In a cryptic message on social media and its website Tuesday, Roc Nation abruptly announced that its “2023 Made in America festival” has been canceled.
Scheduled for Sept. 2-3, the event was to feature headliner performers Lizzo and SZA.
“Due to severe circumstances outside of production control, the 2023 Made in America festival will no longer be taking place,” the announcement said, adding that the decision was difficult, not made lightly, nor without immense deliberation.
Roc Nation, founded in 2008 by Shawn “JAY Z” Carter, also promised that all ticket holders would be refunded at the original point of purchase.
Ticket seller Live Nation was not selling tickets Tuesday and was emailed a comment request for more details from The Epoch Times.
The already updated Made in America Wikipedia page said the festival “hopes to return in 2024.”
‘A Philly Tradition’
The music festival has been a staple in Philadelphia since 2012. It has been held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, featuring major acts such as Mariah Carey, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, Beyonce, Imagine Dragons, Kanye West, Weezer, Pharrell Williams, The Weekend, and Justin Bieber.
“I’m disappointed to hear that the 2023 Made in America festival will no longer be taking place,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney told The Epoch Times in an email statement.
“Since 2012, Made in America has grown into a Philly tradition on Labor Day Weekend celebrating music and promoting worthwhile social causes,” he said.
“We are grateful for all the partners and festival goers who have contributed to this event’s incredible success over the years, especially our partners at Roc Nation, and we look forward to bringing Made in America back and bigger than ever to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway next year.”
The festival was intended to bring together music and culture.
Rapper, songwriter, and actress Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, saw her popularity plummet in recent days after allegations of sexual harassment, fat shaming, and a hostile work environment became public in a lawsuit brought by three former backup dancers. The three claimed Ms. Jefferson pressured them to take part in live sex shows in Amsterdam’s red-light district.
She lost 220,000 Instagram followers in a matter of days but still has some 13 million followers.
In an Instagram statement, Ms. Jefferson called the allegations false.
“These last few days have been gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing. My work ethic morals and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticized,” Ms. Jefferson said.
“Usually I choose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed. These sensationalized stories are coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional.
“As an artist I have always been very passionate about what I do. I take my music and my performances seriously because at the end of the day I only want to put out the best art that represents me and my fans. With passion comes hard work and high standards. Sometimes I have to make hard decisions but its ever my intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable or like they aren’t valued as an important part of the team.
“I am not here to be looked at as a victim, but I also know that I am not the villain that people and the media have portrayed me to be these last few days. I am very open with my sexuality and expressing myself but I cannot accept or allow people to use that openness to make me out to be something I am not. There is nothing I take more seriously than the respect we deserve as women in the world I know what it feels like to be body shamed on a daily basis and would absolutely never criticize or terminate an employee because of their weight. I’m hurt but I will not let the good work I’ve done in the world be overshadowed by this.”
Some of her fans commented that declaring herself “open with her sexuality” was not an effective way to respond to a sexual harassment claim.
It is unclear but unlikely the situation Ms. Jefferson faces is connected to the cancellation of the Made in America festival. The event had many other artists booked.
From The Epoch Times