Bloktoberfest expects crowd of 20,000 this weekend

Beer and live music extend four blocks on South Street on Oct. 19.

On Oct. 19, Bloktoberfest will take over four blocks of South Street from noon to 8 p.m. Returning for its fifth year,  the event aims to bring the city together for a day of free music, local eats and a variety of craft beers from all over the country.

Expecting a crowd of more than 20,000 people, event planners and sponsors have spent months planning the party. Event planner Josh Dubin said the event has come a long way in the past four years, and this year, it’s gotten bigger.

“With the wide range of musical performances and an even larger selection of beer, there will be something for everyone to enjoy at this year’s Bloktoberfest,” he said.

Event planners have once again partnered up with Philadelphia’s own Bella Vista Beer Distributors. A variety of beer will be available at the event, coming from breweries both local and around the country.

Although there will be lots of beer at Bloktoberfest, Dubin said he is most excited for the community to taste “Blok Steady Ale,” the official beer of Bloktoberfest 2013. For the first time, Bloktoberfest has collaborated with Round Guys Brewing Company in Lansdale, Pa. to craft to an Oktoberfest-style beer. This brew will only be available exclusively to the public during the event.

Live entertainment will also be present. This year, planners aimed to present a wide array of genres with both nationally-recognized and emerging local artists. Bloktoberfest will feature performances by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Andrew Lipke, Alo Brasil, Swift Technique, The Belle Game, Vinchelle Woods and more. The performances will occur across two stages. The main stage will be located in the outdoor lot next to the Jamaican Jerk Hut and the other stage, spotlighting local neighborhood talents, will be at 16th and South streets.

Watching the performers is free but beer is not. To drink, you must purchase a beer bracelet and be 21 or older. Beer brackets can be purchased the day of the event or at a discounted rate if bought in advanced online. Prices range from $15 to $30 for bracelets, and additional drink tickets will be $5 each.

The goal of Bloktoberfest is to bring the community together through music and beer. The proceeds will go toward making a lasting impact on the neighborhood and the city as a whole. Over the past four years, the event has raised more than $50,000 for various charitable causes through the South of South Neighborhood Association on beer profits alone.

This year, Bloktobefest will continue to give back by funding projects addressing education, green space and public safety for the neighborhood. Dubin said could not be happier with the progression of the event and the impact it has left.

“The good will in so many people has given this community a great day to celebrate and give back to the neighborhood,” he said.

Jackie Nelms can be reached at

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