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MILWAUKEE, Miss. (CBS) — Milwaukee wants to steal the Made In America music festival from Philadelphia.
In a letter, a group of city leaders says Milwaukee is known as a “City of Festivals” because it hosts dozens of events annually.
“To put the matter directly, I believe Milwaukee would be an excellent home for future Made In America Festivals”, the letter from city officials stated.
Jay-Z is unhappy because mayor Jim Kenney wants a site other than the Ben Franklin Parkway, where Made in America has packed crowds every labor day weekend since 2012.
The hip-hop artist and festival founder said in a statement that he is “disappointed” in Mayor Jim Kenney over the decision. The two-day Made in America event has been located on the parkway since 2012.
“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,” said Jay-Z.
In his statement, Jay-Z also made the case that the Made In America festival held on the Parkway since its origin in 2012 has had a $102.8 million impact on the city in that time and credits the event for boosting tourism.
“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?’” Jay-Z said.
Philadelphia officials say the festival can no longer be held at that location after this year.
However, the city is looking at five prominent locations to possibly hold the Made in America festival next year and for years to come.