Saturday marked the start of not only the Labor Day weekend but the end of the summer season. Generally, Philadelphia would be empty. But thanks to artist and producer Jay-Z and Bruce Springsteen, Philadelphia will be the home of music industry royalty. The Budweiser Company and Jay-Z supported Made in America Festival, in conjunction with the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, which is being held on Philadelphia’s famous Benjamin Franklin Parkway September 1st and 2nd.
Simultaneously, Bruce Springsteen will be playing concerts at the Citizen Bank Park and the National Constitution Center over the weekend. The National Constitution Center is an appropriate venue for Springsteen to hold a Labor Day concert, given that the center is ending its six month exhibit and programs on the life and music of Bruce Springsteen himself.
Unlike other concerts on the Parkway, such as the 1994 Live 8 Concert and Philadelphia’s Annual Welcome America 4th of July concerts (which this year included the Roots, Common, and Queen Latifah along with artists like Sheryl Crow and 1970’s music icon Peter Frampton) the Made in America Festival is one of the first Parkway music events requiring a ticket. Traditionally, concerts and festivals held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway have been free and have showcased some of the music industry’s major stars. Despite the need for a ticket, attendance is expected to be less than the 600,000 – 1.5 million people who have attended concerts in the past — it is estimated attendance will be closer to 50,000 people. Portions of VIP and regular ticket sales, beer and food concession are going to the United Way.
Musical artist of various styles will be playing over the course of two days this Labor Day weekend, in addition to Bruce Springsteen’s separate concert. Although they come from different styles of music, both Jay-Z and Springsteen realize the power of music to erase the line which generally separate us; they use music to bring us back together.
With all of the broken communication and the hostile rhetoric on the airwaves during this political season, there is a need for people to come together at a concert and unite if only for a few hours – joined by a love of music.
As an unexpected bonus, director Ron Howard will be at the festival filming the event for release in 2013. According to local news and city papers, Ron Howard will be filming the event in an avant garde style, a change from Howard's more traditional films. As a result, Howard has teamed with Radical Medial, who has worked on concert films for musical artist such as Paul Simon and Metallica.
If you are unable to make it to the festival, or tickets are sold out, the concert may be heard live on Pandora. But there is a great deal of internet traffic, so be patient. Ultimately, you will be able to have the best seat to the concert in your own home.