Representatives of hip-hop god Jay-Z’s company and label Roc Nation and Mayor James Kenney said that an agreement was reached to keep Made in America, Jay-Z’s festival that has attracted top musicians to perform over Labor Day weekend in Philadelphia since 2012, performing at its current location on the Ben Franklin Parkway.
“I am greatly appreciative of everything that Made in America has done for the City of Philadelphia and I remain committed to its continued success,” Kenney said on Monday after meeting with Roc Nation COO Desiree Perez. “The Made in America festival belongs in Philadelphia — the birthplace of our country — and I’m optimistic that we can turn an unfortunate misunderstanding into a positive outcome and even stronger event.”
According to a press release from Kenney’s office, “both parties have agreed to continue to host the festival along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and are committed to addressing operational and community challenges associated with this large-scale event.”
The dust-up began after Billy Penn broke the story that the city wanted to stop holding Made in America or other major events on the Parkway due to negative effects, congestion and parking issues on nearby neighborhoods. Jay-Z responded by firing off a heated editorial in the Inquirer bemoaning the city’s decision. “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,” Jay-Z wrote.
But Kenney said there was a breakdown in communication and claimed the city informed Live Nation back in April that they were reconsidering the festival’s location, got a response “without complaint,” and thus thought there was no objection.
Made in America dust-up
That letter was based on a study which found that Made in America and other recent large-scale events — the NFL draft, the World Meeting of Families, a Barack Obama pro-Hillary Clinton rally – were having a high cost on the city and detrimental impact on nearby neighborhoods.
“We are happy to announce the Made in America festival will continue at the heart of the Philadelphia, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for many years to come,” Roc Nation COO Perez said in a statement. “After a candid and constructive discussion with the Mayor, we are confident any miscommunication is corrected, and we are proactively addressing any concerns. We are committed to bringing the best experience possible to Philadelphians and all music lovers as well as the continuing prosperity of the city.”
This year’s Made in America on Sept. 1-2 will be held on the Parkway and feature headliners Post Malone and Nicki Minaj.