Beyoncé to star in second Philly Made in America fest

U.S. singer Beyonce and her husband, rapper Jay-Z, right, tour Old Havana as they walk with body guards and a tour guide in Cuba, Thursday, April 4, 2013. R&B's power couple is in Havana on their fifth wedding anniversary. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
U.S. singer Beyonce and her husband, rapper Jay-Z, right, tour Old Havana as they walk with body guards and a tour guide in Cuba, Thursday, April 4, 2013. R&B's power couple is in Havana on their fifth wedding anniversary. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Posted: April 12, 2013

 On Labor Day weekend, pop star Beyoncé and industrial-rock band Nine Inch Nails will co-headline the 2d annual Budweiser Made in America festival, which will again be staged on Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

As in 2012, the paid event will be curated by rapper and entertainment mogul Jay-Z. His name was not included, however, on the list of performers announced Wednesday via the music streaming service Spotify.

The Aug. 31-Sept. 1 lineup will include French pop-rockers Phoenix, L.A. rapper Kendrick Lamar, heavy-rock stalwarts Queens of the Stone Age, mouse-head-wearing Canadian DJ Deadmau5, and Seattle "Thrift Shop" hip-hop hitmakers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

Does that mean the Brooklyn rapper and impresario will not be on hand for his own festival?

Hardly.

"He's not scheduled to perform," said Paul Chibe, vice president of U.S. marketing for Anheuser-Busch, which is presenting the event with the Philadelphia office of the concert promoters Live Nation.

"Beyoncé is . . . . But he is the curator of the event. He is the one we worked with, he's our partner," Chibe said. "The discussions about who's appearing, when they're appearing - Jay has his finger on every bit of this.

"My expectation is he'll probably be there. Can I say he'll be there 1,000 percent? No. But his wife is performing, and he is the guy who put all the acts together, so I suspect he'll be there."

The two were a regal presence at last year's festival, walking hand-in-hand through crowds that parted before them, and catching favorite acts from the sidelines, though some fans were disappointed that Beyoncé never took the stage.

This year's lineup also features R&B star Miguel, retro-soul band Fitz & the Tantrums, weed-loving rapper Wiz Khalifa, the politically charged rap act Public Enemy, Jersey rockers Gaslight Anthem, indie-R&B singer Solange (Beyoncé's sister), and New York rapper A$AP Rocky.

Officially, only one act is returning from last year: Scottish dance-music maker Calvin Harris. He, along with acts like Nero, Wolfgang Gartner, AlunaGeorge, and Empire of the Sun will again give Made in America a strong concentration of electronic dance music acts, most of whom will perform in a giant rave-tastic tent.

Last year's festival drew daily crowds of about 40,000, less than the 50,000 capacity. At the time, Geoff Gordon, the regional president of Live Nation and the man in charge of booking the talent and promoting the event, said it did not make a profit.

"We're looking at a red number," he said then. "This is an investment in the future."

This year's stage configuration will remain essentially the same, Chibe said, with a main stage in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps, a second on the north side of the Parkway, and a smaller one for up-and-coming acts on the south side.

The variety of acts aims to express the same melting-pot concept that was at the heart of last year's beer-branded festival, Chibe said. "The cultural idea is that music brings down barriers between people."

The decision to bring back Made in America was easy for Budweiser, Chibe said.

"Philadelphia proved to be an amazing venue; the physical space was perfect for the event. We're extremely happy, we couldn't ask for a better partner than the City of Philadelphia and Mayor Nutter. There was a lot of attention to detail with the crowd control and police support, and the way it was managed with the city ended up being a positive experience. There was only one arrest incident that we're aware of. You really couldn't ask for more."

Now, Chibe said, Budweiser is "long-term partners with Jay-Z." And is the beer giant also long-term partners with Philadelphia?

"I don't see any reason why we wouldn't be," he said. "Philadelphia has that great symbolic connection to Made in America. America was born in Philly."

Other acts on the bill include Walk the Moon, Feed Me, Emeli Sandé, Imagine Dragons, Haim, Robert DeLong and TJR.

For details, go to www.madeinamericafest.com.

Two-day presale American Express and Budweiser passes are available through Ticketmaster for $117. Regular tickets will go on sale Wednesday.

For complete coverage of the 2013 Budweiser Made in America Festival, click here.


Contact music critic Dan DeLuca at 215-85405628 or ddeluca@phillyews.com, or follow on Twitter @delucadan.

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