May 31, 2016 |

A Guide to Philadelphia Radio


It’s no secret that Philly is a major music city. This means, of course, that live music is a staple in Philadelphia, and there’s no shortage of venues to see your favorite band. Sometimes, though, you just need to tune into the radio while studying or on the go. For those of you who come from out of the area, here are some of the area’s top radio stations so that you can join in on Philly’s music scene wherever you are.

If you like alternative… Radio 104.5.

Probably the most popular station among young people in Philadelphia, 104.5 plays alternative and indie hits, as well as some throwback jams.

Don’t miss their free live block parties during summer and fall months, where some of the station’s featured artists perform live for free down at Festival Pier.

If country’s your thing… 92.5 WXTU.

This station goes above and beyond serving country fans in the area. Listening to the Morning Crew presents the opportunity to hear interviews with country’s biggest stars, from Frankie Ballard to Blake Shelton.

XTU hosts so many shows in the area (especially during summer!) that tuning in becomes your best opportunity to win tickets for free.

If you need some folk or blues… 88.5 XPN.

My personal favorite, XPN is the member-supported radio station of the University of Pennsylvania. All about “Community. Not Commodity,” you won’t hear advertisements here, but you will hear some great music, from Bob Dylan to Speedy Ortiz.

Becoming a member means you’ll get insider deals and access to pre-sales for the many tremendous shows that XPN arranges in Philadelphia. To check out their Free at Noon Friday concert series, though, is totally cost-free, and a great way to spend an afternoon in the city.

If you’re partial to the classics… 102.9 WMGK.

Maybe you inherited your parent’s music taste. If you like some Journey, Springsteen or Steve Miller in your life, 102.9 provides a constant rotation of throwback jams accompanied by the lively commentary of their knowledgeable, funny DJ staff.

If you want to jam to some pop hits… Q 102.1.

Q102 is undoubtedly the most upbeat music to fuel your workout or party. You’ll hear all the latest Top 40 hits on this station, and if you tune in at 4:00 or 8:00 PM, the station plays two straight hours, commercial free. This station does more than music, too- its DJs comment on all things pop culture. Check out this list of shows to see what suits your interests.

In a world of streaming and downloading music, I will always recommend the radio for the charm of unpredictability, exposure to new artists, and the shared pulse of a music city that knows what it’s talking about. These stations are your best way to get started.


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