Made In America, the inaugural two-day music festival and brainchild of Jay-Z and Budweiser, lit up Fairmount Park in Philadelphia on Sept. 1-2, and spread out a smattering of rock, hip-hop, R&B and electronic music over its three main stages. In between performance highlights like Jay-Z’s G.O.O.D. Music-assisted headlining set, Run-D.M.C.‘s heartfelt reunion, Skrillex‘s spaceship-curated dubstep showcase and Pearl Jam‘s two-hour parade of hits, the music industry elite got comfortable in the City of Brotherly Love — no one more than Jay-Z himself, often spotted in the general admission area of the festival.
Fans hurried to click photos of Jay-Z as he roamed around each of the three stages to catch the artists he recruited for the “first annual” two-day festival. On Sunday (Sept. 3), Beyoncé was hand-in-hand with her husband, Jay-Z, checking out bands from the stage like Gary Clark Jr. and the legendary Run-D.M.C. While the power couple moved in silence as dozens of fans snapped photos in front of the pair’s security troupe, other performers like the Hives and Odd Future‘s Left Brain were mingling amongst the crowd and posing for photos.
Jay-Z strolls through the crowd at Made In America. (Photo: Jason Lipshutz)
From the minute concert-goers entered the gates to ‘Made in America,’ rumors spread as to who would Jay-Z be bringing out during his Saturday headlining show. Rihanna? Beyoncé? People also threw Kanye West‘s name into the mix. Everyone got quiet when neither of the ones mentioned popped up into the screen, but instead it was President Barack Obama. Although not in the flesh, Obama shared a message about voting in this fall’s presidential election.
Songs featuring both Rihanna and Beyoncé were performed with still no special appearance by either female singers. But an hour into his set, Hov brought out Kanye West and more unexpected guests such as G.O.O.D. Music’s Big Sean, Pusha T, Common, and 2 Chainz.
On Sunday afternoon, Beyoncé was spotted strutting around the media and VIP area next to Roc Nation artist Rita Ora, who was celebrating the No. 1 debut of her first album, Ora, on the U.K. Album chart following her 2:00 pm performance at Made In America.
Ora told Billboard that she was “thrilled” with the No. 1 debut overseas, and, although Ora still does not have a release date in the U.S., the British singer is already planning her sophomore set. “I’m going into the studio to do album two. I want to get back in there,” she said.
Beyonce hugs Roc Nation’s Jana Fleishman during a brief stop in the press area at Made In America. (Photo: Jason Lipshutz)
While Ora held court with journalists, Roc Nation’s Jana Fleishman, publicist to Ora, J. Cole and more, kept steady at the media area, alongside Mitch Schneider Organization‘s senior vice president Marcee Rondan, making sure everything ran smoothly.
Later on Sunday, Steve Stoute, the founder of Translations LLC, was spotted backstage with Paul Chibe, CMO of Anheuser-Busch, which worked closely with Stoute’s advertising agency in coordinating the festival. When asked who he was personally looking forward to at Made In America, Stoute told Billboard that he was most excited to see Run-D.M.C.
Tiffany Hardin, Distributions and Partnerships Manager of Translation LLC, attended as a fan, checking out acts from first act Gary Clark Jr. to the closing Sunday act, Pearl Jam. Patience Ramsey, VP, Account Director of Translation LLC, shared her excitement how the festival turned out.
Odd Future’s Left Brain poses with a fan at Made In America. (Photo: Jason Lipshutz)
“We were blown away by the bands, the fans and the city of Philadelphia,” she told Billboard. “It was a phenomenal weekend and Translation is proud to be a key partner in bringing this to life.”
Writers from different outlets, including Complex ( Brad Weté) MTV News ( Nadeska Alexis), VIBE ( Mike Yi), Houston Press ( Marco Torres), Rolling Stone ( Dan Hyman), BET ( Taj Rani), Rap Radar ( Elliott Wilson) and more traveled to Philly’s Ben Franklin parkway to check out the festival for themselves.
A fan dressed as a combination of deadmau5 and Skrillex takes a snapshot with her friends at Made In America. (Photo: Jason Lipshutz)
After Pearl Jam ended their Sunday headlining extravaganza with a Jay-Z collaboration on “99 Problems” and a cover of Neil Young‘s “Rockin’ in the Free World,” some attendees walked over to Philly venue Union Transfer to check out city native Jill Scott‘s “Jill’s Joint” party, which benefited her Blues Babe Foundation Scholarship Fund. While Sherlen Archibald, director of media relations and digital for The Chamber Group, helped coordinate the goings-on at the event, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Drake stepped into the showcase, which featured a DJ spinning Prince and Stevie Wonder jams.