I had skipped last year’s Made In America after attending the previous two years. Chalk it up to taking a break, even old age (I’m not old at all), but I couldn’t resist sitting out another year. Here, we have another Made In America festival in the books. After selling out twice, the two day festival which is held within the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia saw out the unofficial end to summer the right way. This year’s musical lineup was rap heavy, but eclectic enough to keep people of all musical tastes satisfied as fans can in droves.
In addition to the normal stage lineup, you had the additional Tidal stage which highlighted acts like Jidenna, Bully, and Sarah Jaffe. Of course, music festivals are good to see your main stage acts, but it’s also good to discover music that may have not heard of before. In particular for myself, it was duo electronic duo Marian Hill on the Skate stage who are releasing an EP this week that you probably want to check out. As the two day festival drew on, the atmosphere was drenched with dirt that brought me back to my Coachella dust bowl days. That didn’t fans from packing the two main stages to see the likes of Nick Jonas, Future (who had one of the biggest crowds of the weekend), the hometown hero Meek Mill, J Cole, and others. On the electronic side, Bassnectar brought the base to the point where people where actively knocked back and forth. DJs like Axwell & Ingrosso and A Trak kept the element alive within the festival.
I really felt bad for the fans who braved the hot temperatures since 1:30 PM to see Beyonce. Some made it all the way through, but some fell victim to the humidity. Always remember to hydrate. If you haven’t seen Beyonce yet, it’s definitely an event in itself and something as a music lover that you should see. The Weeknd headlined the second night and on the heels of this new album, Beauty Behind The Madness, it’s cool to see him work up to becoming a headlining act at most of these festival.
Will I come back next year? Probably. Good friends, Labor Day Weekend, and it beats the typical barbecue.
See more photos from Made In America Music Festival below. All photographs © Murjani Rawls.