Tucked inside Fairmount Park just off Ridge Avenue at West Huntingdon Street hides the Robin Hood Dell East, a venerable concert venue that has been open for more than 80 years.
But for many Philadelphia residents this venue better known as ‘The Dell’ remains unknown.
“My first time here I spent an hour just trying to find it,” said Kenneth Jordan. “I asked several people on the way, and they don’t even know it’s here-and that’s sad.”
Despite the seeming low profile of this venue owned by the City of Philadelphia on the recent opening day at the box office people waiting to purchase tickets for upcoming shows formed a long line.
The City funding The Dell enables ticket prices to remain lower than most privately owned concert venues giving are residents and others a chance to see some of their favorite artists they might otherwise not get a chance to see.
This season The Dell will kick off its concert series with Nancy Wilson, the legendary award-winning jazz vocalist.
With an average of more than 6,000 people attending each show during the summer season, there is no question that while it still remains unknown to some residents, The Dell is a significant spot for many.
To one women, the entertainment center that once hosted Bill Cosby holds a special meaning.
“My husband was a member of a group called Zoah, who once played a show here,” said Jamelle Segers. “He passed away last year, and the group played here with Shelia E and Dave Cos last year. I came to that show in his memory.”
When asked if she expects to make a trip to The Dell an annual tradition, Segers said that this year’s line up might make that the case.
“There’s no way I won’t keep coming back for Nancy Wilson.”