Made in America: Success sparks calls for annual music festival
Not even rain could stop Jay-Z’s two-day parade.
On Sunday, the second day of the rapper’s Made in America music festival, some 34,000 concert-goers filled the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. They came from far (Boston, Cleveland, Dallas) and wide (Scotland) to hear the musical stylings of The Hives, Jill Scott, Odd Future, Drake and headliner Pearl Jam.
The rain was intermittent, drizzling briefly during Jill Scott’s set and coming down hard at times while Pearl Jam was on the main Rocky stage. No one in the crowd seemed to mind. Less than 18 hours after Jay-Z electrified the venue, the out-of-towners were still in awe.
“We came here for Jay-Z,” said Tim Hill, of Edinboro, Scotland. “He was brilliant, Kanye West as well, it was awesome.”
For two days, it was all about the music. There were no reported injuries and only one arrest, according to authorities. Some 74,000 fans (40,000 on Saturday, 34,000 on Sunday) packed the Parkway over the weekend — and, as Jay-Z promised Saturday, the chance that the two-day festival could return is a real possibility.
“From the beginning, Jay-Z and his people wanted a repeat event,” Mayor Michael Nutter said. “We’ll see how it goes. We’re very interested in exploring a future.”
Jay-Z, dressed in all black, got the party started Saturday evening with longtime crowd favorite “Izzo (H.O.V.A.).” His set list featured the bulk of his chart-toppers and he pulled out all the stops, including a special tribute video to the City of Brotherly Love, which was capped by a semi-RocBoy reunion with Philly natives Freeway and Young Gunz making appearances. (No Beanie Sigel, but Jay-Z rapped his verses).
“You all know my love affair with Philadelphia,” he shouted. “We made some amazing music in Philadelphia.”
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