The Philly Music Festival will return in October with a full slate of all local bands playing independent venues in the city and suburbs.

In its sixth year, the headliners include Philly bands Mannequin Pussy, Low Cut Connie, Screaming Females, and Empath, as well as indie songwriters Ron Gallo, Shamir, and Saleka.

The nonprofit PMF, which donates money to music education programs throughout the city, continues to grow. This year, it includes seven shows at six venues, both numbers one more than in 2021.

It runs from Oct. 10 to 15 starting with two nights at the Ardmore Music Hall, followed by evenings at World Cafe Live (in the clubs upstairs and downstairs venues), Johnny Brenda’s, MilkBoy Philly, REC Philly, and Underground Arts, with the latter new this year.

“Inspiring new generations of artists is what helps keep music and music scenes alive,” Marisa Dabice of Mannequin Pussy said. “The work that Philly Music Fest is doing is so important to our community and to the people who have been unable to work and perform over the last two years. Philly is so lucky to have a festival that is so supportive of local talent.”

In addition to the headliners now being announced, there’s one “TBA” on the PMF poster. That’s for the Philly rock band slotted to top the bill both nights at Ardmore Music Hall and expected to be the most popular act on the entire fest lineup.

Who are they? Festival founder and director Greg Seltzer, who is a Ballard Spahr attorney as well as a tireless supporter of the local music scene, is not permitted to say, as of yet. “It’s the first band listed on the first line,” he said. “So you know it’s someone big, right?”

Since its inception in 2017, the PMF has presented a wide range of acts including Waxahatchee, Japanese Breakfast, Man Man, Sun Ra Arkestra, Moor Mother, Speedy Ortiz, Alex G, Langhorne Slim, and Orion Sun.

» READ MORE: Moor Mother leads the way as Philly Music Fest returns with in-person shows at five different venues

The fest has been entirely local, with a fresh lineup every year. Of all the acts on the 2022 bill, only Low Cut Connie has played the PMF before.

“And when they played the first time, they were a support act,” said Seltzer. “Now they’re a headliner. I don’t want to bring bands back horizontally, if that make any sense. I want them to be moving up vertically on the poster.”

The PMF makes a point of only presenting shows at independent venues, the kind of local business show places whose well-being was endangered during the live music shutdown of the pre-vaccine stage of the pandemic.

“Without slamming big corporations that dominate the industry,” Seltzer said, “it’s just really important that independent venues exist and can continue to be profitable. They end up programming what they and the talent booker and the venue thinks is cool. As opposed to nonindependent venues who are putting on stage what the big corporations are routing through their venues.”

Besides the headliners, the PMF is loaded with intriguing acts, such as R&B songwriter Saleka (who is the daughter of filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan), jazz band Perpetual Motion, and hard-core punks Ghösh. Other showcasing bands include indie-duo Echo Kid (features former members of Philly rock band RFA) Sophia Greenberg-fronted rockers Riverby; and post-punk quartet The Ire. There will also be an all hip-hop showcase on Oct. 14, at REC Philly headquarters in the Fashion District.

Seltzer said that last year, the PMF donated $75,000 to music education charities, including Rock to the Future, Live Connections, Girls Rock Philly, Musicopia, Settlement Music School, and Philadelphia Youth Orchestra.

That number was up from $50,000 in 2020, during which the PMF was a live-stream event with only two showcase nights. Except for that pandemic shrinkage, the fest has grown every year. In 2022, Seltzer’s goal is to donate $100,000.

This year’s fest will also include Inside Hustle, a panel discussion and forum for artists and various music business people to discuss the Philly music ecosystem. That event will be free Oct. 15 at World Cafe Live.

Tickets for individual shows go on sale June 15 at 10 a.m at phillymusicfest.com and through the websites of all the venues.