The ticketed event runs through Sunday night, rain or shine, on the city's Benjamin Franklin parkway, long the site of free concerts on the Fourth of July that attract hundreds of thousands of people. Up to 50,000 were expected each day of the festival.
Organized by promoter Live Nation, the Budweiser Made in America show will benefit United Way organizations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York City.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter acknowledged that the city has faced some criticism over costs associated with the event, but said the city also will benefit from the attention on a holiday weekend.
"Labor Day weekend is normally a quiet holiday for the hospitality industry in the city," Nutter said in a statement. "But the early reports we're getting indicate substantially increased activity in our Center City hotels. We hope this will mean good news for the entire tourism and hospitality industry, including the many restaurants, shops, museums and bars that those visitors will patronize."
Some roads were closed for days in neighborhoods adjacent to the parkway, home to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and other cultural institutions. Parts of the parkway itself were shut down to clear the area for setup.
The region's public transit agency, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, also ramped up service for the event. SEPTA operates trains, buses and trolleys in the city and regional rail lines to the suburbs and provided special bus service to a remote parking site at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.
Melanie Johnson, Philadelphia's city representative, said Friday that crews were placing trash boxes around the concert area and making sure the art museum and other cultural institutions along the tree-lined parkway have everything they need in terms of access.
The city was also posting "No Parking" signs in some areas and the risk management department has been surveying the site and reviewing the emergency plan.
Johnson said officials will make sure that EMS crews are in place.
"We're very happy with the way things have shaped up," she said.