ASSOCIATED PRESS: Organizers say the blocks-long site will be enclosed by 8-foot-high double-fencing patrolled by security. Material woven into the chain-link barrier is designed to keep non-paying spectators from seeing the show. It’s a big change from previous parkway music events, which have been free. That includes annual Independence Day shows featuring performers like Sheryl Crow and The Roots, as well as the Live 8 concert for African poverty relief in 2005 and a Bruce Springsteen set in 2008. As of Friday, two-day passes for “Made In America” cost $135 each, while a one-day ticket was $75. VIP passes, and travel packages with hotel rooms, ranged from $350 to nearly $2,200. Prices could go up closer to the concert date. MORE
PHILLY POST: In a city that is as impoverished as ours, it is unconscionable to fence off public space and charge the citizenry of Philadelphia the princely sum of $95 a day to stand on land they already own. That is just plain wrong, even if Skrillex is spinning. MORE
INQUIRER: The mayor has heard the complaints. If it’s on the Parkway, shouldn’t it be free? Made in America isn’t; two-day passes cost $135. “I fully appreciate that this is a new idea and a new concept. And we’re utilizing the Parkway in a different kind of way. But it’s a group of different artists performing, and in most instances, when that happens, you have to buy a ticket,” he says with a smile. “There’s no other venue you would go to and expect to go for free. But I understand that this is different, and new and different often is a bit of a challenge in this city. Everyone likes change as long as things can stay the same.” MORE
PHAWKER: First of all, the Ben Franklin Parkway isn’t a privately-owned and operated concert venue, it’s a public-owned space. Not sure what difference there is between Welcome America and Made In America in terms of premise — both concerts are made up of ‘different artists’ — besides the fact that Welcome America is free and Made In America will cost Philadelphians $95 a day to attend. The only thing ‘new and different’ is that the citizenry of Philadelphia is being charged nearly a $100 a day to stand on land THEY ALREADY OWN!
MAYOR NUTTER: “Obviously, we welcome the economics. But this is really about promoting the brand and image of Philadelphia, nationally and internationally,” the mayor says. “We know this from the Welcome America artists. They go back and tell others: Hey, I had this amazing experience playing at the biggest free outdoor concert in America, in Philadelphia. The more people come to know Philadelphia in that capacity is tremendous advertising and branding for us. It really is a priceless kind of thing.” MORE
PHAWKER: That makes no sense. That is not how the concert business works. Artists don’t perform concerts here because other artists tell them they had ‘an amazing experience’ performing in Philadelphia. Artists perform concerts in Philadelphia because they need to promote their albums in this market, the routing makes geographic sense and the payout concert promoters are offering them is too good to refuse.
INQUIRER: In May, when Nutter and Jay-Z appeared at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to announce the Made in America festival, the mayor recalls, the rapper was surprised at how large a crowd had gathered on the Rocky steps to greet them. “There’s a photo of Jay and I walking out, and he’s laughing,” Nutter says. “The backstory is that when we were coming around, I said to him, ‘There’s a lot of folks out here, and they’re here for you.’ And then I said: ‘I guess you got your swagger back.’ “He was like ‘whoa!’ He was really surprised, apparently, that I knew that.” MORE
PHAWKER: Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s cool that Nutter can quote the lyrics of a Jay-Z song. But for fuck’s sake, he sounds like a starstruck teenager, not the mayor of the sixth largest country in America. This city needs to stop acting like the drunk girl with low self-esteem who goes all the way on a first date in the hopes it will earn her a second one. She’s better than that and so is Philadelphia.
PREVIOUSLY: A MODEST PROPOSAL: Set MADE IN AMERICA Free!