PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Made in America festival is staying put on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. This comes after a back-and-forth between city officials and rap mogul Jay-Z.
Organizers say the Labor Day weekend music festival will remain on the parkway for years to come.
Mayor Jim Kenney says he met with ROC Nation officials Monday morning in Conshohocken, and though a final contract has not yet been signed, most of the details have been worked out.
“This got so complicated and convoluted that I wanted to end the speculation it wouldn’t be here going into the future. We think it’s a very important event for the city. We think it’s a very important event for our profile, and we want to make it work and we want to see it stay here,” said Kenney.
The announcement comes after a closed-door meeting between Kenney, city officials and the chief operating officer of ROC Nation, Desiree Perez. ROC Nation is the organization Jay-Z owns which puts on the music festival.
“We are happy to announce the Made in America festival will continue at the heart of the Philadelphia, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for many years to come. After a candid and constructive discussion with the Mayor, we are confident any miscommunication is corrected, and we are proactively addressing any concerns. We are committed to bringing the best experience possible to Philadelphians and all music lovers as well as the continuing prosperity of the city,” Perez said in a statement.
The future of the festival had been in limbo since last week when Jay-Z released a statement saying he was blindsided by the mayor and his administration when they told him they would remove the festival from the parkway after this Labor Day.
Since the controversy, the mayor extended an olive branch of sorts to the media mogul, citing a communication error with ROC Nation.
Now, Kenney says his original plan was to move the festival to another area of the city since some neighbors along the parkway complained, and said they were fatigued by the multiple yearly events held practically in their backyards.
The mayor says those issues were addressed with ROC Nation’s CEO.
“We had a really frank discussion today about some operational stuff. Very cooperative and very give and take and we’ll get it right,” said Kenney. “She gave us assurances she would work with us directly and address the issues that are still out there and she was very helpful and cooperative.”
Last year, city officials say the entire festival cost $1.4 million to host and $600,000 of that was paid by ROC Nation.
They mayor says the details of how much they will pay starting next year has not been worked out.