Made in America, the annual music festival from Jay-Z's Roc Nation has announced the winners of its first culinary competition for food vendors, not long after reaching an agreement for the festival to stay in Philadelphia at Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The 29 winners of the contest will be food vendors at Made in America 2018, which takes place Sept. 1-2. Post Malone and Nicki Minaj are headlining Made in America this year.
Made in America has taken place at Benjamin Franklin Parkway over the Labor Day holiday weekend since the festival began in 2012. As previously reported, Roc Nation and the city of Philadelphia were in a heated dispute after the city opted not to renew its contract for Made in America to be held at Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which would have forced the event to move to another location in 2019. Because of the sheer size of Made in America, which had about 130,000 attendees in 2017, it would have been nearly impossible to find another outdoor location in Philadelphia that would be large enough to accommodate the festival's crowds.
On July 23, both sides announced that they had reached an agreement to continue having Made in America at the same location. They issued this joint statement: "Mayor Jim Kenney and Desiree Perez, the chief operating officer of Roc Nation, had a productive meeting today to discuss the future of the Made in America festival. Both parties have agreed to continue to host the festival along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and are committed to addressing operational and community challenges associated with this large-scale event."
Kenney added, "I am greatly appreciative of everything that Made in America has done for the City of Philadelphia and I remain committed to its continued success. The Made in America festival belongs in Philadelphia—the birthplace of our country—and I’m optimistic that we can turn an unfortunate misunderstanding into a positive outcome and even stronger event. I look forward to working with Roc Nation and Live Nation, and maintaining this Philadelphia tradition for years to come."
Perez issued this statement: "We are happy to announce the Made in America festival will continue at the heart of the Philadelphia, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, for many years to come. After a candid and constructive discussion with the Mayor, we are confident any miscommunication is corrected, and we are proactively addressing any concerns. We are committed to bringing the best experience possible to Philadelphians and all music lovers as well as the continuing prosperity of the city."
Meanwhile, the first Made in America Culinary Competition took place July 29 at The Fillmore in Philadelphia, with more than 60 vendors competing for a chance to be at the 2018 Made in America Festival. Admission to the event was open to the public. The judges were chef Daryl Harmon of The Lure Group; pitmaster Glenn Gross of Fat Jack’s BBQ; TV host/actor John DiRenzo; Fox 29 host Quincy Harris; and CBS3 producer Shemeka D. Moore.