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JAY-Z slams Philadelphia mayor for booting Made in America festival from the city


ABC/Randy Holmes

JAY-Z has a beef with Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney for booting JAY’s annual Made in America festival, a decision Kenney later called an “unfortunate misunderstanding” that they’re “working to resolve.”

Writing in The Philadelphia Inquirer, the music mogul said he learned about the mayor’s decision to nix the event from a report in a local newspaper.  The cost of staging the event and the traffic congestion it caused were reasons cited for the cancellation, even though JAY-Z’s Roc Nation is said to foot more than half the bill for the fest.

“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,” wrote JAY-Z. “It signifies zero appreciation for what Made In America has built alongside the phenomenal citizens of this city.”

The mayor responded several hours later with a statement obtained by Variety, characterizing the situation a “misunderstanding.”

“The City of Philadelphia supports the Made in America festival and is greatly appreciative of all that it has done for Philadelphia,” the statement read. “We are committed to its continued success and thank them for their partnership. We hope to be able to resolve what has been an unfortunate misunderstanding.”

The statement went on to say the city hopes to “resolve this issue” and “are committed to continuing our partnership with the Made in America festival.”

Held each year since 2012, Made in America has drawn as many as 50,000 people to Philadelphia.  This year, the festival lost its longtime sponsor, Budweiser, reportedly because the brewer wanted to focus on other partnerships, including its association with country music and the NBA.

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