A popular music festival in Philadelphia has been canceled this year “due to severe circumstances outside of production control,” organizers have announced.
The Made in America Festival of 2023 was scheduled for September 2 and 3 at Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia and was set to feature headline performances from artists Lizzo and SZA. However, on Tuesday, the Instagram account associated with the festival announced that this year’s event had been canceled.
“Due to severe circumstances outside of production control, the 2023 Made In America festival will no longer be taking place,” the Instagram statement said. “This decision has been difficult and has not been made lightly nor without immense deliberation.”
The statement added that organizers hope to host the event once again in 2024. Those who had already purchased tickets for the 2023 festival will be refunded at the original purchase price.
Billionaire rapper Jay-Z founded the festival in 2012 with the ambitious goal of exposing attendees to different artists and forms of music, and except for 2020, Made in America has continued to be an annual early September event for music lovers of all sorts. Over the years, it has featured high-profile artists such as Justin Bieber, Cardi B, Post Malone, the Chainsmokers, Rihanna, Kanye West, Coldplay, Beyoncé, and, of course, Jay-Z. Lizzo also performed at the event in 2019.
In addition to Lizzo and SZA, Ice Spice, Lil Yachty, Miguel, Latto, Coi Leray, Doechii, and Metro Boomin were also scheduled to perform at Made in America 2023.
Though no further details have been released regarding the abrupt cancellation of this year’s event, some have suggested that the sexual harassment allegations leveled at Lizzo may have played a role. “Made in America Fest canceled amid headliner Lizzo’s sexual harassment suit,” said a headline from the New York Post. People also noted that news of the festival’s cancellation quickly followed news of the lawsuit against Lizzo and added that Made in America 2023 would have been Lizzo’s “first live appearance” since the suit was filed.
Earlier this month, three of Lizzo’s backup dancers filed the suit, accusing Lizzo of forcing them to eat fruit out of prostitutes’ private areas and of “fat-shaming” them for gaining weight. Lizzo, the 35-year-old singer who is morbidly obese herself, has built her career on promoting “body positivity.” In 2020, Lizzo told Vogue that the so-called “body positivity” movement was meant especially for “girls with back fat, girls with bellies that hang, girls with thighs that aren’t separated, that overlap. Girls with stretch marks. You know, girls who are in the 18-plus club.”
Lizzo — best known for songs like “Juice,” “About Damn Time,” and “Truth Hurts” — has vehemently denied the allegations against her, calling them “unbelievable” and “too outrageous to not be addressed.” People also reported that the singer felt “blindsided” by them.
Neither Lizzo nor SZA have commented on the cancellation of Made in America 2023, despite requests from several outlets, including the New York Post and People. USA Today also reached out to Roc Nation, Jay-Z’s entertainment company, but similarly did not receive a response.
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