Philly music festival Made In America, which was founded by Jay-Z and has taken place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway since the inaugural 2012 edition, is reportedly being forced by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney to move to a new location in 2019. Jay-Z himself has responded to this in an op-ed for the Philly Inquirer, which begins:
The Made in America festival is a multicultural platform that represents strength, freedom of speech, and perseverance for artists and music lovers. Philadelphia, an iconic city, represents those ideals. The location is integral to the pulse of the festival. The [Benjamin Franklin] Parkway is a cultural arts center that is symbolic to the more than 600 artists who have performed at this event. The Parkway captures the freedom and spirit of inclusivity that drew us to the City of Brotherly Love. The celebratory nature and essence of this festival has inspired locals as well as visitors from across the nation to enjoy Labor Day in Philadelphia.
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. 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.
"The city is right in one respect; the first Made in America festival took place when there was a great need for tourism," Jay continues. "Our question is, 'How do you think that tourism grew, Mayor Kenney?'," Jay asked, before concluding with: "We will discuss our options internally and handle accordingly." You can read the full op-ed here.
Philadelphia communications director Deana Gamble told NBC Philadelphia that they "are discussing the festival’s future and alternative locations with the producers."
The 2018 edition of the fest happens on Benjamin Franklin Parkway with Nicki Minaj, Post Malone, Meek Mill, Diplo, Zedd, Miguel, Janelle Monae, SOB x RBE, Saba, Maxo Kream, JPEGMAFIA, Code Orange, Turnstile, Show Me the Body, and more.
Meanwhile, Jay-Z has been on tour with Beyonce in support of their collaborative album Everything Is Love, and they made the live debut of "APESHIT" from that album at their Paris show on Sunday (7/15). Watch below. The tour hits the NYC-area for two MetLife Stadium shows in August (8/2 & 8/3).