The Made in America Festival isn’t going anywhere — and that means many of you got exactly what you wanted.
Mayor Kenney and Roc Nation announced Monday that after a weeklong public spat over sites, the annual festival drawing thousands to Philadelphia would remain in the place it has been since its inception in 2012: along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
It was a change of heart for Kenney’s administration, which had initially said that MIA would have to move off the Parkway after this year. That ruling caught Roc Nation as well as Live Nation, the festival’s organizer, by surprise. Jay-Z, a founder of the festival, penned an angry op-ed in response.
The mogul told the mayor that he believes the Parkway “is very important to this event,” Kenney said during a news conference earlier this week. “He’s better at these kind of things than I am, planning festivals.”
>> READ MORE: Parkway neighbors: Does Kenney represent us — or Jay-Z?
Jay-Z is not alone in his belief. The Inquirer and Daily News last week asked readers to tell us to see where else you’d like the festival held. A majority of respondents said the festival should stay on the Parkway — though many of the Parkway’s neighbors don’t agree. Here’s the breakdown from roughly 130 responses:
Parkway: 42 percent
Sports Complex: 16 percent
Other: 15 percent (This included answers ranging from FDR Park to Belmont Plateau)
Mann Center: 10.5 percent
Penn’s Landing: 7.5 percent
Navy Yard: 7 percent
BB&T Pavilion: 2 percent
Among the majority who chose the Parkway, there were some recurring themes. Below is a sample of those responses (lightly edited for spelling and punctuation).
“The Parkway is perfect for large events like this. Can’t imagine the festival anywhere else.”
— James Alexander, 27, Conshohocken
“MIA has been at the Parkway since it started. It’s a space big enough to host tens of thousands of attendees and easy to move around. It’s a festival to bring people together, who love and enjoy great music and great food. What better place than in the HEART of the city? It’ll be six years in September. If it’s not completely broke, don’t “fix” it.”
— Ren, 22, Philadelphia
“It’s the best place for it. It’s well organized and plenty of room. I don’t think anywhere else would work. Space and transportation is perfect. Don’t fix something that isn’t broke.”
— Mary Ruk, 42, Northeast Philadelphia
“It is a classic destination for the event. It is in the heart of Philadelphia. Most other locations on this list would not have enough room for an event of this size. The event is only two days long. The road shutdowns are only temporary. There has been minimal complaint in the past. Keep it on the Parkway.”
— James, 22, Media
“It’s a perfect area for such an important venue for the city and the kids have a great time along with it being easy to get to with SEPTA.”
— Gus, 63, Glen Mills, Pa.
“Transportation! People can access it from any direction. All of the hotels and businesses in the area benefit from the concert goers and workers. Not to mention the Art Museum and the Parkway are Philly icons. None of the other spots represent Philadelphia better.”
— Charles Bruhn, Fishtown
“The other locations are not anything special. You expect to hear music at those locations. Made in America ramps up the city’s energy. But with that said, I don’t have much interest in concert festivals and maybe the time has passed for this one.”
— Clarion Hesse, 62, Penn’s Landing/Old City
“The Parkway is the heart of the city and has demonstrated that it can handle the crowds the festival draws. Penn’s Landing is too shallow and doesn’t provide the ease of access. Instead of pushing the festival, the city should investigate how it can better use the space around the Parkway and the Art Museum so that infrastructure can remain in place to support large scale events, and not have to be brought in individually. The disruption is not better or worse than the regattas, the NFL Draft, various parades, and myriad other events well-placed and well-supported on the Parkway.”
— Natalie, 45, Mt Airy
Unique to Philly
“Best most unique spot for it, only Philly could show off like this!”
— Jay, 47, Rittenhouse
“Made in America is iconic for its location. Put it anywhere else and it’s just mediocre. Keep Philly cool.”
— Merlin, 35, Center City
“It’s celebrating America in the birthplace of America. Leave it front and center in our city!”
— Jon, 34 Drexel Hill
“It’s iconic and shows our city in its best light. It was moronic for Kenney to try and move it in the first place. Won’t be voting for him again.”
— John, 35, South Philly
“The Parkway is in the heart of the city and this festival is a vibrant part of this city’s arts and culture and should remain in this highly visible location.”
— Kelsea, 28, Center City
“It provides a unique, singular venue that personifies Philadelphia and makes the festival unique to Philly vs. in a stadium or more generic music venue.”
— James JP, 39, Cedar Park