‘Made in America’: So we’re doing this why?

    So, remember that incredible two-day music fest held last year in . . .what city was it?

    Don’t remember? Me either, because concerts in big cities aren’t national news.

    Which is why it’s bewildering to hear Mayor Nutter explaining that the Budweiser Made In America Festival which will take over the Parkway in front of the Art Museum this weekend is a good idea because it will be great for the city’s image.

    I must be missing something, but I don’t understand why the imprimatur of the mayor’s office and use of one of the city’s greatest civic spaces is being given to this private, gated, $85-a-day event sponsored by a beer label.

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    It’s also weird to hear Nutter refuse to release any information about the financial terms with the sponsors, and what the city’s take or costs might be.

    When the mayor says the concert is “an opportunity to invest in ourselves,” it sounds like a money-loser for the public.

    It’s great to have big-time stars come to town, but that happens all the time, and they perform in places that are made to accommodate them.

    When we’ve had big events on the Parkway, they’ve been open to the public.

    Now we have double rows of eight-foot fences and we hear the mayor warning, or advising folks who can’t pay up to stay away. Just doesn’t feel right.

    Yesterday the mayor’s office issued a press release noting that the “the Budweiser Made in America Festival is already producing significant benefits for the City….”

    What benefits? A boost in hotel room bookings for the Labor Day weekend.

    Weak. If Jay-Z, the other bands and their crews had done the concert at a private venue, they’d be in the same hotels. The 50,000 attending people (or trying to crash) the event will be a regional audience.

    And again, I’ll be shocked if concert brings any meaningful national attention to the city unless, heaven forbid, something bad happens.

    Like I said, I guess I’m missing something.

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