Apr 3, 2024 - News

Made in America festival nixed ... again

Illustration of the U.S. flag with its white stripes as collapsed lines of sheet music.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Jay-Z's Made in America festival is canceled for a second consecutive year.

Why it matters: The reversal raises questions about the future of the two-day event on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philly.

The latest: A brief statement by event organizers on the festival's social media pages says the production team is "reimaging a live music experience."

  • "We promise an exciting return to the festival," they add.

Yes, but: The statement does not include when and where the festival may return.

  • Jay-Z's entertainment company, Roc Nation, which puts on the festival, did not respond to email requests for comment.

Context: The announcement came a day after Axios Philly's Mike D'Onofrio reported that festival organizers were up against a deadline to request permits from the city to hold the event.

What they're saying: "This is definitely bad news for us," Ed Grose, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, tells Axios about the festival's cancelation.

  • "It will be very hard to replace the business that we would see from a Made in America concert" he added.

By the numbers: The festival draws about 50,000 fans a day.

  • Since its launch in 2012, the festival has generated more than $180 million in economic activity, festival producers have estimated.

Flashback: Organizers abruptly canceled the 2023 festival weeks before it was scheduled to take place.

  • Festival producers said at the time that the event would return in 2024.

Between the lines: Roc Nation has fended off complaints from residents and city officials in the past.

The intrigue: It remains to be seen whether Mayor Cherelle Park supports the festival's return.

  • A spokesperson for the mayor did not immediately return a request for comment.

The bottom line: Christian "TAMEARTZ" Rodriguez, a local artist who produces the Hip-Hop in the Park festival, tells Axios that Made in America organizers have failed to engage and promote enough Philly talent while noting that past ticket prices — averaging $230-$260 — were too high for many.

  • "The powers that be that run it don't have a pulse on the city," he says.
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