Made in (bicoastal) America
The Budweiser Made in America Festival will return to the Parkway on Labor Day weekend.
Mayor Nutter made the announcement Wednesday. Advance tickets for the Aug. 30-31 event went on sale immediately.
There's a twist: The Philadelphia event will be part of simultaneous East and West Coast festivals, held here and in Los Angeles' Grant Park. Live Nation will produce both.
"With the success of the last two years in Philadelphia," Nutter's statement said, "the Budweiser Made in America Festival is expanding into a bicoastal event which will bring the spirit of 'Made in America' to even more music fans across the country."
Bicoastal is the watchword of the moment. Nutter's announcement came in tandem with one in Los Angeles by Shawn "Jay Z" Carter, self-styled "curator" of Made in America; Mayor Jay Garcetti; Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino; and representatives of Budweiser and the United Way.
It is believed to be the first U.S. bicoastal music festival of this sort. Other festivals, such Woodstock, have had offshoots, and the July 1985 Live Aid concerts happened, memorably, in Philadelphia and London. But there has never been a U.S. urban megafestival that grew a twin on the opposite coast.
Performances from both events will be available for fans to see via live-streaming.
Will Jay Z play at both festivals? Last year, he was not on stage at the Philadelphia festival, but he surely will be expected in Los Angeles for the debut of the festival there. Still, with the time difference, he could, say, perform here Saturday night and arrive relatively fresh for a Sunday gig in L.A. A modern-day Barnum, he's given to such gestures, and it would be great showbiz to embrace the entire continent with one man's show.
If he does, there's reason to think Beyoncé could be with him. It's a traveling summer for pop music's reigning couple: Both have made surprise appearances at the massive Coachella music festival, now underway in Indio, Calif. And reports in the New York Post and US Magazine say they will do a summer tour together.
No other details on bands or artists were available. The Made in America Facebook page promises "30 acts" on "3 stages." The festival's website, www.madeinamericafest.com, is operational but bare-bones.
In past festivals, Jay Z has shown savvy and eclectic taste, sprawling across genres, from hip-hop to electronica to rock, for his choice bands. Last year's Made in America drew about 60,000 each day to the Parkway, with acts including Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, Deadmau5, Nine Inch Nails, Miguel, Phoenix, Public Enemy, and Queens of the Stone Age. The 2012 show had, besides Jay Z, both Skrillex and Run-DMC, both Passion Pit and Janelle Monáe, both Jill Scott and the Hives.
At the L.A. announcement, Jay Z spoke, suitably, of "putting together a festival that blurred those lines of genres." As of now, fans will have to wait for his choices.
About 50,000 a day are expected for the West Coast show. At 12 acres, Grant Park, with its signature central fountain, is on the small side for the event, which will spill into the City Hall environs. But the venue underscores what Jay Z has often said he wants: big music shows in the downtowns of big cities.
The Philadelphia Made in America will benefit United Way organizations in the Philadelphia area, South Jersey, and Lancaster County. The announcement said that the 2012 festival had "generated at least $10 million in economic impact" for the city and led to the investment of $300,000 into education and workforce initiatives. In L.A., the United Way of Greater Los Angeles will benefit.
Early-bird tickets went on sale with the announcements at www.livenation.com. Two-day tickets for the Philadelphia event are $99.50, and for the Los Angeles event $125.
Inquirer music critic Dan DeLuca contributed to this article.