By: Renee Grant

It’s been almost a year since rock and pop icon David Bowie passed away, and the music world is still mourning the loss, as are his fans. Making the week even more bittersweet is the fact that Bowie’s birthday, January 8th, falls just two days before the date of his death. Rounding out the events surrounding Bowie’s death is that it came just days after, not only his 69th birthday, but after the release of his critically acclaimed final album, Blackstar.

The loss of the artist on January 10, 2016 will be marked this year by events all over the world, here in our area is no exception. Our city has always deeply embraced the music and style of Bowie, he sold out Tower Theater in the 70’s with his Ziggy Stardust and Diamond Dogs shows, with the latter becoming 1974’s David Live. He also was a staple at Philly’s Sigma Sound Studios, recording several albums at the well-known production space.

Below is a listing of Bowie-themed happenings in Philadelphia during what has been dubbed #PhillyLovesBowie week, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Happy birthday, Bowie!


All Bowie All The Time At Doobies Bar – Doobies Bar will host a nearly all-Bowie jukebox during the week, and the owner of the beloved bar, Patti Brett, even convinced Round Guys Brewing Co. & Pub to make Loving the Alien, a BlackStar Saison (6.3 percent), only available at Doobies. “The Bowie beer, named for a song from 1985’s Tonight, is brewed with Bravo, Centennial, and Simcoe hops, Candi Sugar, Rye & Wheat,” Brett says. Doobies will also host a Bowie B-Day Quizzo on Sunday and a vigil Tuesday highlighted by an outdoor chalk-drawing memorial. Doobies Bar is located at 2201 Lombard Street, and the festivities begin Friday, January 6th at 9PM.


Candy Volcano Performs Bowie’s Aladdin Sane  The local cover band will be on hand at the Theater of Living Arts on January 7th to celebrate the rocker’s birthday, performing his 1973 Alladin Sane album in its entirety. The show begins at 8PM and tickets range from $15 – $20.


Bowie Birthday Brunch – Stop by Italian restaurant Cibo on Sunday, January 8th, for a Bowie-themed brunch celebrating his birthday. Manchester, England’s DJ Gareth Bird will play tunes by a young Bowie. Cibo also will host a special Bowie edition of DJ Robert Drake’s Sex Dwarf party next Friday, January 13th.


Basquiat on the Big Screen – A film that tells the story of New York’s 80’s pop art, hip hop and glam rock scene, the movie features some great performances. Bowie convincingly and eerily plays art icon Andy Warhol this 1996 film, and will have you almost convinced Warhol never left us. You can catch the special screening at the PFS Roxy Theater on 2023 Sansom Street at 7:30PM Monday, January 9th. Tickets cost $12.

1996 (L to R) Jeffrey Wright, David Bowie, Gary Oldman, and Dennis Hopper in the new movie "Basquiat"


Karaoke Featuring Bowie – Head over to Johnny Brenda’s on the evening of Wednesday, January 11th and sing your favorite Bowie tunes with a room full of fans. Give your best Ziggy Stardust and pay tribute to a truly out of this world musician. Johnny Brenda’s is located at 1201 Frankford Avenue, and this event is free.


Bring the Kids for Bowie On Ice – We can’t leave the kids out of celebrating the life and music of Bowie, so head down to the Blue Cross RiverRink for face painting and ice skating, while the Labyrinth plays on the screens around the rink from 1PM to 4PM during family skate time. From 5PM to 11PM, the rink caters to the 21-and-over crowd with Bowie-themed cocktails available and concert footage on the rink screens. The rink is located at Penn’s Landing, 101 S. Columbus Blvd. The event is free, and it’s free to skate.


CHOP Loves Bowie – To cap off the week of Philly’s Bowie-filled fun fest, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will host some of the area’s local singing stars, such as Johnny Showcase, Ginger Coyle, Richard Bush, and Deanna Roisin, music director Dan Kaufman and Main Light’s laser productions will present an amazing performance, and a silent auction will benefit the hospital’s cancer treatment division, all in memory of the Thin White Duke. The event takes place at 8PM next Saturday at World Café Live, located at 3025 Walnut St. The cost of tickets are $20.


For information on these and other events coming to the area commemorating David Bowie, visit


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