A big one: communications. On Thursday, nine days before the festival, Mayor Nutter released six pages of detailed information on road closures, public transportation, and venue facilities. Festival maps and links have been posted at the top of the city Web page.
"One of the biggest lessons was that the city can host these kinds of events very well," said Desiree Peterkin Bell, the administration's director of communications and strategic partnerships.
The number of tickets has been increased from 50,000 to 60,000 a day, reflecting the event's growing popularity, she said.
On Saturday and Sunday, Made in America will deliver performances by more than 30 of music's brightest stars, all selected by hip-hop impresario Jay Z. The main stage will be set at the foot of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The second ticketed event in the nearly 100-year history of the Parkway is made possible by construction of a temporary outdoor venue that deploys a system of fences to separate ticketholders from people who stand outside to listen in.
"Philadelphia is extremely attractive because there's not a competitive [East Coast] festival," said Paul Chibe, vice president of U.S. marketing at Anheuser-Busch. "America was born in Philly. There was this whole thing [in internal talks] about America being made in Philly, Made in America, the birthplace of America. It's like the perfect place to put this thing."
City officials see Made in America as helping Philadelphia position itself as a cool, urban setting for major American music stars. The concert fills hotel rooms and brings publicity in newspapers and magazines from the New York Times to Rolling Stone. Officials estimated the economic impact of hosting Made in America to be at least $10 million.
"There's a bottom line here," Bell said. "It's about reputation, but it's also about economic impact to the city, at a time when the city normally does not have a big event happening."
Last year, neighbors along the Parkway worried that Made in America's brew of long hours, hot sun, and plentiful alcohol could be combustible.
Those fears didn't become reality.
Among 80,000 fans over two days who moved among three stages to see musicians including Jay Z and Pearl Jam, police made one arrest - of a guy stealing beer. By comparison, police arrested 191 at last year's WXTU-FM country-music concert at the 25,000-seat Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden.
At Made in America, the crowd - for better or worse - is contained to the Parkway because of a no-reentry policy.
Last year, that meant nearby restaurants and bars saw few additional customers during concert hours. But afterward, as weary-but-wired fans sought drinks and meals, some establishments became crowded.
The owner of the London Grill says she's extending her restaurant's hours this year to take advantage of the postconcert crush.
"Last year was, 'Oh, no,' " said owner Terry McNally. "This year we're like, 'Yeah!' "
Business has generally been down this summer, and some local establishments are counting on making up some of that deficit through Made in America, she said.
"We're very excited about it," said McNally, who attended both days of the festival last year. "It's an influx of business that we usually don't have."
Last year, Jack's Firehouse drew its usual lunch and dinner crowds during the weekend, as festivalgoers stayed put on the Parkway. But once the music stopped, "a lot of people showed up here," owner Mick Houston said.
"A well-behaved crowd, a crowd that had a little bit of money in their pockets," he said. "It's a nice pop at the end of the night."
The Parkway is of course Philadelphia's grand boulevard, stretching from LOVE Park to the Art Museum, flanked by institutions including the Free Library, the Franklin Institute, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Rodin Museum, and the Barnes Foundation.
Most Parkway cultural institutions will be open, with the exception of the Moore College of Art and Design and the Rodin Museum. They will close Saturday and Sunday and reopen Monday.
Gradual road closures on the Parkway and in the Fairmount neighborhood will begin today and increase up to the start of the festival.
"Last year, I was cautiously optimistic. This year, I'm the same," said Antoinette "Toni" Levitt, past president of the Spring Garden Civic Association.
Last year, she heard complaints from neighbors about trash and public urination. But "if we have anything on the Parkway, we're going to have some trash. It's part of living in the city."
One point raised by several Parkway neighbors: Last year's ruination of the sporting lawns at Von Colln Memorial Field, which were turned into a mud hole by rains and heavy equipment.
City officials said the field had been scheduled for a $300,000 renovation before the concert, so they weren't worried about last year's mud. This year, with the grasses restored, no stage will be placed there.
Bell said the financial arrangement between the city and the promoters was similar to last year's. That agreement required promoters to pay up to $500,000 for police, sanitation, emergency services, and other costs incurred by the city.
"It's not something that has people all up in arms and ready to break out the pitchforks," said David Searles, president of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association. "Last year, there was a lot of unknown to it. We're in a better place this year having gone through it. We all know what to expect."
Still, he said, for neighbors, plopping a two-day festival onto the Parkway is "less than ideal," creating disruption not just during the show but for days before and afterward during set-up and take-down.
"We're not excited about that," he said. But people understand Philadelphia is a big city, and big cities do big things. "We support our city. We know we're strapped for cash, and the Parkway is a place the city feels can help out."
Houston, the Jack's Firehouse owner, said he, too, viewed the event in a larger frame, beyond whether his receipts go up or down on a particular day.
"Anything that keeps making the city more vibrant, I'm all for it," he said. "We live in an urban location where there's always going to be some minor problems with a massive amount of people coming together. . . . Anything that brings more people into the city, how you cannot be for it?"
Contact Jeff Gammage at 215-854-4906, email@example.com, or follow on Twitter @JeffGammage.