Because of its location, Philadelphia was an easy place for bands from New York City and Washington, DC to play concerts. Venues such as the Elk's Center, Love Hall, Long March, Community Education Center (CEC) and Abe's Steaks (a small hoagie shop) regularly held hardcore shows during the 1980s. Other notable sites such as the Starlite Ballroom, BYO Hall, East Side Club, West Side Club (which was actually Jeff Jenkins Basement in West Philadelphia), The Kennel Club and Buff Hall were hosts of shows by well known hardcore bands. Together these venues hosted shows not only by local hardcore punk bands but also more well known bands like Bad Brains, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Flipper, Minor Threat, SS Decontrol, and many others. The local hardcore scene drew from Philadelphia as well as South Jersey, Reading, Allentown, Delaware, Delco, and other surrounding suburbs in the Philadelphia metropolitan area or Delaware Valley.
An important source of exposing the Philadelphia region to this music were the DJs Jeff Jenkins and Steve Lukshides at WKDU, 91.7 FM, Drexel University's radio station and Eddie "Hacksaw" at University of Pennsylvania's WXPN, 88.5 FM. Music by some of the early Philadelphia hardcore bands where included on the 1983 compilation LP Get Off My Back. South Street, Philadelphia had served as the center of the Philadelphia punk scene since the mid to late 70s, and bars and music venues on the street featured hardcore punk acts in the 1980s. Important bands in the early Philadelphia hardcore scene include The Dead Milkmen, a band that played an often sarcastic and humorous variant of hardcore punk. Though formed in Los Angeles, the hardcore punk band Fear had considerable connections to Philadelphia during the band's heyday; Fear's frontman Lee Ving was a Philadelphia native, and he notably referenced the Philadelphia South Street punk scene in the 1983 song "I Don't Care About You."
Notable bands (in alphabetical order)
- The Dead Milkmen formed 1983 in Philadelphia
- Flag of Democracy (F.O.D.) Ardmore, Pennsylvania
- Kid Dynamite
- Pagan Babies
- Paint It Black
- The Stick Men