Summer is officially over and I am happy to say that I ended mine with a musical bang by attending my very first Budweiser Made in America Festival in Philadelphia.
What is Made in America (MIA)? It is a huge musical celebration started by Jay-Z that takes place on the Ben Franklin Parkway Labor Day Weekend. If you are an ultimate music lover of all genres, it is worth experiencing this two-day festival at least once in your life. It’s an eclectic atmosphere filled with diverse music fans from all over the world, lots of food, fun, and free stuff. The array of sounds from various artists and DJ’s that performed during that weekend opened up my ears to music I would probably not entertain on a regular day. With dozens of artists, chosen by Jay-Z himself, and different stages, this festival is sure to make you feel love through music in the city of “Brotherly Love”.
Since this was my first time being in attendance, I didn’t know what to expect. Now that I do, here are my thoughts and tips for you to prepare for next year’s festivities.
Made in America App is your BEST FRIEND!
The MIA App helped out a lot with the navigation and scheduling aspect of the festival. The festival map on the app assisted with the back and forth from different stages and hundreds of vendors. The schedule/lineup part of the app is very useful as well. The highlight of it is the ability to “create your own schedule” (as I like to call it). Once the lineup is released and the artist’s performance times are available, the app allows you to schedule the artists that you want to see in the order of their performance times; allowing you to plan your day out accordingly. Each day the festival is about 12 hours long (12pm-midnight). The schedule portion of the app will prevent you from heading to the festival earlier than you need to be there.
The Headliners are the Highlight!
The headliners for each festival day always close the show. The headliner is always a huge mainstream artist. If it is someone that you really want to see, give yourself 30-40 minutes before show time to head over to the headliner’s main stage and position yourself in a space with a “decent view”. Remember, it is standing only. You are not allowed to bring chairs (only a blanket). If you wait until show time to head to the stage, be prepared to be extremely far away from the stage. You will more than likely end up seeing the performance on the jumbo screens of the other stages.
No Best Dressed Awards are given at MIA, so keep your good outfits HOME!
MIA takes place on Ben Franklin Parkway; which has a lot of grass and dirt. Flats or your most comfortable pair of sneakers are highly recommended; preferably a pair that you really don’t care about getting really dirty. I wouldn’t recommend open-toe sandals, unless you like dirt between your toes and a 97% percent chance of your feet getting stepped on. MIA attire is mainly tees, shorts, or any clothing made out of the American Flag or promoting Budweiser. I would not break my neck to buy a brand new outfit just for the festival. It goes on RAIN OR SHINE. Dress for a beautiful day and/or a rainy day.
Taxi is strongly suggested commuting to and from the festival. PERIOD!
Don’t Be Cheap! Buy the 2-Day Pass!
You really are missing out if you only buy a pass for one day. The lineup is announced a month in advance (or something like that). However, the schedule is not available until maybe a day or two before the festival. An artist that you may really want to see could end up performing on the day you do not have a pass for. Not only do you miss out on an extra day of greatness, but you also miss a day of hearing some great up and coming talent and musical evolutions like none other, courtesy of the various DJs on the lineup.
BEER vs. LIBATIONS? BEER WINS!
If you are a beer lover, you will feel right at home at MIA. All they sell (aside from water and sodas) is Budweiser beer. If liquor/libations is your preference, you will have to pre-game before going to the MIA grounds.
Did you attend Made in America this year? What did you think about it? Tell us your favorite moments. Share with us your tips to surviving Made in America.
Until then… STAY GLAMOROUS!