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Philadelphia’s annual Made In America music festival will last for two days, starting on Saturday, Sept. 4 to Sunday, Sept. 5, at the Ben Franklin Parkway. (Photo by Eric Garcetti | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Some Penn students expressed comfort in attending large group events ahead of the 2021 Made in America music festival. 

Philadelphia’s annual Made in America music festival announced that it will run for the first time since 2019 after being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some Penn students that plan on attending the festival — which will run from Sept. 4 to Sept. 5 — said that concert reopenings generally felt safe, as more Philadelphia residents become vaccinated. 

Rising College sophomore Antonio Clegg Gonzalez said that he felt confident that concerts are relatively safe to attend, noting that he trusts the vaccine’s effectiveness. 

“It's fine to open up and have a natural progression of things,” he said, adding that the increasing rates of vaccination make it feasible to reopen venues. 

Rising College sophomore Lynne Kim said that she plans to use Penn's mask policies as a guideline and that she feels comfortable attending Made in America because it will be held outside. 

“I’m a little nervous about going to a concert, but at the same time, I'm definitely less worried than if the concert took place last year,” Kim said. 

University administrators announced that Penn community members no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and many students welcomed the decision. Rising College junior Indya Gettings previously told the Daily Pennsylvanian that the decision brought "a sense of normalcy" after over a year of masking and social distancing. Despite reopenings, students expressed that they are still taking precautions. 

Rising College and Wharton sophomore Jiani Tian said that concerns about COVID-19 are "inevitable” because not all of the audience may be fully vaccinated.

“I’m planning on just wearing a mask as part of my festival outfit and praying for the best,” she said. 

Kim, Tian, and Gonzalez all said that they still plan to wear their masks at the festival. 

Because the concert was canceled last year due to the pandemic, the festival website states that tickets bought in 2020 will be valid for the 2021 concert. The website also states that the festival will follow CDC guidelines in accordance with crowd size, social distancing, mask usage, and food service. 

The festival announced the lineup, which includes artists such as Justin Bieber, Doja Cat, Lil Baby, and Megan Thee Stallion, for the eighth annual festival. The Made in America festival features music from pop, hip-hop, electronic, rap, and rock genres. 

Some Penn students bought tickets to the festival during the presale when tickets were discounted and the lineup was not yet announced. 

Gonzalez, who bought a ticket during the presale, said that the lineup seemed “lackluster” and “bland.” He added that he later sold the ticket to another student for a $3 profit because he wanted to get rid of it after the lineup was announced.  

“It’s just not my type of music,” Gonzalez said.

Kim shared similar feelings, saying that the concert fell short of her expectations.

“It definitely wasn’t up my alley because a lot of [the artists] are rappers,” Kim said. She added that, even though she was disappointed by the lineup, she is still excited to go to a festival and listen to music with her friends. 

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