Mann Center Reopening for Weddings, Family Reunions, or Any Other Outdoor Events You Can Dream Up
by Kristen Schott | Philadelphia Wedding
Since 2019, the Mann Center has been a popular wedding venue for music-loving couples wanting to say “I do.” It was also a longtime staple for all those must-attend concerts of our pre-COVID lives — and future. (ICYMI: The center is selling tickets for the Roots Picnic on June 5th.) But come April, the 22-acre campus in Fairmount Park is offering its six venues for socially distanced gatherings that typically take place indoors or that previously might have been considered too small for its capacity. That means your micro-wedding or mini-mony, family reunion, office party, musical performance, and whatever other gatherings (you know, graduations and galas) could more safely be held in the wide open spaces here, too.
“We recognize lately that there is a greater need to help all kinds of clients out right now who are struggling to move forward with their events,” says Catherine M. Cahill, president and CEO of the Mann, which reopens next month after closure for COVID-19 and the winter season. The campus’s flexible (and expansive) nature allows for imaginative re-envisioning of events hampered by the impacts of the coronavirus, according to the team.
Available for booking through October, the spaces provide COVID-19 protocols (timed entry, multiple entrances and exits, heightened cleaning, temperature checks and hygiene stations) and vary in size and configuration, with guest capacity subject to the latest guidelines. Philly’s requirements for outdoor events currently sit at 20 percent of capacity. (City guidance was updated March 2nd in conjunction with Governor Wolf’s new order.) As of last Friday, outdoor catered events were capped at 100 people max. (And no indoor catered events can take place yet.)
For reference, the Pavilion (a 6,000-square-foot expanse) and Great Lawn typically could hold up to 13,000 guests for concerts and performances in its seating spaces. The Mann can now hold up to 2,600, depending on the latest requirements. (If you’re hosting your micro-wedding or family function, that would take place onstage — hallowed musical ground.) Other areas include the 8,500-square-foot Woodlands by TD located in the picnic grove, which was renovated in 2020 and is outfitted with Adirondack chairs, cafe lighting and benches; and the Skyline Stage, with its festival vibe (scaffolding, a lawn for frolicking, food truck and vendor access) and hilltop panoramas of the city. Both of these venues have seen a gradual increase in interest, according to the Mann.
You can also choose the 5,000-square-foot Crescendo, a tented outdoor dining space at the top of the great lawn for catered functions; Acclaim, a 2,400-square-foot tented area surrounded by plant life that can be transformed based on specific event needs and layout; and the 4,000-square-foot Donor Terrace & Garden, whose indoor-outdoor setup boasts a private bar and restroom and is best for a smaller soiree.
Consider booking all six of the spaces rather than utilizing one specific spot, to ensure ample distancing at galas. (We love the idea of a progressive soiree!) But no matter which space you choose to throw your party, expect Philly skyline views and loads of lawns and greenery.
The Mann has private, corporate and public events on the schedule between April and June; it hopes to be back in full operation by mid-to-late summer.
Interested in adding your bash to the list? While the team notes that securing dates far in advance is beneficial, events can be booked with less advance notice depending on availability. (The Mann has a non-refundable deposit policy, but requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis; if a gathering must be postponed due to COVID-19 guidelines, the team says it will work to “find a mutually agreeable date.”) The Mann has a preferred catering list (you can find it here) and an event team to help in navigating which space is best for your party and sourcing vendors. Pricing varies based on each event. For more information, visit the Mann’s website.