Jay-Z called foul on Philly in a recent op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, saying he was blindsided by learning that Made in America – the massively popular annual end-of-summer festival that Jay-Z organizes – is going to get kicked off the Parkway, its venue for the past six years.
“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 in the piece, saying he found out from a Billy Penn article that the festival was not set to return to the Parkway after the upcoming Sept. 1-2 festival, which will feature headliners Post Malone and Nicki Minaj.
Jay-Z claimed the city even sent legal papers trying to shut down this summer’s Made in America festival, which will be the last to be held on the Parkway, due to the traffic congestion and other issues it causes, the city recently told BillyPenn.com.
“It signifies zero appreciation for what Made In America has built alongside the phenomenal citizens of this city,” Jay-Z wrote. “In fact, this administration immediately greeted us with a legal letter trying to stop the 2018 event.”
Not true, Mayor Jim Kenney responded. He told TechBook Online “I love Jay-Z,” and claimed the city informed Live Nation back in April that they were reconsidering the festival’s location and got a response “without complaint.”
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.
Made in America evicted?
“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,” a Kenney spokesperson said in a statement. “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.”
But Jay-Z is still steaming mad. He called the festival “one of the only minority-owned music festivals” and said it brought a $102.8 million economic impact to the city, while paying $3.4 million in rent a year, employing 1,000 Philadelphians per day, while 85 percent of the festival’s contractors were Philadelphia-based companies.
No alternate locations for the festival have been officially proposed yet – although Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. said he would love to host Jay’s Festival in West Fairmount Park, TechBook reported.