Days after it threatened to relocate Jay-Z’s Made In America Festival from its longtime home at the heart of Philadelphia, the city reversed course. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration sparked the controversy last week when they said that in 2019 they planned to relocate the festival. Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
The festival has been held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, located in the city’s heart, since its inception in 2012.
The Mayor’s administration cited “operational difficulties” in staging the event at its current location, including the time to set up and break down the infrastructure for the festival. However, the threatened move sparked an immediate backlash, that included Jay-Z penning a scathing open letter taking Kenney’s administration to task in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Today, the city appears to have backed away from the planned move entirely.
A joint statement from the office of Mayor Jim Kenney and Roc Nation on Monday said:
“Mayor Jim Kenney and Desiree Perez, Chief Operating Officer of Roc Nation, had a productive meeting today to discuss the future of the Made in America festival. 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.”
“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. 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. I look forward to working with Roc Nation and Live Nation, and maintaining this Philadelphia tradition for years to come,” Kenny added in the statement.
In her own statement, Roc Nation’s COO, Desiree Perez said:
“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. 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.”