Get ready, Rick and Morty and Aqua Teen Hunger Force fans. Adult Swim Festival Block Party is coming to Philadelphia.
The three-day festival celebrating all things Adult Swim — the block of nighttime programming on the Cartoon Network that’s targeted to adults — will make its first-ever East Coast appearance in Fishtown on Aug. 5-7.
The Comic-Com-like fest will be staged at four venues and include comedy performances, panel discussions, exclusive advance screenings of Adult Swim programming like the forthcoming Aqua Teen movie, and lots of music.
The first two in-person Adult Swim Festivals took place in Los Angeles in 2018 and 2019, before being an online event in 2020 and 2021. The Adult Swim Festival Block Party in August will be the fest’s only 2022 iteration.
Music headliners include Run The Jewels, the politically charged rap duo of Killer Mike and El-P; Philadelphia hip-hop artist and wildly creative entertainer Tierra Whack; and DethKlok, the fictional band who are the focus of the Adult Swim show Metalocalypse, which features real-life musicians in performance. Each act headlines one night at the Fillmore.
The music lineup also features Philly bands Hop Along, Spirit of the Beehive, and Snacktime Philly, plus DJ Diamond Kuts and formerly Philadelphia DJ-producer RJD2. Alabama rapper Flo Milli is also on the bill, as is Eshu Tune, the hip-hop project of comedian and actor Hannibal Burress.
The festival will take place at the Fillmore Philadelphia and its upstairs more intimate venue, the Foundry, as well as next door at Brooklyn Bowl Philadelphia and across the street at Punch Line Philly.
The block party will be held on Allen Street and Canal Street outside the venues, which will be closed off during the festival.
Comedians playing Adult Swim include Sam Jay, Ana Fabrega, Maddy Smith, Carmen Christopher, and Jo Firestone. Further opportunities for fans to nerd out will be provided with digital watch parties of shows like Toonami, Birdgirl, and YOLO: Crystal Fantasy.
The fest will not work like a music festival where a pass gains ticket-holders access to all events. It will be more like a film festival where a ticket is required for each event, whether it’s a panel on The Eric Andre Show or Robot Chicken. A ticket to a performance in any of the venues also will allow access to whatever entertainment is being staged outdoors at the block party.
“After several successful years in L.A. and online, we’re excited to bring the Adult Swim Festival to the East Coast,” Adult Swim president Michael Ouweleen, said in a statement. “Fishtown is the perfect setting for what promises to be an unforgettable celebration of the city, Adult Swim, and top talent who are at the forefront of the music and comedy worlds.”
The Adult Swim Mural Project will be launched in Philly in conjunction with the festival. Working with Atlanta-based nonprofit Living Walls, the project has spotlighted up-and-coming Black artists and creators to produce large-scale murals in New Orleans and Atlanta.
Last fall, Brooklyn Bowl founder Peter Shapiro talked about how the proximity of his venue to the Fillmore would allow for creative programming to bring one-of-a-kind events like Adult Swim Festival Block Party to Philadelphia.
“I don’t think there’s a 1,000-capacity room next to a 2,500 room that exists anywhere in America,” he said. “That’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. So there’s a lot of collaborative booking things we can do that can make the live concert experience special. We’ll do some creative stuff.”
Ticket presale for individual performances begins Thursday at 10 a.m. at adultswimfestival.com and general sale begins Friday at 10 a.m. at the same address. Prices will vary widely for different performances. Tickets for any performance gain admission to the block party for that day.