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Jay-Z’s Made In America cancelled again

Jay-Z’s Made In America Festival has been cancelled for the second year in a row, organisers have confirmed.

Launched in 2012, the annual two-day event traditionally takes place every Labor Day weekend on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Yesterday (April 3) Made In America posted a statement confirming that the event “will not take place in 2024” as planned. Bosses did not give a specific reason for it being shelved.

“Since its inception, this groundbreaking festival has celebrated music & community – from creating a space for fans to connect, to uplifting local small businesses & shining a light on important causes,” organisers continued.

Made In America that it “promises an exciting return to the festival” in the future

“It has strived for accessibility, eliminating barriers through affordable tickets and location. As purveyors of change, the Made In America executive production team is reimagining a live music experience that affirms our love and dedication to music and the work we do.”

The Roc Nation-produced event signed off by saying that it “promises an exciting return to the festival” in the future. No line-up details had been revealed for this year’s event.

Last year’s event was also axed less than a month out due to what organisers called “circumstances outside of production control”. Lizzo and SZA were set to headline the 2023 fest. In cancelling last year’s festival, organisers said that they would “deliver a top-tier festival experience” in 2024.


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Jay-Z’s Made In America festival cancelled

Jay-Z’s Made In America festival has been cancelled for 2023 “due to severe circumstances outside of production control”.

The annual festival was due to be held next month (2-3 September) in Philadelphia, US, and headlined by SZA and Lizzo, who has recently been sued for sexual harassment by three of her former dancersthough she denies the claims.

“This decision has been difficult and has not been made lightly nor without immense deliberation,” reads a statement from the organisers.

“Made in America has a legacy of delivering exceptional experiences for music fans and concert goers, and it is our commitment to always deliver a top-tier festival experience. We look forward to returning to Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the great city of
Philadelphia in 2024.”

“This decision has been difficult and has not been made lightly nor without immense deliberation”

The organisers did not give any other explanation for the cancellation of the 2023 edition but did say that ticket holders would be refunded.

Poor ticket sales have been a key factor in festivals cancelling for 2023, alongside financial difficulties, inflation, artist availability and logistical issues.

Other events that will not take place in 2023 include Fest Festival (Poland), Falls Festival (Australia), Rolling Loud (US), Summerburst (Sweden), Hills of Rock (Bulgaria), InMusic (Croatia), Wireless GermanyHear Hear (Belgium) and Tempelhof Sounds and Tempelhof Sounds Presents (Germany).

Made in America, founded by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Entertainment, has been a Philadelphia institution for several years, with Bad Bunny and Tyler, the Creator headlining last year’s festival.

The event has reportedly generated over $180 million in economic impact for the city of Philadelphia since the inaugural two-day concert in 2012.


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Philadelphia mayor: Made in America must relocate

Jay-Z‘s Made in America festival has faced prolonged issues this week, after comments from the Philadelphia mayor’s office said the open air event will from 2019 need to relocate away from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, it’s home since 2012.

Citing cost issues, congestion in the city brought on by the event and a growth in tourism, a representative for Mayor Jim Kenney’s office told local media, “the need for an event of this scale at this location may no longer be necessary.”

The decision not to let the event go ahead at its long-term home in 2019 appears to have been made without the input of Jay-Z or Roc Nation. Comments to local media from the mayor’s office therefore provoked an angry response from organisers and Jay-Z himself, with the rapper penning a passionate op-ed in the Philadelphia Enquirer

“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 rapper writes.

“It signifies zero appreciation for what Made In America has built alongside the phenomenal citizens of this city.”

“How do you think that tourism grew, Mayor Kenny?”

The mayor’s office originally cited an increase in tourism as one of the reasons the event, which last year welcomed 130,000 concertgoers across Labor Day weekend, need not go ahead in its current location. To this, the rapper responded by saying his event was largely part of the reason the city had seen this success, asking: “How do you think that tourism grew, Mayor Kenny?”

Officials have suggested the event may happen at a different Philadelphian location, but it seems the site of Benjamin Franklin Parkway is of particular importance to organisers. In his op-ed, Jay-Z writes that the Parkway, “captures the freedom and spirit of inclusivity that drew us to the City of Brotherly Love.”

Variety reported yesterday that Desiree Perez, chief operating officer of Roc Nation, stated that Made in America will take place at Benjamin Franklin Parkway or it will move out of Philadelphia altogether. Perez went on to call the Mayor’s actions a “bullying tactic.”

Made in America promoter Live Nation has since weighed in on the matter, siding wholly with Roc Nation. “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,” Live Nation says in a statement.

“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.”

Performing this year at Made in America (1 and 2 September) at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, potentially for the last time, are artists including Nicki Minaj, Post Malone and Diplo.


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Festival Focus: ACL, Summer Sonic, Karoondinha

With the 2017 festival season fast approaching and many events close to finalising this year’s line-ups, we’ve introduced a new, slimmed-down Festival Focus for 2017 to ensure we cover as much news as possible – keeping you abreast of all the latest developments in the festival world with the minimum of waffle.

Read on for all the latest festival announcements (headliners are in bold), or click here for the previous FF. And if we’ve missed something, or you’d like to see your event featured in a future Festival Focus, feel free to drop news editor Jon Chapple a line at [email protected].


Hurricane Festival/Southside Festival, Germany (FKP Scorpio, 23–25 June)
Kakkamaddafakka, Twin Atlantic, Dave Hause and the Mermaid, Fatoni, JP Cooper, Louis Berry, Stu Larsen, Amber Run , Leif Vollebekk, Rebels of rhe Jukebox, Mikroschrei, Luke Noa & the Basement Beats, Tuesday Night Project, Die Boys

Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, Spain (Maraworld, 13–16 July 2017)
Biffy Clyro (Spanish exclusive), Years & Years, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Temples, Dream Wife, Tiga, Honne, La Casa Azul, Joe Crepusculo (Jim Reid/Jesus and Mary Chain photo by pj_in_oz on Flickr)

Latitude, UK (Festival Republic, 13–16 July 2017)
Katherine Jenkins, Leon Bridges, The Coral, Mystery Jets, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Beth Orton, A Blaze of Deather, Childhood, Black Peaches, etc.

Karoondinha Music & Arts Festival, US (Hawk Eye Presents, 21–23 July 2017)
Chance the Rapper, Paramore, Sturgill Simpson, Porter Robinson, The Revivalists, etc.

Jim Reid, The Jesus and Mary Chain, V Festival 2008, Sydney

Pukkelpop, Belgium (The Factory vzw, 16–19 August 2017)
Ryan Adams, Stormzy, The Shins, Sampha, Halsey, Armand Van Helden, Jake Bugg, Enter Shikari, Richie Hawtin, Jackmaster, 2manydjs, Youngr, etc.

Summer Sonic, Japan (Creativeman, 19–20 August 2017)
Calvin Harris, Foo Fighters, Black Eyed Peas, Kasabian, Sum 41, 5 Seconds of Summer, Justice, Charli XCX, Good Charlotte, Royal Blood, Kesha, Above & Beyond, Rick Astley, etc.

Reading Festival/Leeds Festival, UK (Festival Republic, 25–27 August 2017)
Liam Gallagher, You Me at Six, Vince Staples, Pvris, Goldie, Muna, Mura Masa, Jagwar Ma, Sub Focus, Kurupt FM, etc. (Liam Gallagher photo by Anthony Abbott)

Rock en Seine, France (LNEI Live, 25–27 August 2017)
Band of Horses, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Lemon Twigs, Grouplove, The Shins, Her, Car Seat Headrest, Timber Timbre, Slowdive, Romeo Elvis, Her, Deluxe

Liam Gallagher, Beady Eye, Isle of Wight Festival 2011, Anthony Abbott

Made in America Festival, US (Live Nation, 2–3 September 2017)
Jay Z, J. Cole, The Chainsmokers, Solange, Kaskade, Marshmello, Sampha, Migos, Stormzy, 21 Savage, Run the Jewels, Little Dragon, Pusha T, DMX, Vic Mensa, Yung Lean, etc.

OnBlackheath, UK (Crosstown Concerts, 9–10 September 2017)
The Libertines, Travis, De La Soul, Metronomy, Craig Charles’s Funk and Soul Club, Jake Bugg, KT Tunstall, Seasick Steve, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Black Honey, Tom Williams, Steve Mason, etc.

Beyond the Tracks, UK (Moseley Folk Ltd, 15–17 September 2017)
Orbital, Ocean Colour Scene, Editors, Leftfield, Faithless, Maxïmo Park, The Coral, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Peter Hook and the Light, Jagwar Ma, Wild Beasts, etc.

Austin City Limits, US (Live Nation, 6–8 and 13–15 October)
Jay Z, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chance the Rapper, The Killers, Gorillaz, Martin Garrix, The xx, Ice Cube, Ryan Adams, Solange, Run the Jewels, Spoon, Vance Joy, Zhu, Royal Blood (weekend one), Eagles of Death Metal (weekend two), Foster the People, etc.


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