After a contentious debate, it's been decided: Made in America will survive on the Parkway for "many years to come", the city says. If you have tickets to the 2018 music fest, the time has come to prepare for how you will survive and thrive at this year's annual two-day Labor Day weekend celebration, no drama included.

Learn everything you need to know on how to get there, what to bring, and ways to maximize your fun, as the festival gears up to takeover the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with that boom, badoom, boom, boom, badoom, boom, bass of Nicki Minaj and other headliners including Kendrick Lamar, Diplo, Meek Mill, and more.

Made in America brings a packed crowd to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Festival-goers are advised to stay hydrated, dress in comfy shoes, and come ready to dance.
YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Made in America brings a packed crowd to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Festival-goers are advised to stay hydrated, dress in comfy shoes, and come ready to dance.

What to bring

Fortunately, backpacks that are smaller than 12×12 inches are permitted, which we advise filling up with water. Camelbacks and Botta Bags are allowed if empty, as well as empty aluminum and factory sealed bottles up to one liter in size. Free filtered water is available onsite for when you need to refill. Be sure to bring money for extra drinks and food, and consider tossing a bottle of hand sanitizer in your bag for washing up before chowing down. (Festival bathrooms are never clean.) Sunscreen is a must, and earplugs are highly recommended. If you plan to snap photos and video snips all day long, don't forget a phone charger — or better yet, a portable battery. Cell-phone charging lockers are also available for $35 and can be booked in advance. If room remains in your pack, consider squeezing in a light jacket or poncho. Forecast calls for rain Saturday and Sunday. (Find more clothing recommendations below.)

What not to bring

As with most festivals, leave all booze (and drugs) at home, and refrain from packing anything else in glass containers/bottles. Carting in outside food and smoking are also prohibited. Additionally, festival guidelines forbid coolers, lawn chairs, pets, bicycles, scooters, skateboards, Frisbees, and glow sticks. For a full list of banned items, visit the FAQ section of the festival website,

What to wear

Made in America is infamous for bringing the heat to the Parkway — while it's supposed to rain on Saturday during the day, temps are scheduled to still reach 85 degrees, and you're looking at a high of 89 degrees on Sunday (also remember, there's not a ton of shade on the Parkway). Whether a jumpsuit, sundress, or your best shorts-and-shirt fashion-forward festival outfit, consider sporting something with sleeves, as it'll protect those shoulders from the sun and keep you cozy once the sun drops. You may also wish to pack a light jacket or a long-sleeve overthrow for nighttime performances. Most importantly, make sure your dancing shoes are comfortable — the festival will keep you standing and moving around for no less than several hours each day. Worn-in boots or casual sneakers are ideal. With all of the other dancing Diplo fans surrounding you, sandals just won't cut it if you want to keep your tootsies pain-free.

How to get there

With the shutting down of Benjamin Franklin Parkway and several surrounding roads, Made in America is best reached by foot. The walk from SEPTA's City Hall subway stop to the start of the festival is under one mile, and several SEPTA buses — including the the 32, 33, and 48 — will put you within walking distance. Check SEPTA's website for any potential scheduling changes.

How to maximize your fun and stay dancing ’til the end

If you're going to survive Made in America on two feet, you have to make a game plan. Music festivals can be draining, especially ones that aren't surrounded by open fields where you could otherwise lay down for a quick rest. There are several key factors to keep in mind for thriving until the festival's last song:

  • Step 1: Stay hydrated. Drink water often, and keep an eye out early on for where the water refilling stations are located. H2O is the best solution for avoiding heat stroke and the drowsy effects of dehydration.
  • Step 2: Create a collaborative plan. This means identifying a meeting spot with your friends in the event you get separated at any point, and mapping out which artists everyone wants to see and what time they'll take to the stage. You may wish to also plan for break times where you'll seek shade and take a seat for a little breather.
  • Step 3: Fuel up. Head to the festival on a full stomach, and take time to enjoy one of the multiple food options while you're there. Dancing burns energy, as does walking around all day.
  • Step 4: Fight the sun with SPF and shade. If you burn up on day one, day two will be inescapably painful, so make sure to slather on the sunscreen from the start. Also, when the opportunity arises, find shade. Standing under the blazing sun all day will take a toll on both your body and your energy levels.
  • Step 5: Stay present. In other words, don't freak out if something goes as unplanned or if you miss the first song of your favorite artist because your friend needed food. Fun exists in every direction at a music festival, as do loads of new artists to discover. The concept of being present encourages you to disconnect, too. Refrain from keeping your phone glued to your hand during every performance. Of course, you'll want to take a few photos for memory's sake, but taking in a show with your camera pocketed for the majority of the time guarantees a better live experience.