The Made in America festival has, since its 2012 inception, taken place over Labor Day weekend on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. The festival has brought in hundreds of thousands of visitors (which equals $$$ in revenue for the city) and hosted such luminaries as Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Coldplay, and Nine Inch Nails. After this year’s festival, however, Made in America will have to move. Founder Jay-Z, a Grammy-winning rapper and entrepreneur, has spoken out against the fact, penning an op-ed for the Philadelphia Inquirer to ask Mayor Jim Kenney why he is turning his back on the festival, which turned “an otherwise quiet Labor Day weekend” into an immense tourism draw.
In actuality, it wasn’t Mayor Kenney who had a problem with the festival taking place on the Parkway. The residents of the area have been complaining year after year about the noise, crowds, and parking restrictions that the festival brings with it, and the city has finally bowed to their wishes. Kenney insists that he wants to keep Made in America in Philly. “We are in discussion with the right people now and I’m confident we will work everything out,” Kenney told NBC10. “We want to keep the concert. We want to maintain a good relationship with Roc Nation and we’re going to work hard to do that.”
Jay-Z, for his part, is obviously not mollified. “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,” he penned in his editorial, ending with a challenging question: “How do you think that tourism grew, Mayor Kenney?”
It remains to be seen what the future will hold for the popular festival.