It’s Made in America time, Philadelphia.
The outdoor music fest curated by Jay-Z is taking over Ben Franklin Parkway for the sixth year in a row this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 1-2. (And it’ll stay on the Parkway for the foreseeable future, because — after considerable drama — Mayor Kenney and HOVA are now besties.)
This year’s two-day entertainment spectacle is saying hello to new sponsors Abercrombie & Fitch and Puma and farewell to Budweiser. No need to cry over spilled beer, though. Jay’s fave D’USSÉ Cognac will be featured at 20 bars on the festival’s grounds, whipped up in nine different signature cocktails.
The star power that’ll perform at the foot of the Art Museum steps includes headliners Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj and Post Malone, and a ton of other talent.
Once you’ve snagged your GA tickets ($175 covers both days), found the coolest red-white-and-blue gear, purchased all your pregame bottles of cheap booze and updated yourself on all of the road closures, you’re good to go, right?
Not so fast. We’re going to teach you how to do Made in America responsibly, advantageously, correctly and, well, right.
Follow this advice and you’ll be able to make it an experience full of✨ good vibes ✨ only.
Download all the things
There’s a handy-dandy app, available for Apple and Android smartphones. Once you download it, you can check out news updates, the layout of the festival, the weekend’s lineup and schedule, social feeds and the FAQ.
Yes, it’s actually useful. With the app, you’ll be able to personalize your experience by filtering out the artists you’re meh about and creating an agenda with dates, times and stages of performances that you’re ecstatic about. This important info can only be found on the app.
Sign up for Tidal to get perks*
*But don’t forget to cancel your membership after the six-month free trial period if you aren’t thrilled with the service. Nothing sneaks up on you faster than a recurring auto-payment on your credit card.
The perks are worth the hassle though. Signing up with TIDAL means that you can enjoy artist meet & greets, access to the TIDAL lounge with seating, charging stations and A/C, a faster entry line into the festival, access to the VIP risers and contests for ticket upgrades and premium merch.
Book a charging locker
These mobile, 8” x 12” x 18” charging lockers are worth the $35 price tag because you can use the same locker for two days straight. It’s the little things.
Wear your money (and bring a bunch of it)
Yeah, music festivals aren’t cheap. Bring cash — or budget enough — for overpriced food, drinks and swag. To avoid getting pickpocketed, rock a fanny pack or keep your wallets in the front pockets of your shorts (gentlemen: we’re looking at YOU).
Don’t bring these
Unlike the performance schedule, the MIA ’18 FAQ list can be found on the fest’s site and the app. One of the most important questions answered? What not to bring.
(We’d love to see someone attempt to sneak in a ladder…)
Watch the skaters at the Skate Stage
The Skate Stage will be near the exit at the corner of N. 22nd St. and Pennsylvania Ave., facing Cause Village and across from the TIDAL Stage.
Stay hydrated and hygienic
Music festivals are marathons, not sprints. Don’t drink all of those D’USSÉ Painkillers and Watermelon Coolers at once in the morning and expect to feel anything but prepared to vomit on the entirety of the Parkway by the afternoon.
Tough mental image? Toughen up and resist the temptation to be a not-hot mess.
Hydrate with plenty of water in between cocktails. Lucky for you, there are free refill stations throughout festival grounds, and loads of corporate sponsors and nonprofit organizations excited to give you a free water bottle.
Oh, and speaking of not being gross… Hygiene. Let’s not go into the nitty-gritty details but, porta-potties used by thousands aren’t exactly in tip-top shape. Remember to bring packets of Kleenex to use as toilet paper and mini bottles of hand sanitizer, maybe even a travel-sized deodorant and toothbrush to spare the nostrils of your fellow concertgoers.
You’ll feel better throughout the day-long festivities if you’re clean.
Disregard your crop top and eat
Boozing, dancing and jumping around calls for calorie replenishment. Thanks to a culinary competition last month, some of the best local vendors will be out at the Parkway serving deliciousness during MIA.
These are: Authentik Byrek, Bassett Ice Cream, Ben & Jerry’s, Brotherly Grubb, Chewy’s, ChiWaffles, The Cow and The Curd, Dre’s Water Ice & Ice Cream, Dump N Roll, El Tlaloc, Epicurian, FMK, GiGi’s & Big R’s Soul Food, Grubaholics, Humpty’s Dumplings, Innovative Catering, King of Pops, Laughing Crab Catering, Lil Pop Shop, Lil Trent’s, The Little Sicilian, Mama’s Meatballs, Mi Pueblito Tacos, PaperMill, Skinny Buddha, The Snowball Experience, Soul Kantina, Tica’s Tacos and Trip’s Tasteful.
Relax and check out Cause Village
You’re bound to see people that stand nonstop — sometimes for seven or eight hours — to see the artists at the main stage. This is how they spend their whole MIA experience.
While that may be ideal for some, the point of a festival is to soak in all it has to offer and to immerse yourself entirely. More than food, drinks and jams, there’s also green space to lay down in, charities and nonprofit organizations to discover, picnic tables to chill and chat at and stages that are more intimate, less crowded and in some cases, way more fun that the headliners.
Be respectful and help each other out
This is a weekend party where many college freshmen get absolutely trashed. Try to sympathize and help them not regret their first time out as a college student.
If you see someone struggling or in a situation that could become potentially dangerous, chat with security or suggest guiding the person (or persons) in question to one of the medical stations onsite.
And generally, please don’t:
- Touch people without their consent
- Catcall or wolf whistle
- Smoke in people’s faces
- Start drunken brawls
- Push, shove or run
- Puke in front of people eating by the food trucks
- Be a dick
Enjoy Made in America and stay safe!