Kanye West performing at the Made In America festival. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

by Margaret Okakpu

Just a few hours away from campus, a music festival comparable to Coachella and Bonnaroo took place in Philadelphia in the last weekend of August. Created by hip-hop legend JAY Z, Made In America is a two-day whirlwind experience that is always unforgettable. With four separate stages, over 40 different musical acts, an amusement park ride, multiple food trucks, bar areas and a skate park, there is always more than enough entertainment to cater to all tastes and ages.

On Saturday, there were performances from acts like The Neighbourhood, J. Cole, and Steve Aoki. At the start of their set, Jesse Rutherford of The Neighbourhood blurted out, “Free Meek Mill,” rendering cheers from the Meek Mill fans in the audience. J. Cole, who performed on Liberty Stage, opened with a video montage set to his song “Be Free” as a tribute to Michael Brown. Following J. Cole, DJ Steve Aoki took to throwing large cakes into the audience.

Headlining the festival on Saturday was Kanye West.  He performed on Rocky Stage and brought forth an enormous crowd. West, in his ninety minute set was easily the best performance of the night. His began the show with his song “Black Skinhead” and continued on in a flurry of lights, pulsing sounds, and bass so heavy you’d swear you felt it in your soul. He then went on to end the show in a way that only Kanye West can, by reprising his song “Blood On The Leaves” twice more before dropping the mic and walking off stage.

The last performance of the weekend was Kings Of Leon. Though they did not get to play their whole set due to severe weather conditions and evacuation, lead singer Caleb Followill assured the audience that they would give all they had. They did not disappoint, giving what they had and more in the seventy-five minute performance. They ended with a performance of their hit, “Use Somebody” and it left the audience more united than ever.

It’s safe to say that this year’s Made In America fest did not disappoint. Showcasing new and some better-known musical acts, there was something there for everyone. Not only do you get to see several amazing concerts in just two days, you also get exposure to music you never even thought you would like. There’s something about people coming together and finding common ground in their love of music that just feels right.