Jay Z’s Made in America Festival Won’t Return to Los Angeles
On Labor Day weekend 2014, Jay Z brought the Philadelphia-based Budweiser Made in America Festival to Los Angeles’ Grand Park, marking the first time multi-day festivals were staged simultaneously on opposite ends of the country. But the event’s inaugural L.A. run, which featured Kanye West, John Mayer, Imagine Dragons, Weezer, Iggy Azalea, Kendrick Lamar, Juanes and Steve Aoki, will also have been its last.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Made in America will not be returning to the city in 2015 after last year’s festival was plagued with myriad issues. The points of contention included Grant Park’s ability to handle such a massive paid event, a lack of cohesion in the lineup, concerns about noise and crowd control from local residents and questions about the festival’s economic impact on the city.
The festival’s 2015 edition, though, will once again be held in Philadelphia. According to a since-removed Billboard post, a free concert on New York’s Liberty Island is also in the works, reportedly with Mary J. Blige as a featured headliner.
“This is not at all a stepping back — this is a reevaluation of the model of going from one location to two to three,” Budweiser VP of marketing Brian Perkins told Billboard. “We’re a very ambitious brand, and we have a very ambitious partner in Jay Z, who also dreams big. And we always want to do big, bold things with music under the moniker of Budweiser Made In America.”
At a 2014 press conference announcing the West Coast launch of the festival, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said that he expected the expansion to inject millions into the local community. Councilman Jose Huizar, meanwhile, expressed safety concerns over the number of attendees and proper street closures around Grand Park.
Founded and curated by Jay Z in 2012, the fifth annual Budweiser Made in America festival is scheduled to be held over Labor Day weekend (September 5th and 6th) in Philadelphia. A lineup has yet to be announced.