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Made in America 2017
Photograph: Kelsey Dubinsky

The five best things we saw at Made in America on Saturday

Hannah Streck

While the weather may not have been ideal for an end-of-summer music festival, it didn’t stop thousands of individuals from hitting Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the first day of Made in America 2017. Now in its sixth year, the festival drew acts such as Solange, Vic Mensa, J. Cole, Cash Cash, and Stormzy to Philadelphia’s grandest thoroughfare. We already made our 10 predictions for what would happen at the festival; but out of all the amazing acts, here are the five best things that happened—ranging from the top artists to some randomness in and around the festival.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Made in America

1. Francis from Francis and the Lights

Photograph: Hannah Streck

If you haven’t had a chance to check out any of Francis and the Lights’s music videos on YouTube, you are seriously missing out. This Cali native moved us when he collaborated with Bon Iver and Kanye West on the break-up song we didn’t know you needed, "Friends". He then continued to surprise us when he paired up with Chance the Rapper for the love song we knew we needed, "May I Have This Dance". Francis took the Liberty Stage and gave one of the most passionate performances of the festival on Saturday. His moves had such fluidity and individuality that it felt like watching a masterpiece in the making. Plus, it didn’t hurt when he ran through the crowd, from one side of the stage to the other—sans security.

2. The hype for Migos

Photograph: Kelsey Dubinsky

It’s not hard to see why this Atlanta rap trio is one of the must industry’s most sought after collaborators (they released chart topper "Bon Appetite" with Katy Perry at the beginning of summer). Their fans are hardcore dedicated, and his performance at the Rocky Stage brought out one of the largest crowds of the day. Thankfully, it was one of the only sets where it didn’t POUR on festival goers the entire time.

3. Hair salon pop-ups in the village

Photograph: Kelsey Dubinsky

Every time festival season rolls around, we get a glimpse of the current hottest trends. So it was great to see Philly-based hair salon American Mortals have their own pop-up shop in one of the many villages throughout the Made in America festival. They were set up giving festivalgoers trendy hairdos for their day of running from stage to stage, but the best part about it? It’s absolutely FREE. Find them on Sunday.

4. Dancing in ponchos

Photograph: Kelsey Dubinsky

The one downside to an outdoor music festival is being at the mercy of the weather. And unfortunately, Mother Nature crapped out on us. Yes, for all of Saturday it was so rainy, windy and cold AF that the festival grounds turned into a giant mud pit. But that actually ended up being kind of great. Why? Because we got to see tons of folks dancing in brightly colored ponchos. Nothing says unity like a bunch of people—looking like traffic cones—brought together by their love of music and dancing. You should try it at least once.


Photograph: Kelsey Dubinsky

J.Cole was the last act of the night—the one everyone stood hours in the rain to hear. Besides offering his trademark thoughts and contemplations, the Grammy-nominated artist performed songs from his most recent album, 4 Your Eyez Only, all the way back to his first studio release, Cold War: The Sideline Story. He stirred the crowd when he brought out Ari Lennox to join him in a duet. He shared heartwarming stories about his daughter, and gave us insight into what the writing process was like for some of the songs he performed. It was also magical when he sang "When The Bell Tolls," just as the heaven’s opened up with the last big downpour of the night.

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