The 10 Best Events in Philly in August

From the Bethlehem Musikfest to ner en Blanc to Patti LaBelle, here are the month’s hot tickets.

Über-weird George Clinton brings the funk. Photograph courtesy of Scott Legato/Getty Images

1. “Larry Fink: The Boxing Photographs”

Knockout exhibit
The New York photographer is best known for documenting both wealthy New Yorkers at extravagant parties and rural, working-class Pennsylvanians in a series called Social Graces. But he also had an eye for boxing, and this exhibit celebrates that part of his work, including shots from North Philly’s legendary Blue Horizon venue. August 11th through January 1st at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

2. George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic

Last chance to get freaky
This is supposedly the final area performance for the man who brought the world songs like “Maggot Brain” and “One Nation Under a Groove.” August 1st at Ardmore Music Hall

3. The BlackStar Film Festival

Who will be the next Spike Lee?
Now in its seventh year, this fest (the advisory board includes Black Thought and Questlove) celebrates movies created by and about people of color. We love its motto: “By Indie Means Necessary.” August 2nd through 5th at various locations

4. Bethlehem Musikfest

Talk about variety
The quaint little town to our north hosts one of the country’s biggest music festivals. This year’s lineup includes comedian Jim Gaffigan, country star Dierks Bentley, Kesha, Jason Mraz, Joan Jett — plus a ridiculous number of free concerts, activities and events. August 3rd through 12th at various locations

5. Dîner en Blanc

All the pretty people
Break out your pristine white duds: This annual see-and-be-seen (and pray-it-doesn’t-rain) urban picnic is back. August 16th at TBD — the location is announced the day of the event.

6. Philadelphia Folk Festival

Ah, summer
Among the acts at this Montco perennial: Wynonna Judd, the David Bromberg Quintet and Patty Griffin. And kids under 12 get in for free. August 16th through 19th at Old Pool Farm

7. “Martha Graham Cracker: The Welcome Home Show”

What a drag
Philly drag queen Martha Graham Cracker has been on hiatus since February, because the actor who plays Martha had a gig in Vegas. She’s celebrating her return home with a blockbuster performance that includes appearances by Mr. Johnny Showcase, songstress PJ Brown, and hip-hop ensemble ILL Doots. And you’ll get to see me play the keyboard, because I’m Martha’s pianist. August 18th at the TLA

8. Patti LaBelle

Still a diva
Hear a set from the R&B songstress (and Main Liner) who’s been at it for nearly 60 years. LaBelle will be joined by Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Gregory Porter. August 23rd at the Dell Music Center

9. School of Rock All Stars

Kids who shred
The top one percent of School of Rock students from around the country are on tour, and if you think you’re going to come away thinking, Aw, that was cute, think again: These kids rock! August 5th at Union Transfer

10. Stevie Wonder

An American icon
Following a five-night run in Vegas, Wonder drops by Atlantic City as part of a very brief (we’re talking four-city) summer tour. Expect to hear all his hits plus some fun B-sides at the show he’s calling “The Stevie Wonder Song Party.” August 25th and 26th at the Borgata Event Center

Published in the August 2018 issue of Philadelphia magazine.