John Oates of Hall & Oates dishes on the 2nd Annual HoagieNation Festival

John Oates of Hall & Oates gears up for HoagieNation Festival 2018. | Getty Images
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Hall & Oates returns to Philadelphia on Saturday, May 26 for their 2nd annual HoagieNation Festival, which takes place at Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing.

The daylong event combines two things Philly is known for: incredible music and food.

“It was a joint effort from Live Nation and our promoters. We wanted to do something special in Philadelphia,” says John Oates, one half of the legendary music duo, Hall & Oates. “And the fact that Philadelphia has become such a cool food town, we thought it would be cool to combine food and music for an event that will hopefully go on for a long time.”

As far as the music lineup goes, the headliners are solidified but some of the smaller acts are still being decided on.

“We’re on tour with Train and it was obvious we’d include them,” Oates says. “We’ve done a bunch of shows with Fitz and the Tantrums and we love those guys — they’re great. To spice it up a little bit, Daryl and I are really big fans of Marty Stuart. They’re country in an old school kind of cool way. I’m good friends with Marty and love his musicianship. Then we have a lineup of cool local Philly bands, which is still being finalized.”

Oates also revealed that Hall & Oates will be releasing a special single with Train to promote the tour.

“I can’t tell you the song name until it’s released. It will probably come out in late April,” he says. “I wasn’t as involved in doing the song because I was on tour with my solo album (“Arkansas”). Daryl and Pat (Monahan) are singing lead and I’m doing backgrounds. I think Pat found the song.”

Given the name of the HoagieNation Festival pays homage to the iconic Philly sandwich, we had to ask Oates what his favorite kind of hoagie was, and his answer posed quite the conundrum.  

“My favorite hoagie? I would say a cheesesteak with pizza sauce and fried onions at Jim’s on South Street,” he says.

Is a cheesesteak considered a hoagie, Philadelphia? The question has been rattling this reporter’s brain since the interview. Oates was astonished by my surprise.

“If you don’t consider a cheesesteak a hoagie, you’re not from Philadelphia,” he says. “It’s a cheesesteak hoagie. That’s what it is.”

With a laugh he adds, “If you want me to talk about a hoagie with cold cuts, I can do that,” he jokes.

Whether you’re a cold cuts hoagie kind of person or a “cheesesteak kind of hoagie” person, Oates says it’s all personal preference.

“Everyone has their own favorite for their own reasons,” he says. “I don’t think there is a best one.”

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