Made in America’s show will go on this weekend, despite severe flooding

The rain-heavy remnants of Hurricane Ida caused severe flooding of the nearby Schuylkill River, but will not affect the two-day music festival.

22nd Street under the JFK Boulevard is swamped as the Schuylkill River rises

22nd Street under the JFK Boulevard is swamped as the Schuylkill River rises. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

The Made in America festival on Benjamin Franklin Parkway will go on as planned this weekend, despite the Schuylkill River flooding and resulting road closures Thursday, city officials said.

Construction of the stage and concert grounds at Eakins Oval, at the base of the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, was briefly delayed by the storm, but the work is expected to be completed in time for the two-day festival, which is set to begin Saturday.

“Construction is ongoing, but I’m being texted right now there is a traffic issue we’re trying to solve so they can continue the build-up,” city Managing Director Tumar Alexander said during a press briefing on Thursday morning.

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The storm Wednesday night walloped the area immediately around the parkway, with the below-street-grade portions of I-676 completely submerged by water several feet deep. Many streets in the nearby Logan Square neighborhood were impassable on Thursday due to river flooding.

On the opposite side of the Art Museum from the Made in America stage, the Schuylkill River Trail was submerged, as was the Fairmount Water Works. Friday was to be the launch of the Water Works’ exhibition, POOL, at its underground pool. The opening of the exhibition is postponed indefinitely, and the Water Works Interpretive Center is closed until further notice.

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This year will be the 10th anniversary of Made in America, and will feature major acts such as Justin Bieber, Megan Thee Stallion, and Lil Baby. The festival did not take place last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In response to the pandemic this year, the festival will require attendees to show proof of  negative COVID tests within 48 hours or proof of vaccination. In addition, all attendees will be required to wear masks.

Made in America typically attracts tens of thousands of people to Philadelphia.

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