From September 4–5, 2021, the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania hosted an outdoor concert event that rocked the city all Labor Day weekend. Known as Made in America, the two-day festival was set up near the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the heart of the city, just days after Hurricane Ida nearly flooded the entire metropolis. However, not even the effects of a natural disaster could stop concertgoers from coming in droves to see their favorite artists. Between 50,000 to 60,000 people attended Made in America, many coming from out of state for this event, which was canceled last year.
The festival was founded in 2012 by legendary rapper, producer and businessman, Jay-Z. Named after the song “Made in America,” which he recorded with Kanye West, the festival’s goal is to bring multiple genres together and blend music with culture.
The star-studded event kicked off around 2:00 pm on Saturday, but people lined up early to get a coveted spot to see the musical acts. Justin Bieber, Meek Mill, Lil Baby, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Rody Ricch, Kehlani, Young Thug and Tinashe were just some of the musicians that performed across the three stages set up throughout Ben Franklin Parkway.
Aside from the music, attendees of the event were able to enjoy a Puma pop-up shop, which featured an exclusive Puma x Made in America limited-edition “G-Tag” shoe, amusement park rides, fair-style games between sets and gourmet food trucks.
The Cause Village
The Made in America event is more than just a concert extravaganza. Since its inception, the festival has contributed millions of dollars to the city of Philadelphia and worthy causes — and this year was no exception. In 2021, approximately 56 organizations were part of the Cause Village, and 23,500 social actions were taken. The organizations ranged from those that focus on female empowerment and gun violence prevention to environmental sustainability and financial literacy. This year, a portion of the proceeds raised from the ticket sales supported the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, along with REFORM Alliance.
REFORM Alliance Receives Support From Robert F. Smith
REFORM Alliance is a cause that is near and dear to one Made in America performer’s heart — Meek Mill. The organization was launched from the #FreeMeek movement, in which Mill was unjustly re-imprisoned. However, Mill is only one of many who has faced injustice from the judicial system. REFORM Alliance aims to make the voices of others known and, most importantly, transform probation and parole by changing laws, systems and culture, which, in turn, will help create real pathways to work and wellbeing. Instead of keeping people trapped in a revolving door from probation/parole to prison, REFORM Alliance is taking the necessary steps to help and advocate that people are moved from the justice system into stability, as well as provide educational resources.
There are many well-known artists, entrepreneurs and philanthropists involved in REFORM Alliance in addition to rapper Meek Mill. Made in America’s founder, Jay-Z, is a Founding Partner of REFORM Alliance. Another Founding Partner is Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. Smith is committed to equity and reforming a biased criminal justice system, using his position to help advocate for diversity in corporate boardrooms and investment in communities of color.
To learn about other organizations that Robert F. Smith supports, visit the philanthropy page. And, connect with Made in America on Twitter or Instagram to keep up with the festival and see the highlights.