Made in America launches its 2021 festival in Philly


While this week’s storm certainly raised concerns that the music festival was canceled, many in the crowd said they feared a resurgent pandemic could again cause problems for Made in America.

People wait outside the Rocky Stage before the first set of the Made in America 2021 festival. (Kenny Cooper / WHYY)

Liam Holmes, 17, of Northeast Philly, said it was his first gig and he hoped it would be a fun experience to end the summer right before school. Then the delta variant arrived and threatened his plans.

“The pandemic at the start of this summer scared me because I bought tickets during its pre-release. And when I saw it close I was actually afraid it would stop, but luckily it didn’t, ”said Holmes.

Yet others were convinced that the 2021 festival would go as planned, regardless of the pandemic. There was way too much money at stake – at least that’s what Boris Fabre, 23, of Camden thought.

“Look, they’re trying to make their money. I don’t care what they say, like “Oh, the diversity” like no they wanna bake bread. They don’t cancel that, ”Fabre said.

Each year, Made in America partners with a charitable organization. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s festival will go to the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and the REFORM Alliance.

Joy Marshall, 32, made the entire trip from California after hearing about the festival just three weeks ago.

“I was like ‘OK, cool. I’ve never been there. Let’s try.’ I’m spontaneous, ”Marshall said.

Mikhaila Douglass, 22, is from Maryland.

“I wanted to experience a music festival, instead of, say, just a concert for an artist,” said Douglass.

Getting to the boardwalk from anywhere was just one stop on the journey, with neighborhood street closures in effect. Entering the doors was another, due to COVID restrictions.

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