Awesome Fest Bringing the Best of the 80’s

This Philly Fest is working to celebrate the best of the 1980’s with a festival lasting 10 weeks until Aug. 17

There’s nothing more noteworthy than 80’s prom…and that is exactly what the Awesome Fest wants their guests to relive.

Not only will people attending this 10-week festival get to experience an 80’s prom, there will also be more than 50 events. From special guests including those popular from the 80’s to 30 outdoor movie screenings, the Awesome Fest is bringing an array of fun activities, nothing that is going to make the 80’s loving fans think it’s “bogus”.

One of the most anticipated events happening at the Awesome Fest will be the concert featuring the Liverpool-based 80’s band, Flock of Seagulls. Once, most well-known for their songs “I Ran (So Far Away)” and “Space Age Love Song”, they will be taking the stage July 14 alongside the Canadian 80’s group, Men Without Hats at the Trocadero.

The Awesome Fest is unlike many other festivals in the sense that it is going to be all over Philadelphia, instead of in one specific area. Thursdays will take place in Drexel Park and there will be different viewings of movies. Upcoming events at the Drexel Location include “Spaceballs” on July 11 and “Die Hard” on July 25.

Liberty Lands will also get a chance to feature this Awesome Fest on Fridays. On July 5 there will be a showing of “The Goonies.” The Awesome Fest will be coming to Parx Casino every Saturday. The rest of July will be packed with 80’s fan favorites such as “Top Gun,” “Labyrinth,” “Purple Rain,” “Ghostbusters” and “Back to the Future.” Parx Casino has already held some events that were highly anticipated such as the viewing of “Child’s Play” and “Fright Night” with director, Tom Holland, in attendance. Charles Fleischer, the voice of Roger Rabbit also had attended the screening of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” on June 29.

Mondays will no longer be considered one of the worst days of the week during the 10-week length of the Awesome Fest since the Trocadero will be joining in on the fun that day of the week. The Adventures of Bob and Doug McKenzie: Strange Brew will be held July 8. One of the most exciting events happening at the Trocadero will be the screening of Valley Girl and April Fool’s Day with actress, Deborah Foreman in attendance.

Josh Goldbloom, the artistic director for the Awesome Fest, said the festival is about bringing together the people of Philadelphia and having a creative outlet for the people who enjoy these films. It isn’t to separate or single out any individuals, but instead a way to bring people together. He sees these films as the “heart and soul” of the festival and this as a way to “fill a void” in Philadelphia, lacking this kind of program compared to cities that celebrate films much more diligently such as New York or Los Angeles.

In an interview with Northeast Times, Goldbloom pushes the idea that this festival isn’t only for film fanatics, but for anyone who wants to go out and have a good time. With the crowds that the Awesome Fest has been bringing, there is a certainly a series of people, from young to old.

“This is more like a nostalgic thing for everyone, comfort food of films. This is like a purge for me, I couldn’t just pick 10 movies from the 80’s,” Goldbloom said.

This will be the third annual Awesome Fest in Philadelphia, but thanks to Parx Casino teaming up with the festival, the size of the festival has tripled in size. With themed events and unusual outdoor movie watching locations, the Awesome Fest has brought a new atmosphere to summers in Philadelphia. The closing of the festival will include the cult-classic of the film, “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” on August 17. This last event will take place at sundown at Parx Casino.

Chelsea Finn can be reached at

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