More Than Just The Music: The Humans Of Made In America Festival

Mahogany Bullock
Writer. NYC. ECU Grad.

Now in its fourth year, the Made in America Festival recently wrapped up it’s annual two-day music extravaganza. We took a mini road trip to downtown Philly to catch some of the acts at the Budweiser festival and found the attendees to be just as, if not more, interesting than the people on stage.

With our airplane bottles of various liquors stowed away in inconspicuous locations, we joined the mass of people waiting to get inside for day one. Once inside, we were overwhelmed by the amount of people, liquor, and dirt that we were immediately engrossed by. Finding the different stages proved to be a much more difficult task than expected. The important thing was that we had good seats to see Beyonce.

By the second day, we were pros. We knew exactly where to go and how to survive the increasingly large parkway (it seemed to go on for miles). We bounced around from stage to stage and spoke to some really dope people, all while constantly inhaling ridiculous amounts of dirt.

The best part of the weekend was oddly enough the twenty minutes spent picking up old cans in an effort to turn them in for a free t-shirt. Budweiser is definitely doing it right. Drunk adults with trash bags full of cans – a unique sight. I’m proud to say I got a nifty bandana, a pair of glasses, and a cool Budweiser t-shirt. The amount of free advertising, paired with unpaid labor and mass recycling was slightly genius. You go, Budweiser.

All in all, the festival was an extremely tiring 48 hours, but the people we met definitely made it worth it.


“I went into law school because of all the legal issues my family as has faced. I’m not graduating. I needed a break for the weekend, so I came to Made in America.”



“This is what my husband likes. I’m here to support him. We’ve been married 11 years.”



“I hopped the fence, I didn’t even pay!”



“I’m here to see the girls see Beyonce”



“West Philadelphia born and raised.”



“Made in America actively seeks volunteers. They aren’t doing us any favors.”



“How long have you guys been waiting in line at this Crab Cake food truck?”

“About an hour and a half.”

“Why, if you don’t mind me asking?”

“I don’t think we can find crab cakes anywhere else in here. It was fine when we were in ‘Go With The Flow Time,’ but now we’ve crossed into ‘Bassnectar Time.’”



“We actually have broken up before. But we stayed really good friends and there was still a lot of sexual chemistry. We just couldn’t stop talking to each other. I actually made this jacket for him.”



“Budweiser fucking sucks.”



“She’s a therapy dog, so she needs to be desensitized to people. I thought, ‘What better place!’”



“Why such an aggressive T-shirt choice?”

“At a music festival, it’s business. I gotta tell people to get out of the way!”



“It means everything unknown seems grand, wondrous. But if you take time to understand things then they won’t seem as mysterious and grandiose as they are.”