If you're headed out of (or into) town this Labor Day weekend, you might want to hit the road soon. Like, now.
Construction will begin this Thursday on a Benjamin Franklin Parkway concert venue to house Jay-Z's "Budweiser Made in America" festival over Labor Day weekend, according to a statement released by Mayor Michael Nutter giving an update on event logistics.
He said the construction will cause "minimal" traffic interruptions until August 30, when street closures and parking restrictions along the Parkway and in Fairmount will begin and ramp up until the festival's Sept. 1 start. The closures include the Parkway between the Art Museum and Logan Circle, stretches of 21st through 25th streets in the Art Museum area and large swaths of Kelly and Martin Luther King drives.
Jay-Z curated the lineup of nearly 30 acts, which will perform on three stages from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 1 and 2. Three police beacons with flashing lights and an information map positioned outside the festival will show concertgoers where police are deployed and a joint police, fire and EMS mini-station will be set up.
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The concert is the first paid, ticketed event on the Parkway, but Nutter said the city can handle it. “The city of Philadelphia has extensive institutional experience in managing large events on the Parkway and other sites in the city Every year, we have detailed plans for public safety, street access, trash removal and we successfully accommodate 400,000 to 500,000 visitors on the 4th of July at Wawa Welcome America,” he said. “By contrast, the organizers of the Budweiser Made in America Festival are planning for about 50,000 ticket holders, roughly the size of a sold-out Phillies game.”
Tickets are still available. Proceeds benefit United Way organizations in Philadelphia, South Jersey, Lancaster County and New York City.
Here's a map and a full list of street closures and parking restrictions released by the city: