Alderman pitches Milwaukee as new home for Jay-Z’s music festival

Philadelphia wants to move event to different part of city

Photo courtesy of Made in America, Facebook

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:11 pm

Multi-genre music festival Made in America has taken place in Philadelphia every year since acclaimed rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z launched the event in 2012. However, next year may be different as Philadelphia’s mayor recently banished the festival from its usual location on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in the city’s center.

First reported by Billy Pen, the City of Philadelphia said an increase in tourism since Made in America first started has made the large event “no longer necessary” for its location. According to later reports from the Philadelphia Inquirer, the city expressed interest in “discussing alternate locations within Philadelphia for future years.”

The announcement came as a major surprise to Jay-Z’s company, Roc Nation, and the festival’s promoter, Live Nation, according to The Inquirer, but the companies have “no plans to leave Philadelphia” as “Made in America has made the streets of Philadelphia a key part of its identity.” Live Nation executive Omar Al-Joulani told The Inquirer he is hopeful the festival negotiate with the city to reclaim its original spot.

But if those negotiations don’t pan out and MIA needs a new home, Milwaukee Alderman Khalif Rainey thinks Milwaukee would be the perfect place for it, according to a letter he sent yesterday to Desiree Perez, the chief operating officer of Jay-Z’s company Roc Nation.

Alderman Khalif Rainey

Rainey in his letter praised Made in America’s city-wide economic impact, generating over $100 million since 2012 and annually creating 1,000 jobs per day, according to an op-ed Jay-Z wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“Last year I had the opportunity to attend Made in American for the first time and was struck by its energy as well as the obvious positive effect it was having on the city around it,” Rainey said. “Also evident was the commitment you have collectively made to local-sourcing your partners as, to my understanding 85 percent of them are from the Philadelphia area.”

He also touted Milwaukee’s identity as a “city of festivals,” recently hosting the 51st annual Summerfest, among other cultural and music events such as the new Hip Hop Week MKE taking place next month. Rainey has headed the plans for the week-long festival that will celebrate the hip hop genre and its contributions to Milwaukee.

Photo courtesy of Made in America, Facebook

“I believe you will find that many of the problems that surfaced between your organization and the City of Philadelphia have already been resolved here given our long experience with Summerfest,” Rainey said. “I am confident that working with other city officials and municipal departments, a welcoming home could be found for your event.”

Philadelphia remains the host city for this year’s Made in America event. It will take place on Sept. 1 and 2, featuring performances by popular artists including Nicki Manaj, Diplo, Post Malone, Miguel, and Alessia Cara.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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