The Sunflower Philly Garden, a communal park, playground, refuge and hang suite for the Port Fishington area, is about to get noisy, in a good way, for the season in the sun.
Beyond its kid play and yoga mat matinees, the Summertime Series at Sunflower Philly Garden commences this weekend, April 9, with the roots-y, Nudie-dressed local yokels of Dominy.
Hosted by Human Robot and booked by The District’s manager and Johnny Brenda’s manager Marley McNamara, this series of live performances take place every Thursday and Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. There’s limited availability to the space (remember socially distanced rules apply and mask are required) so buy your tickets HERE, ASAP.
I got hold of McNamara on Easter Monday to give me the hows, whys and wherefores of the Sunflower Garden’s debut and the Summertime Season.
A.D. Amorosi: When did this become a thing?
Marley McNamara: A little while back, Human Robot Brewing Co. and their in-house designer, local musician Jimmy Everhart of Scantron, Cosmic Guilt, and formerly Low Cut Connie, reached out to me to book their Happy Hour series that they will be holding every Thursday and Friday from 5 to 9 pm at the Sunflower Philly Garden across the street from their brewery on North 5th Street. They wanted to find a way to incorporate that Sunflower space across the street into some sort of live music outdoor series during their happy hours. But because they’ve got their hands full with so much other stuff involving the Brewery and other projects, they hit me up to take the load of booking acts off their plates.
A.D. Amorosi: Hold on. If there’s liquor and Roots music, Fergie must be involved.
Marley McNamara: Fergus Carey, a longtime pal, and I had done a show at the event space directly through Sunflower Philly last October with Pat Finnerty and the Philadelphia Tom Petty Appreciation Band which was a major success. So I personally had an interest in trying to book more shows at the space while I wait to get back to work as local talent buyer at JB’s. It just happened to be a perfect coincidence that I was contacted by Human Robot and Jimmy to take on their calendar around the same time I was gearing up to contact Sunflower.
A.D. Amorosi: So, after the cowperson punk of Dominy on Friday, then what?
Marley McNamara: I’ve lined up a handful of really talented local musicians to play the series ranging from longtime Philly favorites like Birdie Busch on April 23. Back-in-town emerging artist Ron Gallo, announcing soon. Local indie favs like Ali Awan, announcing soon. And Jimmy Everhart’s project Cosmic Guilt. To newer-on-the-scene bands like Dominy, Lady HD, on June 10 and Lizdelise on June 24. We’ll definitely see Pat Finnerty and his Tom Petty Appreciation Band back at the garden this spring on May 7. And there will also be other great tribute nights lined up. Vinyl DJ events. Reggae nights. Vendor and variety events like Baby’s First Rodeo on May 27. As well as an underplay or two in the works for the summer. We will be announcing the full roster of these shows as soon as we have the bulk of them confirmed.
A.D. Amorosi: Wait, there’s beer. So, are children allowed in?
Marley McNamara: These shows are 21 and up due to the beer sponsorship and potential liquor and wine vendors inside the event space. But minors are welcome with a parent or legal guardian. The capacity is cut to 150 and masks are required for entry. Social distancing must be practiced. But even with a full house at that cap, it feels like it’s pretty spaced out which is great.