Philly FIGHT, CHOP, to Host Free Hip Hop Concert for HIV Awareness

Philadelphia FIGHT and CHOP will offer free concert tickets in exchange for HIV tests.

Starting June 1, Philadelphia FIGHT (Field Initiating Group for HIV Trials) and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will begin handing out free tickets for its June 27 hip hop concert at the Trocadero Theatre, which will headline with Fabolous.

But hold on — everything comes at a price, dearie.

Those looking to nab tickets (between the ages of 13 and 24) will have to show up to one of four HIV-testing events scheduled for June. The dates, times, and locations are as follows:

  1. Kickoff Event: June 1, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Wilson Park Community Center, 25th and Jackson streets
  2. June 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., York House, 5325 Old York Road
  3. June 15, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Myers Recreation Center, 58th Street and Kingsessing Avenue
  4. June 22, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Cobbs Creek Recreation Center, 63rd and Walnut streets

“We’re really pushing people to get out to one of these four events, get tested, and pick up tickets to the concert,” says Mark Seaman, director of development and communications at Philly FIGHT. “The concert hopes to test people who’ve never been tested before, and get them into the habit of doing it regularly. … That’s the whole mission of putting this concert on.”

The initiative is modeled after a Houston, Texas, free concert that began about seven years ago and has since grown to attract acts like Lil’ Wayne, T-Pain, and — take a breath — Rihanna.

“Their concerts are pretty crazy. We saw the idea, we liked it, Philly FIGHT and CHOP got together, and we all said, ‘Let’s make this happen,'” Seaman says. “And Fabolous, he’s a really huge draw for the demographic we’re trying to target, so we’re really enthusiastic about having him perform.”

He says the two organizations have been meeting every other week since last August to coordinate the best game plan for rolling out the concert. In February, organizations like St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Einstein Medical Center, The Attic Youth Center and more were brought into the fold to broaden the scope of the concert. As of now, there are 1,200 tickets to be handed out, with an ultimate goal of, in future years, reaching the height of the more than 12,000-attended concerts that the Texas events have been known to bring in.

Those unable to attend the aforementioned events can still score a ticket by getting tested at any of Philly FIGHT’s partner locations. Overflow will be entered into a raffle for Justin Timberlake tickets. (Not a bad deal, if we do say so.)

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