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Made in America: A Beginner’s Guide

Here's what you need to know to have the best festival experience.
Here's your beginner's guide to Made in America. | Kevin Mazur for Getty Images
Here's your beginner's guide to Made in America. Kevin Mazur for Getty Images

This Labor Day Weekend, Jay-Z and Budweiser will once again team up to put on the sixth annual Made in America Festival in Philadelphia on Sept. 2 and Sept. 3. Headliners this year include the rap mogul himself as well as The Chainsmokers and J. Cole as well as Solange, Kaskade, Migos and a bunch of Philly-based performers.

While two fun-filled days of music seem like a walk in the park (or in this case, a walk on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway!), if you haven’t been to Made in America before you could probably use some pro tips to maximize your experience. Here are a few:

1. Stay hydrated.

You’re going to be outside for two full days in the sunshine dancing and rocking out, so it’s important you stay hydrated. Made in America has free filtered water service stations at various locations throughout the festival to keep you healthy and happy, so be sure to bring an empty water bottle (either factory-sealed or aluminum according to Made in America's FAQ page) with you to use each day.

2. Keep your phone charged.

While you’ll be going hard day into night, your phone won’t be without getting recharged. Be sure to buy a portable power back or a charging case to bring with you to the festival so you don’t run out of juice. Made in America also offers 2-day lockers for $35 that include a universal cell phone charger.

3. Wear comfortable shoes.

You’ll be on your feet for most of the festival so while being stylish is great and all, your feet will thank you later if you rock sensible footwear. Converse sneakers are a festival favorite for many music festival junkies and the Chuck Taylor All Star low tops are perfect in the summertime heat.

4. Bring a sweater in case it gets chilly at night.

Expect the festival to be hot during the daytime but as evening comes, there could be a chill in the air. Be sure to pack yourself a sweater because being cold is no fun even at the hottest of Philly music festivals.

5. Use earplugs.

No, they aren't lame. According to a World Health Organization study, 1 billion people between the ages of 12 and 35 are at risk for hearing loss due to noise exposure in recreational settings, like festivals. You could buy cheap earplugs at the drugstore, but if you want to hear the music more clearly, it might be a good idea to invest in a pair of higher quality earplugs, like the ones from Etymotic.

6. You cannot re-enter the festival.

Once you go through security at the festival each day, you’re at Made in America for the Day. Unless you have a media pass, you won’t be allowed to re-enter so make sure you have everything you need for the day packed in a bag.

7. Know that you can’t do it all.

Let’s face it, Made in America has multiple stages and tons of acts performing so seeing everyone will be a difficult (though not impossible) task. Think about what kind of festival experience you want to have before you go. Is it more important that you hang out with your friends and have a more relaxed time while soaking in the music? Or are you the kind of Type A person who wants to see every act no matter what? Your choice. But think about it ahead of time and manage your expectations.

8. Don’t drive to the festival.

After spending the entire day and part of the night outside and on your feet, you’re going to be tired. If you’re drinking as well, you’ll be even more tired and wouldn’t be driving anyway. Save yourself the headache of parking and dealing with all the road closures by taking SEPTA or using a transportation app like Uber or Lyft. You’ll have a much less stressful (and safer) experience.

For more information on Made in America 2017, visit: madeinamericafest.com.