×

Jay-Z Slams Philadelphia Mayor for Made in America Festival Move

Since 2012, Jay-Z’s annual Made in America festival has been held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, which over the years has featured Beyoncé, Rihanna, Kanye West, Pearl Jam and others along with Jay. Yet city Mayor Jim Kenney said that this year will be the last that the concert will be held on the parkway due to the costs — approximately half of which have been covered by Jay’s Roc Nation company — and congestion associated with the event, according to a report in the local publication Billy Penn, prompting an angry response from Jay-Z.

“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 wrote in an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer. “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.

“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,” he continues. “Made in America employs more than 1,000 Philadelphians each day and 85 percent of our partners are Philadelphia-based companies,” and added that “Made in America has donated $2.9 million to the United Way of Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.”

A rep for the city told Billy Penn that it was open to finding an alternate venue, and a Roc Nation rep said the festival will be held in Philadelphia next year.

According to the Billy Penn report, the city spent more than $1.1 million on various city services, including police overtime, EMS coverage, cleanup and other support. Of that amount, $600,000 was covered by Roc Nation, per the city, and Roc will make an additional payment of $80,000 later this year. Roc Nation’s costs for this year’s fest — which takes place on Sept. 1 and 2 and features Nicki Minaj and Post Malone as well as Philadelphia natives Meek Mill and Diplo — despite losing its original title sponsor, Budweiser.

A rep for the mayor told Billy Pen But six years later, tourism has grown, so “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 wrote.

“Our question is, ‘How do you think that tourism grew, Mayor Kenney?’ We will discuss our options internally and handle accordingly.”

A rep for the mayor’s office said a response will be coming later today.

 

 

 

 

 

More Music

  • Joe Osborn Dead: Bassist Who Played

    Joe Osborn, Wrecking Crew Bassist, Dies at 81

    Bassist Joe Osborn died of pancreatic cancer on Dec. 14 at 81. Osborn was no ordinary studio musician. From the early 1960s to the mid-1970s, Osborn was ubiquitous, playing on tunes as silly as The Monkees theme and as sublime as Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” You can see Osborn backing Ricky Nelson [...]

  • Kanye West Is Looking For ‘Metal

    Kanye West Is Looking For ‘Metal Gear Solid’ Creator Hideo Kojima in NY

    American rapper and fashion designer Kanye West took to Twitter on Friday in an attempt to reach out to creator of “Metal Gear Solid” Hideo Kojima, and seemingly set up a meeting while both are in New York. “Heard Hideo Kojima is in NY We need to meet Does anyone know where he is or [...]

  • Cardi B

    Offset Crashes Cardi B's Set at Rolling Loud Festival (Watch)

    Migos rapper Offset is continuing a public display of contrition to win back wife and fellow rapper Cardi B. Appearing onstage at the Rolling Loud Festival in Los Angeles on Saturday night, Offset surprised the crowd at the Banc of California Stadium by appearing during Cardi’s set with flowers and a cake and displaying the [...]

  • Peter Bjorn and John -Björn Yttling

    As Peter Bjorn & John Celebrates 20 Years, the Band Returns to its 'Darker' Roots

    A trifecta of pure energy hit the stage at the Teragram Ballroom in Downtown Los Angeles Saturday night as Peter Bjorn & John performed the second-to-last stop of a 2018 tour. Promoting their new album “Darker Days,” which dropped October 19, the band went back to basics as a three-piece for this outing (drummer John [...]

  • Adam Levine Cardi B

    Maroon 5 and How the Super Bowl Halftime Show Became Music's Least Wanted Gig

    Who would have thought that the Super Bowl Halftime show, an American institution watched by more than 100 million people, would become the least wanted gig in music? But thanks to the ongoing controversy concerning the NFL’s stance on a player’s right to protest, brought to the forefront by football’s top conscientious objector Colin Kaepernick, [...]

  • Mary Poppins 1964

    P.L. Travers' Efforts to Adapt 'Mary Poppins' for Film, TV Were Often Less Than Jolly

    Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” a sequel decades in the making, opens Dec. 19. Even before the 1964 original, Hollywood made several attempts to adapt P.L. Travers’ books, with Samuel Goldwyn and Katharine Hepburn among those involved in the chase. But aside from a one-hour 1949 CBS television version, they all hit a dead-end. The first [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content