‘Made in America’: a make-or-break moment for Philadelphia?

    The “Made in America” festival is making its presence known in a major way, and Philadelphia is of two minds on the subject. What do you think about the Labor Day weekend festival?

    The scaffolding and stage are taking shape in the shadow of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and a security perimeter that could have come out of a Department of Homeland Security playbook has formed from the front steps to 22nd Street. Center City traffic is being rerouted. Tourists will have to put off that run up the “Rocky steps” for another time.

    The “Made in America” festival is making its presence known in a major way, and Philadelphia is of two minds on the subject.

    Tens of thousands of ticketholders are looking forward to a world-class holiday weekend music festival, featuring more than two-dozen acts and two days of outdoor boozing.

    The rest of the city — we’re not so sure. 

    What do you think? Tell usin the comments below.

    WHYY’s Maiken Scott, who lives nearby, reports that many neighbors are complaining of parking trouble. Also, she says, “the fact that Von Colln field will be fenced in is making people mad. It’s a popular weekend destination.” 

    There have also been many complaints about selling tickets to a concert being held in a location where much larger events like the annual “Welcome America” and the 2005 “Live 8” were available to the public free of charge. Some NewsWorks readers have commented that one of Philly’s many partially taxpayer-funded stadiums would be a more appropriate venue.

    Others have said the staging is a foolish undertaking in a time of fiscal crisis. Concertgoers will not be allowed to come and go from the grounds, so the benefit to area businesses is unclear. Mayor Michael Nutter, a staunch cheerleader for the event, has refused to discuss its dollar-value benefit to the city until after it’s all over.

    However, some NewsWorks readers, such as Brooks191, have urged calm:

    I understand neighbors’ frustrations with an event like this. It creates the typical issues of crowd control and sanitation concerns. However, it’s important to remember that the festival is a tenth of the size of others. The ticketing, while new, doesn’t have to be scary. If anything, done well it may help control the flow of crowds in and out, lessening the impact on the neighboring communities.

    And let’s not overlook the fact of how groundbreaking it is to host a festival of this caliber against the backdrop of a major north east city. The fact that it’s in Philly, and not in Boston, New York, or D.C., speaks volumes to the innovative spirit of this city; one that suggests we’re not afraid to try new things as we continue to affirm our spot among the country’s best major cities. So yes, there are reasons to be concerned, but there are plenty of reason to be excited as well.

    On the other side of the 8-foot-high chain-link bubble, the beat goes on.

    Do you think the parkway is an appropriate location for “Made in America”?

    Mayor Nutter has warned us all to stay away from the area if we don’t have a ticket, but will crowds gather around the perimeter anyway, creating an unsafe environment outside the venue?

    Do you think “Made in America” will “make” Philly, or are you counting the days until it’s over?

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