Jay-Z’s ‘Made in America’ cancellation weeks before event leaves festival workers at loss Lizza and SZA-headlined event will return to Philadelphia in 2024, but was canceled 'due to severe circumstances outside of production control'


Jay Z’s annual "Made in America" music festival, which takes place in Philadelphia every Labor Day weekend since 2012 (with the exception of 2020), has been canceled this year in a "blow" to festival workers and the city's economy itself.

Michael Barnes, president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 8, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the "Made in America" festival is "by far" the most profitable for its members. 

"This is going to have a significant negative impact in regards to the stagehand's yearly package," he told the newspaper. "That piece of their overall yearly income has been factored in, so people count on that. For that to cancel within weeks of the concert is overly impactful to the live event and entertainment workers."

The festival team blamed "severe circumstances" beyond its control for the cancellation without going into any specifics. 

Jay-Z at an event

Jay-Z's "Made in America" festival has taken place in Philadelphia every year since 2012 except for 2020.  (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File / AP Newsroom)

"Due to severe circumstances outside of production control, the 2023 Made in America festival will no longer be taking place," the festival shared in a statement on social media. 

It added, "This decision has been difficult and has not been made lightly nor without immense deliberation. Made in America has a legacy of delivering exceptional experiences for music fans and concertgoers, and it is our commitment to always deliver a top-tier festival experience."

Mark Lynch Jr., business manager of IBEW Local 98, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the news was "disappointing," but said it was a "temporary setback." He noted that the union was looking forward to working with the festival in the future.

FOX Business has reached out to festival organizer Roc Nation for comment. 

Lizzo and SZA were scheduled as headliners. Lizzo is facing a sexual harassment lawsuit from three of her former background dancers, but it’s unclear if the cancelation is related. Lizzo has denied all of the accusations. 

A split of Lizzo and SZA performing

Lizzo and SZA were the scheduled headliners.  (Getty / Getty Images)

Miguel, Tems, Metro Boomin, Ice Spice, Coi Leray, Latto, Lil Yachty, Doechii, Lola, and others were also expected to perform.

Philadelphia’s Mayor Jim Kenney said he was "disappointed" about the cancellation, which would have brought money into the city via hotels, restaurants and bars, and other businesses. 

"I’m disappointed to hear that the 2023 @MIAFestival will not be taking place," Kenney tweeted. "We’re grateful to the partners and festival goers who have contributed to this event’s incredible success over the years, and we look forward to bringing MIA back to the Parkway next year."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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