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City of Philadelphia Announces Made in America Concert Logistics; Tickets In, Crashers Out
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 08/21/12 4:12 am | updated: 08/21/12 4:12 am
Ever since Jay-Z and Mayor Nutter announced the multi-day Labor Day Weekend “Made in America” concert to be held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway from the steps of the Art Museum this past spring there has been one lingering question hanging over the whole affair and entered into almost every discussion of the event, “How in the world do you expect to sell and collect tickets and keep those without tickets from seeing the show for free?”

The Parkway has been the site of many great concerts over the decades from the yearly July 4th shows to Live 8 in 2005, each of which drew 100's of thousands of attendees. The City of Philadelphia has no problem providing services for a large outdoor show on that sprawling site. That's the key though. There has never been a ticketed event for a Parkway concert, they have all been free with no gate. The wide open space has many places for people to walk into and out of the area. How are they supposed to keep people without tickets from just showing up and coming in?

Well the City of Philadelphia released their plans for dealing with the larger parts of those questions. First off, this concert is going to be significantly smaller than any previous concert event on the Parkway. Attendance is only expected to be about 50,000, slightly more than the average take at any Phillies' game this year. That means the required space is much smaller than normal. Instead of reaching the entire length from Logan Circle to the Art Museum, the City is only allocating everything west of 22nd street. If you were imagining a giant fence all the way around the Parkway, well, that is still partly true, expect it will be two fences. In order to create a secure area, two 8-ft high chain link fences will be erected one inside the other, 16 feet apart, around the area from across the front of the Art Museum and down both sides of the Parkway to 22nd Street and then across. The inside fence will be covered with black scrim to impede the view from outside. Inside, 4 stages will be set up for the 30 performing acts. The Main stage will be on the museum steps, two others will be on the north and south sides, and the 4th will be inside a dance tent. The configurations of the stages and the directionality of their sound systems will make listening from outside the fences during the day sound like big jumble. However, when Jay-Z and Pearl Jam are headlining they will be the only act playing making it easier to decipher. Signs will be posted all around the fences warning anyone that attempts to scale the fences will be arrested. Police and private security will be posted inside and outside the concert area as well.

They'll start building this stuff this Thursday, but the big trouble will happen August 30th when streets start shutting down and stay that way through Sept 2. The shows run from 2pm-11pm each night. Two day tickets are still available, but buy early as prices keep going up.

Made in America Fest

Hopefully, these measures prove to be enough to dissuade those without tickets from coming to the area of the festival in the hope of getting in or participating from afar.

Map of festival area and fence (black), no parking (blue), and closed streets (red).

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