They came for the dancing, for Lil Wayne, and for the deep-fried Oreos.
They came because they wanted to see Philadelphia, to see if it could top other music festivals, or, simply, because they had nothing else to do.
But above all, the tens of thousands of fans who spilled onto the Benjamin Franklin Parkway during Budweiser's Made in America music festival Saturday came to see Rihanna, the highly anticipated Barbadian singer who, just last week, was awarded a lifetime achievement award from MTV.
"Definitely Rihanna," said 17-year-old Dave Collins Saturday night as he took a break in the shade. "And if I see her tonight and she decides she wants to date me, that would be fine, too."
While Collins' wish didn't come true, for the more than 46,000 others who came to dance the night away to the pop icon, the opening day of Jay Z's festival was a resounding success.
With the music bonanza now in its fifth year, the first day - featuring more than 30 artists on five stages - ended with more fun than mayhem, despite an early evening incident in which hundreds of fans rushed a stage, bringing hip-hop artist Jay Electronica's performance to an abrupt halt.
(According to attendees, including 26-year-old Kevin Jones, Electronica himself called fans on stage after rap star Lil Uzi Vert walked by. As the crowd turned to give the Philadelphian attention, Jones said Electronica called on people to divert attention back to himself. Police arrived, and the fans disbanded.)
Still, the day and night remained largely peaceful, with police saying arrests were "not many." The medical tent, however, saw far more activity: Near the end of the night, one EMT who asked not to be identified said more than 250 people had been treated, and that between 35 and 50 were hospitalized.
The bulk of those who needed attention, the official said, were fans who were drunk and dehydrated. Underage attendees were required to be hospitalized when they came under care of the medics. No injuries were from violence.
While drawing a smaller crowd than last year's 70,000 when Beyoncé performed, the day was about seeing favorite artists and lounging outside. After weeks of unrelenting heat, the approach of Tropical Storm Hermine brought a satisfying breeze to those who came from throughout the East Coast.
Traveling here was more than worth it to Janeen Johnally, 24, of Baltimore, who bought tickets to see her all-time favorite band Coldplay, who is to headline Sunday night.
"What is there not to love about Coldplay?" Johnally asked after watching Bryson Tiller. In her first time at MIA, Johnally said she was impressed by the food, the lineup, and the fans' ability "to get hype."
Clad in American flag T-shirts, crop tops, and temporary tattoos, attendees scampered from stage to stage, strategically planning which act they would see next - and how close they could get. But as the night drew on and Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz took the stage in front of the Art Museum, thousands had hunkered down, preparing for Rihanna to perform for the first time in the festival's history.
For most, that seemed to be no problem, as they sipped Budweiser and hoisted selfie sticks in the air. And by the time Rihanna came out, dressed in knee-high green boots and a green body suit, the crowd went wild.
As she performed an array of hits from her newest and oldest albums, fans danced and belted out songs with her. The wait had been worth it.
Staff writer Sofiya Ballin contributed to this article.