Now in it’s fourth year, Self Help Fest returns to the ‘City of Brotherly Love. Setting up camp at Festival Pier, the Penn’s Landing outdoor venue played host to the tour that ‘spreads positivity through music.’

With thirteen artists on the bill, the show was separated into two stages. On the Black Stage: Microwave, Bad Omens, Can’t Swim, Real Friends, and Silverstein. On the Red Stage: The Plot In You, Angel Du$t, Stray From the Path, Wage War, Moose Blood, Falling In Reverse, Underøath, and A Day to Remember.

Bad Omens [Black Stage: 3:10-3:35]

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Photo by: Henry Chung

Angel Du$t [Red Stage: 3:35-4:00]

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Photo by: Henry Chung

Can’t Swim [Black Stage: 4:00-4:25]

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Photo by: Henry Chung

Stray From the Path [Red Stage: 4:20-4:45]

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Photo by: Henry Chung

Real Friends [Black Stage: 4:40-5:10]

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Photo by: Henry Chung

Wage War [Red Stage: 5:05-5:30]

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Photo by: Henry Chung

Silverstein [Black Stage: 5:30-6:00]

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Photo by: Henry Chung

Moose Blood [Black Stage: 5:55-6:25]

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Photo by: Henry Chung

Falling In Reverse [Red Stage: 6:50-7:20]

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Photo by: Henry Chung

Underøath [Red Stage: 7:45-8:30]

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Photo by: Henry Chung

A Day to Remember [Red Stage: 9:00-END]

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Photo by: Henry Chung

Final thoughts:

Cons: Self Help Fest’s felt like it lost track of what it’s own mission. With the first date of the tour falling on World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10th), no artist except for Stray From the Path once ever mentioned anything about spreading the message of positivity and to take care of one another. In fact there were absolutely no nonprofits onsite, no signs to point to troubled individuals on where they can reach out for help. Instead the day was mostly filled with bands trying to make the largest circle pit or fans groping female crowd surfers.

Pros: Though stricken with losing sight of it’s own message, if you were to view this as just another concert tour then this indeed was a fantastic package. With a roster of acts than tend to be main stage staples at Warped Tour, the day felt like it was an extension the legendary “punk rock summer camp.” At the end of the day, when I come out as a fan of one or two new bands, then I feel that the show was a success.

With a few more cities left on it’s itinerary, I’m hopeful that Self Help Fest’s own message will not be lost in the breakdown.

Photos by: Henry Chung

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