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Philadelphia Mayor Calls Jay-Z/Made in America Controversy an ‘Unfortunate Misunderstanding’

A rep for Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said Tuesday that Jay-Z’s Made in America festival, which has taken place on the city’s Benjamin Franklin every year since 2012, will have to be held elsewhere in the city next year 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. Jay-Z responded with a fiery op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer that began, “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” and cited the financial benefit the festival has brought to the city.

The mayor responded several hours after the op-ed was published with a statement of his own that calls the situation an “unfortunate misunderstanding” that they are “working to resolve.”

“The City of Philadelphia supports the Made in America festival and is greatly appreciative of all that it has done for Philadelphia,” the statement reads. “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.”

A rep for the mayor declined further comment; a rep for Roc Nation did not immediately grant Variety’s request for comment.

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