Jay-Z's music festival kicks off in Philly
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - September 1, 2012 -- The music festival that Jay-Z helped put together began Saturday in Philadelphia, and the rapper is among more than two dozen acts expected to perform across three stages, including Pearl Jam, Run DMC, Odd Future, and Dirty Projectors.
A crowd cheered for the entrance of the night's most anticipated act as Jay-Z took the main stage and quickly launched into some of his fan-favorites.
It was the grand finale for Day-1 of the Budweiser Made in America music festival on the Ben Franklin Parkway.
Jay-Z put the event together and also headlined more than 30 acts this weekend.
"As soon as I knew he was coming, I knew I was coming," said Aleva Smith.
"It's been awesome," said Caroline Rosen. "It's been really hot, but everyone is so exciting. There is so much great energy."
This is the first ever ticket for purchase event held on the Ben Franklin Parkway. And while up to 50,000 and people were expected each day on the inside of the grounds, plenty of folks showed up on the outside to enjoy the festival for free.
Three different stages were set up for alternating performances that ran from 2:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Mayor Michael Nutter says the event has been a success so far.
"Really it has been incident free; folks are really enjoying themselves," said Mayor Nutter.
City officials say for months they worked on a public safety plan that was just finalized on Friday. But the Fraternal Order of Police expressed concerns, saying a significant number of officers who were slated to work this weekend were called off starting late Friday afternoon. They believe the decision boiled down to budget.
"It's troubling to begin with potentially could happen, and when you subtract highly trained in vast numbers from that, it is extremely troubling," said FOP Vice President John McGrody.
Police say their public safety team has experience covering events such as this, including the Wawa Welcome America free concerts on the Fourth of July that attract hundreds of thousands of people.
Pearl jam will be headlining Sunday night.
jay z, music, philadelphia, local/state, katherine scott
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