Philadelphia Mayor Says Jay-Z/Made in America Festival Controversy Is an 'Unfortunate Misunderstanding'

Jay Z Made in America
 Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Jay-Z performs during the Budweiser Made In America Festiva at Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Sept. 1, 2012 in Philadelphia. 

On July 18, rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z penned an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer regarding the city's decision to move his Made In America festival from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway after 2018 without notice. "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," the mogul wrote.

Now, a representative for Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has released a statement in response to the controversy.

“The City of Philadelphia supports the Made in America festival and is greatly appreciative of all that it has done for Philadelphia. We are committed to its continued success and thank them for their partnership," a representative for Kenney's office tells Billboard. "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.”

Jay-Z also claimed that the city sent an unsuccessful “legal letter trying to stop the 2018 event,” which is set to happen on Sept. 1 and 2. Headliners for the festival include Nicki Minaj, Meek Mill, Post Malone, and Diplo.

UPDATE: Live Nation has also issued the following statement: "Live Nation wholeheartedly supports Jay-Z and Roc Nation’s bid to keep the Made In America Festival at its home on the Ben Franklin Parkway. We have yet to hear a compelling or plausible explanation for why the festival cannot return to the site where it has successfully been housed for six years and generated $102.8M in positive economic impact to the city. From Billie Holiday to Will Smith, Patti LaBelle, Jill Scott, The Roots and countless others, urban music is an indelible part of Philadelphia’s culture and history. By handicapping Made In America’s ability to bring the best show possible to the best site possible, this administration makes a statement about how it values the arts and plans to protect and expand the city’s vibrant musical heritage."

Festivals 2018

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