While Jay-Z's seventh annual Made In America music festival is set to bring Meek Mill, Nicki Minaj, Post Malone, and Janelle Monae to Philly on Labor Day weekend, this could be the previous year the event takes place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
It's a move that has angered the Roc Nation CEO who wrote an Op/Ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Tuesday, slamming Mayor Jim Kenney and challenging his decision to cancel 2019's Made in America Festival, after six years of success in the city.
A city spokeswoman said the event was originally intended as a Labor Day weekend attraction during a slow time but that "may no longer be necessary". The letter goes on to claim that the festival and JAY-Z learned of its order to evict through the media, "without a sit-down meeting, notice, dialogue or proper communication". Roc Nation's costs for this year's fest - which takes place on September 1 and 2 and features Nicki Minaj and Post Malone as well as Philadelphia natives Meek Mill and Diplo - despite losing its original title sponsor, Budweiser. According to the report, the mayor's office added that it is interested in discussing the festival's future with its producers so that they can continue the partnership. "It signifies zero appreciation for what Made In America has built alongside the phenomenal citizens of this city".
Jay Z asked in his statement, which he released as an op-ed to the website, "How does an administration merely discard an event that generates millions ... and employs the city's people as if we are disposable now that we have served our goal?"
Part of the issue could certainly be financial - Roc Nation has paid an average of $566,666 in the aforementioned "rent" to the City of Philadelphia each year, while the city's price tag for hosting is significantly higher.
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In fact, this administration immediately greeted us with a legal letter trying to stop the 2018 event. Is this an accurate representation of how he and his administration treat partners that economically benefit his city?
"Our question is, 'How do you think that tourism grew, Mayor Kenney?' We will discuss our options internally and handle accordingly".
Kenney responded to Jay-Z on Wednesday, saying in a news conference that "we love" Made in America and "we want to keep it" in Philadelphia.
For Jay-Z, change isn't always a good thing, especially when it comes to the location of his annual Made in America festival.
The Made in America Music Festival was started as a Labor Day weekend attraction by rapper and recording magnate Jay-Z during the tenure of former Mayor Michael A. Nutter.