*Jay Z’s Made In America festival is not returning to Los Angeles in 2015, after last year’s festival was plagued with a myriad of disasters.
On Labor Day weekend 2014, the Budweiser Made in America music festival expanded from its original Philadelphia location to include a simultaneous event in Los Angeles’ Grand Park.
During a press conference announcing the West Coast launch of the festival, Jay Z said:
“Los Angeles, you all should be very proud of this incredible mayor you have, who pulled this thing together in record time,” he said. “Two years ago, he had a vision of putting together a music festival that blurred musical genre lines.”
He added that the concert was meant to be inclusive and “not exclusive.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti was hopeful the two-day event would boost L.A.’s economy, as the first concert in Philadelphia had an economic impact of $10 million on the city.
The L.A. event had to overcome numerous obstacles before gates opened to 71,000 fans over two days. First, there were concerns about the location, which had yet to host an event of that size. Garcetti also faced criticism from both City Council officials and area residents for getting the festival approved so quickly without much public debate.
Despite the festival featuring acts such as Kanye West, John Mayer, Imagine Dragons, Weezer, Iggy Azalea, and Kendrick Lamar – it was marred by unfortunate fan experiences due to a myriad of reasons, including poorly placed facilities, gridlocked food lines and water shortages. While local residents had their own issues with the event, Garcetti said the show was a win. It was estimated to have generated nearly $15 million in economic activity.
Pop music critic Randall Roberts wrote:
“Just as the Belgian-owned Anheuser-Busch InBev “king of beers” is combating an insurgent craft brewing movement gulping market share, Made in America is competing with other festivals born much more organically. Through perseverance, trial and error and a focused musical mission, these other events have become destination festivals. In comparison, Made in America felt like a branding opportunity — that also happened to feature some of today’s biggest bands.”
The festival, now in its fourth year, will return to Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia on September 5 and 6.
According to the L.A. Times, Made in America will host a free concert on New York’s Liberty Island. Mary J. Blige will reportedly headline the free show, and there are plans for a second concert at a to-be-announced national park.
Jay Z’s streaming service Tidal has been offering various ticket specials.
“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.”