If you were following along with us on social media, EBONY.com was up and down the Ben Franklin Parkway for Made in America 2015. The two-day festival, curated by Jay-Z and his culture-shaping Roc Nation imprint, made a significant showing per usual, with star power ranging from transcendent (Beyonce) to shining (The Weeknd, J.Cole, Big Sean) to emerging (shoutout to Vic Mensa, Dreamville Records and the Grits & Biscuits team).
The Budweiser-powered event definitely didn’t disappoint. Here are the highlights and hopefully you’ll be with us out there next year.
1. The new, and the now. The line-ups reflected the preferences of a young crowd, kids who traveled across the country to hear the next big rock band or that one rapper that everyone is buzzing about. (See: Future Hendrix and the rather formidable #FutureHive, which easily was my favorite performance of the weekend.)
2. Weather was perfect, that is, if you can take the heat. Still, the 80-degree temps sure beat the damn-near monsoon that rained down upon patrons last year.
3. Feeling the Philly presence. Natives Marian Hill, Ground Up, and Meek Mill all had a chance to shine for their hometown on their respective stages, which is important, as one of the main criticisms of past installations was that the local talent was not on deck.
4. Nick Jonas. I can’t lie, he killed during his performance. I might have to keep an ear out for his future work.
5. Beyonce did what Beyonce does. I had a chance to watch Beyonce’s performance in some very cool digs during her 2013 M.I.A. show. Seeing her on Saturday solidified that she’s one of the best performers I’ve ever seen live. And I have to tip my hat to Mr. Carter belting out his wife’s songs unapologetically while remaining incognito in the audience.
Didn’t make it to Philly this time around? No sweat. We’ve got you for next year. Check out our photo galleries from Day 1 and Day 2. Also, get tips of where to go when you’re next in the land of the Liberty Bell, the cheesesteak, and the future Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.
Cory Townes was born and raised in Philadelphia, and currently lives in Brooklyn. A devout Philly sports fan, Townes is the Social Media Manager for EBONY.com. When he’s not saluting the plug, dabbing, or bringing headbands back in the 2015, you can reach him on Twitter @CoryTownes.