The Shore's best shows, from big names at the casinos to an upstart festival inland

Patti Labelle
Patti LaBelle will be at the Tropicana in Atlantic City on June 24.

Lying on the beach with ear buds in is the most popular summer-music activity down the Shore. And it’s preferable to blasting a boom box: Kindly keep your jams to yourself!

But this year there will ample opportunity to gather and share seasonal sounds. 

The list below highlights shows at Atlantic City casinos where — as always — the Borgata hosts the most action. The 1980s Retro Futura tour comes through Aug. 11 with Howard Jones and the English Beat, and Santana returns Aug. 20. Caesar’s has Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals on Aug. 26.

Everything isn’t hugging the Shore. An upstart festivals inland in South Jersey —  Through the Grapevine in Millville, July 7-9, headlined by Titus Andronicus — offers escape from both urban grit and overcrowded boardwalks.

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

The New Orleans party-starting bandleader’s jazz-funk ensemble is on tap June 19 at the Ocean City Music Pier, which also will host Southside Johnny on July 10, Graham Nash on July 24, and the Mike Love-led Beach Boys on Aug. 21 and 22.

The Bottle & Cork / Dogfish Head Brewpub

These Delaware drinking establishments are a solid source of occasional original music. Dogfish highlights in Rehoboth include Richard Lloyd on June 2 and BJ Barham of American Aquarium on July 1. The Bottle & Cork in Dewey Beach is busier, with Old 97’s June 18, Maddie & Tae on June 29, and Donavon Frankenreiter on Aug. 21.,

Firefly Music Festival

The four-day Firefly is one of the largest East Coast festivals, with bands the include the Weeknd, Bob Dylan, Chance the Rapper, Weezer, Kesha, the Shins, Busta Rhymes, and Philadelphia’s own Vita & the Woolf. June 15-18 at the Woodlands at Dover Downs.

Patti LaBelle

The Philly diva has a fresh musical direction. Her album Bel Hommage finds her singing jazz tunes she grew up listening to in Southwest Philly. June 24 at the Tropicana in Atlantic City.


The Doylestown native, prone to doing Cirque du Soleil-style acrobatic shows, returns to the stage after giving birth in December. Her most recent album is 2012’s The Truth About Love, but she had a hit last year with “Just Like Fire.” July 12 on the Atlantic City Beach.

Jill Scott

North Philadelphia’s finest jazz-soul-R&B singer, spoken-word poet, and actress has established herself as a reliable summer concert draw. July 16 at the Borgata’s Event Center.

Cape May Concert Series

A solid lineup of heritage acts includes folk scion Arlo Guthrie and daughter Sara Lee Guthrie (July 19), Motown stars Martha & the Vandellas (July 31), New Orleans’ own Aaron Neville (Aug. 9), and Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals (Aug. 16). At the Cape May Convention Center.

The Who

The kings of the idle retirement threat. Every tour, it seems — most recently their 50th anniversary jaunt in 2015 — is allegedly last. But before you know it, surviving leaders Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey are back. July 22 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. 


The former Police man made a return to rock of sorts with last year’s 57th and 9th, and has been playing theaters, including a well-received Fillmore show in March. Sept. 3 at the Borgata Event Center.

Want more of the Shore? Pick up a copy of our 2017 Shore Guide, packed with the sights, sounds, and tastes of summer.