Made In America festival canceled

The annual music festival at Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway was set to include headliners Lizzo and SZA. Tickets will be refunded.

People surround a sign that reads

Attendees posed for commemorative moments near the entrance of the Made In America festival on its second day. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Citing “severe circumstances outside of production control,” the 2023 edition of Made In America will no longer be taking place.

The yearly staple on Benjamin Franklin Parkway was suddenly canceled Tuesday through a release made on Made In America’s website and X account.

“This decision has been difficult and has not been made lightly nor without immense deliberation,” the statement said. “We look forward to returning to Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the great city of Philadelphia in 2024. All ticket holders will be refunded at original point of purchase.”

This year’s event was set to include multiple hip-hop and R&B artists such as Lil Yachty, Ice Spice, and SZA, who was supposed to be one of the headliners.

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Lizzo, who was also set to headline Made In America, is currently dealing with a lawsuit after being accused of creating a hostile work environment by three of her former dancers.

According to the dancers’ lawyers, they were allegedly “weight-shamed, forced to endure sexually denigrating behavior and preaching about sexuality and Christianity, and were pressured into participating in disturbing sex shows.” The Grammy Award-winning artist denied the claims on social media saying they’re “unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous not to be addressed.”

Made In America was set to be Lizzo’s final show this year according to Ticketmaster.

This is the second time this year a SZA performance has been called off in Philadelphia. Back in March, the Grammy Award winner canceled a show at the Wells Fargo Center. That show has been rescheduled for Sept. 26. Original tickets will still be honored.

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According to Live Nation, the Made In America festival has had an estimated direct economic impact of $150 million since it started. Last year’s event provided a boost to the city’s tourism. At least 50% of all visiting attendees stayed in local hotels for an average of 2.5 nights. Over the Labor Day holiday weekend, 95% of all visitors came to Philly to attend the festival.

This is the festival’s second cancellation following 2020’s planned installment being halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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