Local/State

Finishing touches for Made in America Festival

Friday, August 30, 2013

Crews are putting the final touches on the massive stage for the Made in America Concert on the Ben Franklin Parkway.

Tickets are almost sold out for the two day event. Starting Saturday the Parkway will be packed with people ready to watch and listen to some of the biggest acts in Hip Hop, alternative and dance music.

Saturday and Sunday all of the festival's four stages will be ready for all types of stars - 30 acts are slated for the weekend.

Jim Sutcliffe from Live Nation explains, "It's a really eclectic mix. I mean & some people are really excited about seeing Beyonce. Some people are really excited about seeing some of the electronic dance music that's playing. Some people are really excited about the rock and roll that's here. There's just such a variety of music."

Beyonce and Nine Inch Nails are headlining the Made in America event, which is the brain child of Jay-Z, now going into its second year. This year the number of tickets for sale increased to 120,000. That's up from last year's 80,000 and a reflection of the shows growing popularity.

"There's just some more familiarity with the event. People saw just how great it was last year. Last year was amazingly successful. And people in Philadelphia who didn't go, read about it on RollingStone.com, in USA Today, and it was just such a cool thing that people wanted to be at," said Sutcliffe.

Fences will line the area to keep non-paying customers out, and there is a strict 'no re-entry' policy.

Click here for more on the lineup and schedule of performances

BIG BUSINESS FOR SURROUNDING NEIGHBORHOODS

"This year we definitely have more people traveling from all over the world," said Sutcliffe. "We have people from Canada, people from Las Vegas, Omaha . . . "

And that means big business for surrounding neighborhoods. Bars and restaurants like Luigi's Pizza Fresca in Fairmount are gearing up for the foot traffic.

"More people down there, more people up here," said Leo Fiore of Luigi's. "Great show, great singers, great time in this great city. A lot of pizzas!"

"I think it's exciting," said Kristin Snyder. "Like I said, I'm a longtime Fairmount resident, and I think it's great for the neighborhood."

The fences are up and many of the roads for the festival closed, and that means congestion. The Parkway will be shut down from 20th to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. So will many ancillary roads.

"You can't go any place," said Fairmount resident Barbara Judge. "The bus routes are just outrageous to go to work," she said, explaining she is not a fan of any of it. Asked what she plans to do this weekend, Judge said she's going to watch TV.

City officials say a heavy law enforcement presence will be on hand, and other security measures are being taken. Some you'll see. Others you won't.

"A couple of things have changed in the one year [since the first 'Made in America']," said Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison. "We've had the Boston incident. We actually have a lot more assets that are deployed. We did that during the Broad Street Run, and we are replicating what we did there."

"Anything you have in the city, you're going to be a little bit inconvenienced," said Fairmount resident Tim Gilroy. "But it benefits the city as a whole, so why not?"

Things to know for people heading out: Only unopened water bottles are allowed in or empty plastic water bottles. Beer will be inside to buy, along with food.

Click here for a list of road closures and safety measures for the Made in America festival

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