Made in America Festival will stay in Philadelphia, the city’s mayor announced on Monday (July 23) following what he called a “productive” meeting with JAY-Z‘s Roc Nation company.
Mayor Jim Kenney and Roc Nation Chief Operating Officer Desiree Perez agreed on terms to keep the festival along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for years to come, noting they were both committed to addressing operational and community challenges associated with the 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,” said Kenney in a statement. “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.”
Added Perez: “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.”
Last week things were far less amicable between the parties, as a public war of words played out in the media over the annual Labor Day event.
On July 17, a spokesperson for Kenney’s office told local news site Billy Penn that 2018 would be MIA’s last year on the parkway — a decision that caught representatives from Roc Nation and festival partner Live Nation completely off guard. JAY-Z responded the next day with an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, slamming the decision and the mayor’s tactics in making the announcement. Kenny quickly backpedaled, calling the incident an “unfortunate misunderstanding” and saying his office was “working with Roc Nation and Live Nation to resolve this issue.”
Had a productive meeting today with @RocNation about the future of @MIAFestival. We addressed each other’s concerns and came to an agreement after last week’s misunderstanding. The festival belongs here in Philly — and on the Parkway. https://t.co/Ezjvwjbmd6
— Jim Kenney (@PhillyMayor) July 23, 2018