Made in America: An Annual Staple of the Philadelphia Music Scene



Kate Capizzi

Over Labor Day weekend, many students could be found at Made in America. This festival at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is loud, exciting and fun in the two days it dominates Philadelphia. Presented by Tidal and Budweiser and founded by Jay Z, the lineup of the festival was impressive. Rihanna and Coldplay headlined the festival that included a variety of diverse musicians. 

Thousands of people came from all over the world to engage in the two days full of musical performances. Although the gates opened each day at noon, many festival-goers waited in lines to secure places at the front of stages of their favorite performers. Many people maximized their experiences at the concert, trying to attend as many performances as possible. Because the venue held five stages, many were able to see a wide range of musicians as live music is played continuously and multiple artists perform at once. 

This past Labor Day, the weather was warm with clear skies, making it a comfortable environment for the festival. The culture of the concert was not only aided by music but food trucks, a ferris wheel and a vertigo ride. 

On Saturday, performances by Lil’ Uzi, A$AP Ferg, Collegrove (2 Chainz & Lil Wayne) and Jamie XX were more than entertaining and full of wild crowds. Even so, Rihanna was an obvious favorite for the night.  

As the last performance of the night, Rihanna’s presence was made known as the strong piano notes from her hit “Stay” filled the venue. She began her performance hooded on a raised platform in front of the Eakins Oval Fountain and sang hits from her new album as she headed to the Rocky Stage in a moving bridge that floated over the crowd. Her renditions of old songs and features were aided by festival-goers who sang their hearts out. Rihanna’s performance, the longest of the night, included hits such as “Umbrella,” “Desperado,” “Work,” “Rude Boy” and “Needed Me.” During her show, Rihanna included a message to the audience: “The young people of the country have the power to change the future.” She spoke of inspiration and freedom, adding to the American theme of the festival. Many saw her performance as one of the best of the weekend. She definitely delivered a show, from the eclectic backup dancers to her range of musical talent. 

On Sunday, Chance the Rapper and Coldplay dominated the Rocky Stage. Although not the most populated performances of the festival, Martin Garrix, Travi$ Scott, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Desiigner were fan favorites. Chance the Rapper’s set was one of the most memorable of Sunday. His stage was lit up with colors, a reference to his newest mixtape Coloring Book, and the audience genuinely enjoyed his performance full of new and old hits. His performance contained many emotions, as he sang happy birthday to Beyoncé, who was in attendance with husband Jay Z, and spoke of keeping friendships, positivity and freedoms in the country.  

The final performance of the festival was Coldplay. Fans of all ages experienced one of the last shows of Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams American tour. The performance was unforgettable.

Every person in the audience bonded together with white bracelets that lit up for different songs, aiding to the magical set. Their performance was energetic. The crowd danced to “Hymn for The Weekend” and sang along as Coldplay played hits such as “Yellow,” “Clocks” and “Paradise.” Coldplay’s performance ended the festival perfectly. 

The two-day festival that occurred over Labor Day weekend in Philadelphia was one full of legendary performances and inspirational messages. With an amazing lineup of performances and fun audience, the 5th year of Made in America was suc