Review & Photos By: Kristen Zarra
Made In America Festival is Labor Day Weekends biggest event in Philadelphia, PA. Running for 10 years and curated by Jay-Z, this two day festival offers more than just good music. MIA (Made in America) showcases local food vendors, as well as the Cause Village, which is the festivals philanthropic footprint, with 30 charities/organizations features (both local to Philadelphia and national). Some of the organizations included are: SHARE FOOD PROGRAM, UNITY IN THE COMMUNITY, SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA, ROC NATION SCHOOL OF MUSIC, SPORTS, AND ENTERTAINMENT, and BLACK VOTERS MATTER. Alongside these organizations are 11 artist that were selected to create a letter for the Cause Village sign. Made In America Festival has currently generated and impressive amount economic impact for the city of Philadelphia-over $150 million.
Saturday showcased performances by:
Babyface Ray, Larry June, Toro y Moi, Pusha T, Lil Uzi Vert, Tyler, the Creator & more. Despite the intense heat, fans came out for the entire day to catch their favorite artist. Performances were spread out across three stages each day, packing every moment with music. Larry June took the stage mid day with a cool and calm approach to his performance. he sang, and interacted with the crowd as he took it all in and smiled, you could tell he was doing what he loved in that moment. It’s no surprise that Lil Uzi Vert had an insane crowd, seeing how it was a hometown show for them. Fans packed in eager to see what their performance would be like. After cheering, Lil Uzi Vert popped out of the middle of the stage and amped up the energy.
Tyler, the Creator was heading Saturday, and before he took the stage I spoke with some fans who were eagerly anticipating his set. They were quick to tell me they had been in their spot all day as he was their favorite artist. Tyler, the Creator had an intense stage set up making it appear as if he immersed in a mountain. Playing favorites such as “LEMONHEAD”, “911”, and “RUNITUP”, he left no room for disappointment.
Sunday showcased performances by:
Becca Hannah, Ryan Castro, Victoria Monét, Tate McRae, Don Toliver, Burna Boy, Bad Bunny & more. Victoria Monét was the first act on the main stage, looking flawless as she sang and danced enticing the crowd to have fun. Tate McRae performed hits “Stupid” accompanied by brightly colored visuals in that appeared to melt down the screen. She closed out her set with her hit “You Broke Me First”, where the crowd sang along to every word. When Ryan Castro took the stage he got the crowd to MOVE! Everyone began dancing and enjoying his music during his set.
Don Toliver had gigantic blow up mushrooms on stage which made me think we were dropped into Alice in Wonderland. His set had deep lights mixed with strobe lights creating a wild visual experience. Burna Boy had a drum line, and dancers come out on stage during his performance, adding something extra to it. He moved around with a huge smile on his face, enjoying the moment as much as his fans were.
Throughout the day I noticed a few fans that had never moved from their spot. They claimed that this was for Bad Bunny, as they love him and had to be barricade for his set. Some said that they had arrived a few hours before doors even opened and sprinted to the main stage to snag their spot – now that’s dedication! When it was time for his set, fans began chanting ‘BENITO! BENITO!’ hoping it would make him come on stage faster. His set began with it appearing as though he was lounging on a beach enjoying summer. The crowd went wild as the bass pumped through the speakers, screaming the lyrics back to him. The Made In America Festival was more than a success for this years Labor Day Weekend!