As the summer approaches life seems to be getting back to some normalcy during this pandemic, the Oval XP aims at capturing back some of that and offering people somewhere to go all summer long.
Starting this month, Philadelphia can enjoy the all new Oval XP at Eakins Oval in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum. The Oval officially opens on June 16 and runs through August 21. The Oval XP will provide locals and visitors with entertainment, food, beverages and events for all ages Wednesday through Sunday. The Oval features Philadelphia’s largest beer garden and a mobile Ferris wheel as well as a carousel.
Sitting on eight acres, Oval XP is a concept that Philadelphia’s Parks & Recreation tried before but it moved to a virtual setting during the pandemic. This year they worked with Wawa Welcome America and Our People Entertainment to bring this idea back to life, this time it is bigger and better! Our People Entertainment’s Co-Founder and Owner, Will Horrocks, is excited to finally see his labor of brotherly love come to fruition. This is the first time his company is producing Oval XP and there are a lot of exciting things in store this summer.
Horrocks got his start drinking vans for concert venues, then transitioned to a production assistant for Wawa Welcome America 10 years ago and worked his way up the event industry. Our People Entertainment produces Wawa Welcome America now and through their close relationship with Wawa and the City of Philadelphia, we were asked to produce the Oval XP experience.
“We came up with this concept. Worked on it for months. Went back and forth with the city to figure out what would fit and what wouldn’t. The things that were on top of both of our lists was creating a festival-like experience that doesn’t cost you $ 500 and doesn’t last just three days, ”said Horrocks.
Enjoying Oval XP is free with only a few things requiring a fee, like food, drinks and entertainment.
Oval XP is an urban oasis made for foodies, music lovers, wellness addicts, art enthusiasts, families, creatives and festival fanatics alike. There are murals and art that are freely displayed. Oval XP features an enhanced 33,000 square foot ground mural titled, Common Ground, by artist Calo Rosa. Rosa was born in San Salvador and is now an artist who lives and works in Philadelphia. Mural Arts Philadelphia has also enhanced the space with public art to bring communities together.
There is a brand new Summer Stage with a 32’x24 ‘foot stage that will host diverse musical programming and concerts.
“Philadelphia is so special. We have unbelievable niches here in Philadelphia. We’ve got groups of people who organize themselves and have great programming together and that if those individuals who are already out in the community and already creating this programming had a larger voice or a larger stage or a venue that is more accessible and not have to spend thousands of dollars to be able to host an event to create that space for them, ”says Horrocks.
The events, performances and programming on that stage will uplift the creative economy and display the talent Philadelphia has to offer.
There will be constant programming on that stage throughout the summer and downloading the app will help people know what is happening at Oval XP daily. The app also allows people to buy tickets for the events that are not free, like the Ferris wheel, and allows people to buy food and drinks from the beer garden. The beer garden is nearly 60,000 square feet of outdoor space and includes multiple bars and seating options. It is operated by Philadelphia’s Milkboy and has a smaller stage that will host local comedians, spoken word and acoustic artists.
Families have a space at Oval XP as well. There are kid friendly events being offered at the Imagination Space at Oval XP. The Imagination Space offers a variety of free events ranging from storybook readings, arts, crafts, music lessons, children-friendly performances and more. Next to The Imagination Space, guests can ride the carousel. There will also be some gaming and interactive activities.
To get more info, visit theovalphl.org. Follow @theovalphl on social media to find out how to download the app and be the first to hear about the dozens of upcoming announcements throughout the summer.