Bringing Jay-Z, Pearl Jam and others to the Ben Franklin Parkway this weekend is going to pay off for Philly in the long run.
At least that’s what Mayor Michael Nutter is hopeful will happen.
“Normally on Labor Day Weekend there’s not a lot of activity going on.”
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Nutter said at a press conference Tuesday that the “Made In America” two-day concert will boost Philadelphia's profile and pay long-term dividends to the city.
“We could not be more excited to showcase Philadelphia… as one of the great music venues and great music cities in the United States,” Nutter said.
Since last week crews have been setting up tents, stages and fences as the festival grounds, which will shut down the area around Eakins Oval, start to take shape.
About 50,000 people are expected to attend each day of the festival.
The megashow is being held Saturday and Sunday along a tree-lined boulevard in the heart of downtown -- the first-ever paid event on the Parkway.
Some have questioned the use of public streets and resources for the private, ticketed event.
“We’re urging or visitors to the Parkway to have fun, be on your best behavior,” Nutter said. “If you have other things on your mind that are not appropriate you should stay at home.”
Anyone planning on getting into the festival without a ticket -- you know who you are -- be warned.
“Trespassers or gatecrashers without a ticket will be subject to prosecution and could be charged with trespassing, criminal mischief and/or disorderly conduct.”
As for paying for the event: Nutter says the costs will be shared between the city and concert organizers, but he wouldn't give any estimates. He says final figures will be disclosed in late September.
As for getting around the area, it won’t be easy but Nutter says anyone wanting to go to the Parkway Museums such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation should still be able to access the buildings and should check with each cultural institution before going.
“Whether you’re going to the festival or you want to visit any of our museums or other institutions on the Parkway this Labor Day Weekend, the message to you and your family and friends and all is that Philadelphia is open for business and entertainment and fun,” Nutter said.