Photo and B-roll of the Dell stage under constructionImage from March 3 ceremonial groundbreaking* 

PHILADELPHIA – City officials joined local broadcasting legends Patty Jackson and Lady B to break ground on a $6.9 million renovation of the Dell Music Center, Philadelphia’s premier outdoor entertainment venue. The project was funded by the City of Philadelphia with support from the Office of Councilmember Curtis Jones (4th District), the Office of Council President Darrell Clarke (5th District), and the Office of Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson (AL).

“The Dell is a one-of-a-kind venue, and the investments made today will ensure the Dell continues to host renowned artists for many years to come,” said Susan Slawson, General Manager, of the Dell Music Center. “The Dell is thrilled to have the support of the city and Philadelphia’s broadcasting community behind this project. These critical upgrades will ensure the Dell remains Philadelphia’s premier outdoor amphitheater, where the stars take center stage.”

The Dell’s iconic stage, which has hosted legendary performances from artists such as Aretha Franklin, Teddy Pendergrass, and Patti Labelle, will be rebuilt for the first time in the venue’s 50-year history. The new stage will feature improved acoustics, new walls and siding, and a new amphitheater roof.

Built in 1929, much of the Dell’s original infrastructure remains. Renovations to the stage, roof, green room, backstage, and under-stage offices will be complemented by a new electrical system, improved modern stormwater management infrastructure, and additional waterproofing and drainage to protect the outdoor venue from a warmer, wetter future.

Dell visitors will be able to enjoy renovated bathrooms with expanded ADA access. New water fountains with water bottle filling stations will be installed.

Bittenbender Construction is the prime contractor for this project, working alongside Fidelity Fire Alarm. Gilmore and Associates will serve as prime designer working alongside DCM Architecture and Engineering.

Construction is expected to be completed in August 2023.

Due to construction, the Dell is planning to host an abridged “Essence of Entertainment” series in 2023 and to welcome back some of its signature events. The abridged season is expected to run from mid-August to late September 2023.

The City-run outdoor amphitheater, located in East Fairmount Park, will announce opening dates and lineups from the abbreviated 2023 concert season in May 2023.

Season ticket holders can expect information about a modified season ticket package at that time.

The Dell Box Office expects to open to the public in June 2023.

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* (Groundbreaking image LEFT TO RIGHT: Deputy Mayor Vanessa Garrett-Harley, City of Philadelphia Office of Children and Families; City Council President Darrell Clarke; Dell Music Center General Manager Susan Slawson; Dell Music Center Operations Manager Facetta Green; Sam Staten, Jr. President, Family of the Dell; Rick Ford, Strawberry Mansion CDC; Patty Jackson; radio announcer, WDAS)

Additional quotes:

“We’re delighted to support this groundbreaking at the Dell Music center,” said Council President Darrell L. Clarke. “This is the neighborhood concert venue,” Clarke said. “North Philly’s own Robin Hood Dell. The Dell is a welcoming place for so many Philadelphia residents to come here on Summer evenings and enjoy world class music with deep roots in Philadelphia. We’re proud to support these improvements to the Dell.”

“I was thrilled to join Council President Darrell L. Clarke, Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell, and countless other community partners as we announced the multimillion-dollar renovation project at the Dell Music Center,” said Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson.  “Last fiscal year, I joined my colleague, Councilmember Curtis Jones, Jr. in advocating that the Dell receive an additional $4 million in funding. The Dell plays a vital role in bringing Philadelphians from across our city together to experience live entertainment, enjoy cultural and performing arts, and to have a great time. With these new renovations, it will be able to continue doing so.”


ABOUT THE DELL MUSIC CENTERThe Dell Music Center is Philadelphia’s premiere outdoor entertainment venue, providing world-class music entertainment for more than 45 years.  The Dell was named the Best of Philly 2017 by Philadelphia Magazine.  Located at 2400 Strawberry Mansion Drive, The Dell provides high-quality, diverse, cultural entertainment at affordable prices.  Visit for more information. Follow @DellMusicCenter on Twitter and Facebook.

ABOUT PHILADELPHIA PARKS & RECREATION Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) advances the prosperity of the city and the progress of its people through stewardship of nearly 10,200 acres of public land and waterways, and management of 500 recreation buildings, 184 miles of trail, and 250 playgrounds. PPR offers safe,  enjoyable  recreation, environmental and cultural programs and events throughout Philadelphia’s parks and recreation system. PPR promotes the well-being and growth of the city’s residents by connecting them to the natural world, to each other and to fun, physical and social opportunities. Visit us at, and follow @philaparkandrec on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.