Kenney says he wants to keep Made in America in Philly

Justin Udo
July 18, 2018 - 6:37 pm

Daniel DeSlover/imageSPACE


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Mayor Jim Kenney wants to set the record straight with hip hop mogul Jay-Z following miscommunication about his popular Labor Day weekend music festival, Made in America, on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

He responded to Jay-Z's two-page rebuttal of the news that the festival would no longer take place on the parkway, beginning in 2019.

RELATED: Made in America festival looking for a new home next year

"First of all, I love Jay-Z. I think he's extremely talented. He's very philanthropic. We love the concert, and we want to keep it," Kenney began.

Jay-Z's letter says, in part, "We are disappointed the Mayor of the City of Philadelphia would evict us from the heart of the city."

Jay-Z also said in the letter that the move came as a surprise to him because he discovered the festival was being evicted without a sit-down meeting, notice, dialogue or proper communication.

"The issue of being the last year on the parkway was in the [request for proposal> that was responded to and since they responded to the RFP and had no complaints, we thought it was OK to look around for some other prominent sites in the city where we can do it," Kenney said.

Kenney noted the RFP for the concert was given to people who were no longer in contact with Jay-Z's company, ROC Nation, but they are now talking to the right people.

"We want to maintain a good relationship with ROC Nation and we're going to work hard to do that," he said.

Kenney added that stress on the parkway's infrastructure is a big reason they were looking to move the festival.

The city is looking at a few other prominent places the festival could go.