Jay Z‘s Made In America is one of the most popular music festivals in the country. However, this year will be its last at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, because the mayor pulled the plug on the location, claiming it was too expensive, even though Roc Nation covered approximately half the costs. However, Jay Z is not happy and wrote a biting piece in The Philadelphia Inquirer, ripping into Mayor Jim Kenney, who quickly responded.
Jay accused the mayor of evicting the event “through a media outlet, without a sit-down meeting, notice, dialogue, or proper communication.” He said, “It signifies 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.”
The festival was also a huge boost to Philadelphia’s economy, according to Jay, “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.”
Jay also insinuated that race was a factor, “We consider this stance a failure on the mayor’s part. Is this an accurate representation of how he and his administration treat partners that economically benefit his city? Do they regularly reject minority-owned businesses that want to continue to thrive and grow alongside his city’s people?”
Mayor Kenney responded via a statement, “The City of Philadelphia supports the Made in America festival and is greatly appreciative of all that it has done for Philadelphia. We are committed to its continued success and thank them for their partnership. We hope to be able to resolve what has been an unfortunate misunderstanding. We are working with Roc Nation and Live Nation to resolve this issue and we are committed to continuing our partnership with the Made in America festival.”
No word on where else Made in America will take place but judging from the passive statement above from the mayor, it might just stay at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia.