Since 2012, Jay-Z’s annual Made in America Festival has been held in Philadelphia’s grandest boulevard, the Ben Franklin Parkway. But after this year’s Labor Day Weekend celebration, the giant music fest will be evicted from its landmarked spot.
The city’s mayor, Jim Kenney, confirmed the news in a Billy Penn report, chalking it up to a congestion and financial issue, despite the fact that half of the costs have been covered by Jay’s Roc Nation, since its inception.
In turn, the Roc Nation boss took to the Philadelphia Inquirer to express his disappointment in Kenney’s decision, and lack of respect to reach out through proper communication.
“We are disappointed that the mayor of the city of Philadelphia would evict us from the heart of the city, through a media outlet, without a sit-down meeting, notice, dialogue, or proper communication,” Hov wrote in his op-ed. “It signified zero appreciation for what Made in America has built alongside the phenomenal citizens of this city. In fact, this administration immediately greeted us with a legal letter trying to stop the 2018 event.”
“Since 2012, Made in America, one of the only minority-owned festivals, has had a positive $102.8 million economic impact to Philadelphia, and the festival has paid $3.4 million in rent to the city. Made in America employs more than 1,000 Philadelphians each day and 85 percent of our partners are Philadelphia-based companies,” he continued, adding that the festival has donated almost $3M to the United Way of Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.”
“The location is integral to the pulse of the festival,” Jay continued. “The Parkway is a cultural arts center that is symbolic to over 600 artist that have performed at this event.”
Despite the facts, a rep for the mayor said since the city of brotherly love has increased its tourism in the last six years, “the need for an event of this scale at this location may no longer be necessary.”
“How does an administration merely discard an event that generates millions in income and employs the city’s people as if we are disposable now that we have served our purpose? The city is right in one respect; the first Made in America festival took place when there was a great need for tourism. By their admission, the festival first started as a ‘unique attraction to the city on an otherwise quiet Labor Day weekend. Over the years, tourism has grown overall,” Jay continued.
“Our question is, ‘How do you think that tourism grew Mayor Kenney? We will discuss our options internally and handle accordingly.”
In the meantime, the festival is set to take place Sept 1-2.