This weekend, I probably inhaled enough dust to fill a small playground.
Made in America is a festival created by Jay Z which encompasses a range of genres in Philly during Labor Day weekend. I, along with 140,000 other people, was fortunate enough to experience this wonderful event. As the final hurrah for the summer after graduating college, I felt like it needed to end with a bang.
I had a lot of fun this past weekend. I love concerts but I had never been to something of this caliber. I was both excited and apprehensive. Having planned this trip since June, the weekend of complete insobriety had finally arrived and I was pumped. No one could have prepared me for what was to come.
Made in America is NOT for the faint of heart. That shit took endurance and perseverance in a way I couldn't have imagined.
Let me break down why I don't think Made in America is for me:
140,000. That's a large number for anything. 140,000 people. Is. Insane. That's almost three times the population of my hometown. The University of Michigan has the biggest football stadium in the country and if you sat us all in there, 30,000 people still wouldn't have had a place to sit. You can't move without bumping into someone. It got to a point I had to stop saying "excuse me" because there was just too many people. You could blink and lose your friends in the crowd. I actually did. For a hour and half. When your GroupMe won't load and your iMessage won't send and you're not completely sober, it can be overwhelming.
You can't meet up with anyone in there. "Meet me at the-" NO, it's not happening. If you didn't go in there with them, the chances of you meeting up with your friends in there is very slim. The sheer mass of people coupled with a lack of cell service, it was almost torturous. Better just hope luck is on your side and you cross paths.
Dust. Dirt. General filth. Don't wear anything you wouldn't mind ruining forever. I was covered in a layer of dirt when I left the grounds each day. Everything from my phone to my hair to my damn nail polish had a film of dirt and dust on it. I would lick my lips and feel dirt in my mouth. After cleaning my nose with a wipe and it came out black. It took half of DS2 to wash and rinse my hair ALONE. As someone who really cares about her hygiene and general cleanliness, I felt disgusting. I inhaled so much dust that Sunday night, I couldn't breathe. I had to steam myself in the shower. I STILL can't take deep breaths.
Fighting. Lord. Fights at a concert are not uncommon. HOWEVER, the mix of alcohol, drugs, dehydration, heat, and exhaustion for long hours can cause people to get really irritated, really easily. Lots of "stupid bitch's" and "fuck you's" were yelled throughout the weekend. A fight broke out behind me while Future was performing, and me being the awkward, unlucky person that I am, I almost got dragged into it :( It's just not fun to witness and if you're like one of my friends who feel the need to break it up, you might get punched in the face. (Sorry, Obi!)
People generally don't have any regard for anything or anyone. Why....are you....peeing....on...yourself??? Sir? M'am??? WHY?! You don't want to lose your spot by the stage? Really? OKAY. Then you just go about with life like you aren't an adult who just peed on themselves. Baffling. Sometimes you just don't want to be around people like that....most times....all the time..
It is exhausting. You start pregaming in the morning, you continue your drug or drink of choice throughout the day, well into the night. Go to bed at 3AM and wake up to do it again. Probably not even waking up sober. You're standing in a crowd of thousands for hours watching these artists, doing everything to stay hydrated but not kill your buzz and by the end of the day, you're wondering why you even have feet if they're going to hurt that much.
With all this being said, I shouldn't want to go again. My body is telling me not to. My mind is telling me not to. My new Huaraches are furious with me. My heart, however, is all in. I loved it all. Meeting people in the crowd, dancing for hours at a time, making memories with my friends...I had the time of my life. One of the highlights of my summer, easily. I feel like I'm in the period of my life where experiences like these are necessary. The memories that you cherish with your friends and tell your children about:
"Back in 2015, Nicki Minaj came out during Meek Mill's set with an empty church purse on her shoulder."
"Remember when Nick Jonas totally forgot he was a Jonas Brother and didn't perform a SINGLE song by them?"
So, will I go to Made in America again? Hell yeah. The little annoyances I had don't overpower the fun I had. If you have the means to, I suggest everyone go to a music festival of this nature once in their life. What an experience.
Jay Z, if you're reading this, please get Rihanna to headline next year. K thx.