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July 23, 2018

Made in America festival to stay on Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Statement from Mayor Kenney and Roc Nation calls the mix-up a "miscommunication"

Concerts Made in America
Stock_Carroll - Benjamin Franklin Parkway Philly Skyline Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway on a hazy and hot summer day.

After a meeting on Monday with officials from Jay-Z's Roc Nation, it appears Philadelphia will remain the host of the Made in America festival, and it will continue to take place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway;

Mayor Jim Kenney and Chief Operating Officer of Roc Nation, Desiree Perez, announced in a joint statement on Monday that the festival would remain on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway "for years to come," Kenney said.

"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," Kenney said in his 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."

The trouble started last week when Billy Penn broke the news that beginning in 2019 the festival would not take place on the parkway and escalated when Jay-Z penned an open letter to Kenney in the Inquirer, claiming the mayor essentially evicted the festival from the parkway.

"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," Jay-Z wrote. "It signifies zero appreciation for what Made In America has built alongside the phenomenal citizens of this city. In fact, this administration immediately greeted us with a legal letter trying to stop the 2018 event."

In Monday afternoon's statement Perez said Roc Nation is "happy to announce the Made in America festival will continue at the heart of Philadelphia" and called the entire ordeal a "miscommunication."

"After a candid and constructive discussion with the mayor, we are confident any miscommunication is corrected, and we are proactively addressing any concerns," Perez said. "We are committed to bringing the best experience possible to Philadelphians and all music lovers as well as the continuing prosperity of the city."

Kenney is expected to answer questions about the deal in a press conference Monday evening.

This is a developing story. More updates to come. 

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