When Jay-Z partners with Budweiser to put on a festival, he does it right; proving so with the Fifth Annual Budweiser Made In America Festival in Philadelphia. Hand picking the line-up with co-founder Steve Stoute, the annual festival was held Labor Day weekend September 3rd and 4th. In the city of brotherly love, the line-up ranged from from hip-hop, rap, rock, EDM, to pop, making sure there was something for everybody to listen to and get excited about. Whether it was Rihanna, Coldplay, Collegrove (Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz), or Martix Garrix, music lovers could sit back, listen to music, drink Budweiser, and have an extraordinary time at one of the most diverse music festivals in existence. Made In America is a festival fans and us as well look forward to yearly because of the diversity. Consisting of five stages: The Rocky Stage, The Liberty Stage, The Freedom Stage, The Tidal Stage, and The Skate Park Stage; Despite the very windy and warm weather, and dust that whipped around with the wind; day one was ready to be a blast.
Day 1, began with Roc Nation signee and on the rise Rockstars, Dorothy. Starting off the day with a rockin’ set on the Liberty Stage, Starting the day is a hard job to do as they start just a little after the doors open, so not many people are inside yet. However Dorothy and her band did the job best, grasping fans attention as they ran by to go hold their spot on the Rocky Stage barricade to wait for Rihanna’s set, stopped and watched Dorothy, banging their heads along to her music before heading to get their spot on the barricade for Rihanna. Starting their set with the first song “Kiss It” off their debut album, ROCKISDEAD. Dorothy had an 8 song set list which included all tracks off the album mentioned but they also threw in a cover of Kayne West and Jay-z’s “No Church in the Wild.” Dorothy’s set was one of the best sets of the day; Very attention grasping, incredible musicianship, flawless music, and fun that is how I would describe Dorothy’s set. They definitley gained a lot of new fans at this festival as so many people were drawn in by the unique sound of Dorothy on their way into the festival.
Lil Uzi Vert launched the Rocky Stage at Made In America with his very high energy set jumping on and off the stage throughout the entire set. The crowd went wild for his entire performance as he takes the main stage for the first time in his hometown. Since signing a record deal with DJ Drama’s Generation Now label and Atlantic Records, the Philly-born MC has been releasing back-to-back bangers perfect for live energy-filled shows. Most newbies to the fest would be thrown to the Tidal Stage or Liberty Stage, Lil Uzi was front and center on the Rocky Stage for his super high energetic performance of “Do What I Want,” “Canada Goose,” “P’s & Q’s” and more.
Justina Skye a.k.a The Purple Unicorn slayed the Liberty Stage with a massive crowd welcoming her to the stage with enthusiastic screams as she hit the stage with some male backup dancers to compliment her own dance moves. Dancing to her music flawlessly and in sync with the guys with her and as she ended her first song she told the crowd “I went from being a fan in the crowd at last years MIA Fest to being on stage with a huge crowd today.” Showing she is destined to be a huge star in pop and hip-hop very soon! Justina Skye’s style also very vibrant in her performance with her purple hair and boots, shirt and jean shorts to compliment her purple beauty.
SZA wearing a red Fuck Trump shirt which the fans loved just as much as they loved SZA’s set. Though she is a new artist SZA slayed the main stage for her second MIA appearance; Her first being at the festival in 2014 in LA. Fans love her set as she ran through her hits “2AM,” “Sobriety,” “Babylon” and her cover of PartyNextDoor’s “Come and See Me.” She also shared the moment with ScHoolboy Q during her brief set.
Collegrove is Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz’s side project. Taking to the stage first was 2 Chainz launching into “No Lie” one of his biggest hits featuring Drake (who unfortunately was not present). Then entering the stage was a Rap icon, Lil Wayne as the crowd exploded he they played hit after hit including “A Milli,” “Duffle Bag Boy,” “F—in’ Problem,” “Loyal,” and “Bandz a Make Her Dance.” The crowd already having an incredible time watching some of their favorite rap artists perform just as they welcome Philly’s own Freeway to the stage as they performed “What We Do” together. Collegrove could have easier held headlining duties for this day as their set was an eruption of fans singing every word to every single song played. Their set was definitley a highlight of the entire weekend and one everyone in attendance looked forward to most.
Jamie XX put on a huge dance party as he closed out the Liberty Stage on the Parkway on day 1 of Made In America with an incredible light show.
Rihanna closing out day 1 on the Rocky Stage with an extraordinary set including a pleasant mixture of all her hit songs; Including songs from her entire discography. Rihanna launched her set in the center of the crowd with a slower song but a radio hit of her titled “Stay,” before going right into a more upbeat song “Love The Way You Lie.” Then entering into a floating catwalk stage above the crowd as she performed “Woo,” and “Sex With Me.” The remainder of her set included hits like “We Found Love,” “Work,” “Umbrella,” “Bitch Better Have My Money,” “FourFiveSeconds,” and “Diamonds.” Her flawless set also included a few covers like Drake’s “Take Care,” Jay-Z’s “Run This Town,” Kayne West’s “All Of The Lights,” and T.I.’s “Live Your Life.” Rihanna put on a flawless, energy filled, unique performance closing out day 1 of Made In America.
Photos of Rihanna By: Kevin Mazur for Budweiser//Getty Images
All Other Photos By: Andrew Wendowski Photography