Philly Mayor Forbids “Made in America Festival,” Jay-Z Responds
Jay-Z’s “Made in America” festival has been held at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia since it started in 2012. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case this year, and Jay-Z is speaking out on it. The city of Philadelphia communications director, Deana Gamble, revealed the news in an interview with NBC10, stating that the city would like to keep the festival – but hold it in a different venue. She said:
We are discussing the festival’s future and alternative locations with the producers…We look forward to continuing a partnership.
Jay-Z wrote an op-ed for the Philadelphia Inquirer, providing receipts on what took place. He says:
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.
We consider this stance a failure on the Mayor’s part. Is this an accurate representation of how he and his administration treat partners that economically benefit his city? Do they regularly reject minority-owned businesses that want to continue to thrive and grow alongside his city’s people?
In addition to the festival adding revenue to the city, Jay-Z reveals how the Made in America Festival contributed to philanthropic efforts as well. He says:
Made in America has donated $2.9 million to the United Way of Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. Cause Village, the festival’s philanthropic footprint and hub for social action, averages more than 15,000 social actions taken over the two-days via ongoing partnerships with more than 56 charitable and activist organizations representing all causes.
How does an administration, merely discard an event that generates millions in income and employs the city’s people as if we are disposable now that we have served our purpose? The city is right, in one respect, the first Made in America festival took place when there was a great need for tourism. By their admission, the festival first started as a “unique attraction to the City on an otherwise quiet Labor Day weekend. Over the years, tourism has grown overall.” Our question is, ‘How do you think that tourism grew, Mayor Kenney?’
Read Jay-Z’s statement in its entirety here.
Is the mayor’s decision to evict “Made in America Festival” solely based on the venue, or is this retaliation for Jay-Z’s involvement in Meek Mill’s case?
By: Miata Shanay