7pm
(Friday) 7:00 am - 10:00 pm
The Listening Room
26 Maplewood Mall, Philadelphia, PA 19144
**January House Concert**
FREE For Members
$10 For Non-members
About Aaron & Michael
With their much-anticipated second album, “Hang On for the Ride,” the dynamic cello- guitar duo of Aaron Nathans & Michael G. Ronstadt push the boundaries of folk music with a creative, adventurous, and wildly enjoyable new work.
Their previous album, “Crooked Fiddle,” was a surprise favorite among folk music fans. The album fused nostalgia, emotion and musical virtuosity, alongside songs that got stuck in your head in the best way. Most importantly, the music was authentic — sparse, brilliant and honest.
But for two artists who believe in challenging themselves, making the same album twice was out of the question. For a follow-up project, they would channel the immediacy of their live shows, which are always exciting events. They would push themselves musically, with complex orchestral arrangements that sound deceptively simple.
And in keeping with their commitment to honesty, the music would reflect the challenging times during which it was made. The recording of this project paused last summer when Michael’s father and namesake, the great Michael J. Ronstadt, died.
The resulting album is a portrait of contrasts, darkness and light: young love, ghostly photographs of old friends long gone, and the urge to run away to find peace and safety. Nathans & Ronstadt venture into lyrical corners other songwriters would never dare: peanut allergies, or climate change rendered as a hallucinogenic carousel ride. The Queen classic “Another One Bites the Dust” is recast as a jazzy murder ballad.
The title track talks of hanging on through tough times. And the leadoff song, by the elder Ronstadt, is a vision of making one’s way through the snowy North, as seen through sun-kissed Southwestern eyes.
Michael, who hails from his famous Arizona family, now lives in Cincinnati, where he is a sought-after cello teacher and mentor. He is also a member of the Ronstadt Brothers (formerly Ronstadt Generations) and Serenity Fisher & The Cardboard Hearts, and also works with Craig Bickhardt and David Trotta. Aaron lives with his family in greater Philly. He also performs solo and, along with Avi Wisnia, founded and leads the Philly Songwriters Circle, a song critique group. He has been a Kerrville New Folk finalist.
Nathans & Ronstadt were named Best of Philly Folk Fest by Philly CityPaper in 2015. Michael Tearson of SingOut! Magazine wrote of “Crooked Fiddle”: “This is an engaging, warm and intimate collaboration between songwriter Aaron Nathans and songwriter/ multi-instrumentalist Michael G. Ronstadt… Throughout the songs are stirring and they leave you thinking. A thoroughly satisfying and stimulating effort.”
And Matt Casarino of the Delaware comedy duo HotBreakfast! wrote: “Aaron and Michael are amazing musicians and songwriters. Their first album ‘Crooked Fiddle’ is a masterpiece of modern folk – beautiful, introspective, funny, earthy, and wonderful… I want another album from these guys, and soon.”
PFS and the hosts ask that guests act in a respectful manner and be considerate of the performers and other attendees–if you do not, you may be asked to leave by PFS staff or the hosts.
Advance registrations for this performance are REQUIRED.
Admission is free for PFS members and $10 for Advanced Tickets for non-members.
The location for the concert will be sent to you via email following registration.
Please bring something to share! Pot luck at 7:30pm, music at 8:00pm.
(Friday) 7:30 pm
Celebrate Jan's Birthday with Rusty
Celebrate Jan’s Birthday with Rusty and Jan as they perform at Raven Lounge with Nytrous on Tuesday, January 23rd. Celebrate with an open mic as sign ups begin at 8:30pm.
Location: Raven Lounge, 1718 Samson Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
(Tuesday) 9:00 pm - 11:00 pm
1718 Samson Street Philadelphia, PA 19103
NERFA and Club Passim present:
NERFA and Club Passim present: Mid-Winter Folk Fest featuring two Philly Music Co-op artists, The End of America and Bethlehem and Sad Patrick. Join in to view many NERFA showcasers and young friends perform via live streamed from Club Passim and Facebook.
Showtime: Saturday, January 27, 12-4pm
(Saturday) 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
47 Palmer St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Beat the winter blues with
Beat the winter blues with Rusty and Jan as they host an open mic at Malelani Cafe on Saturday, January 27, at 7pm.
Location: Malelani Cafe, 6734 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19119
(Saturday) 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Ami Yares brings an eclectic
Ami Yares brings an eclectic mix of music from both sides of the Atlantic. Come polish off your weekend with some good folk.
Location: W/N W/N Coffee Bar, 931 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Showtime: Sunday, January 28, 5pm
(Sunday) 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
W/N W/N Coffee Bar
931 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123