Why Was The 2023 Made In America Music Festival Canceled?

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The annual Made In America Festival, which was scheduled for Sept. 2 and 3 in Philadelphia with headliners Lizzo and SZA, has been canceled.

On Aug. 8, a statement shared on the festival’s website and social media pages confimed that the event will take a year off and return in 2024.

“Due to severe circumstances outside of production control, the 2023 Made In America festival will no longer be taking place,” the statement began. “This decision has been difficult and has not been made lightly nor without immense deliberation.”

A source close to the production told NBC News via phone that ticket sales were not good for the event.

The festival organizers said they plan to return to Benjamin Franklin Parkway — where the Made In America Festival has been held since it began more than a decade ago — next year. 

The announcement also said that all ticket holders will be refunded. 

Made In America was founded in 2012 by Jay-Z. Since then, it had been held every Labor Day weekend until the COVID-19 pandemic.  

In June, Lizzo and SZA were announced as the headliners for the 2023 festival.

Billboard reported at the time that Ice Spice, Latto, Coco Jones, Miguel, Tems, Mase and Cam’ron were also expected to take the stage. 

The festival would’ve kicked off a month after three of Lizzo’s former dancers filed a lawsuit on Aug. 1 accusing the Grammy-winner of sexual harassment and creating a hostile working environment. 

In documents obtained by NBC News via the plaintiffs’ law firm, the dancers claimed that Lizzo, whose legal name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, pressured one of them to touch a nude performer while visiting a club in Amsterdam, made the dancers participate in an “excruciating” 12-hour rehearsal and pointed out a dancer’s weight gain. 

Inside the lawsuit against Lizzo

The suit also mentioned religious and racial harassment, false imprisonment and more allegations, but not every claim was brought against each defendant. 

Lizzo’s production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, and her dance captain, Shirlene Quigley, were named as defendants, too.   

A specific dollar amount for the damages was not included in the suit. 

A day after the lawsuit was filed against the 35-year-old musician, one of the dancers, Arianna Davis, told NBC News that Lizzo’s remarks were “never blatant fatphobia” during an interview on TODAY.

Davis said Lizzo, who has built an image and written songs that celebrate body positivity, would use “thinly veiled” comments to address the dancer’s weight gain with a choreographer. 

“It was very nuanced and very underlying underneath all the other issues that were going on,” explained Davis, who joined Lizzo’s team after competing on the “Truth Hurts” singer’s Amazon reality show, “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” in 2021. 

Davis added, “I just had this feeling that they had a problem with the way I was gaining weight and looking different and that I wasn’t ‘the same’ as when they first cast me.”

Dancers Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez filed the lawsuit with Davis. 

On Aug. 3, Lizzo addressed the allegations in a statement posted on her social media accounts. 

“The last few days have been gut-wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing,” she began. “My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticized. Usually I choose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed.”

She called the claims “sensationalized stories” stemming from “former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional.” 

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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‘Made in America’ music festival, set to feature Lizzo and SZA, is canceled

CNN  —  Organizers of the annual Made in America Music Festival that takes place over Labor Day weekend in Philadelphia announced Tuesday that this year’s event is canceled. “Due to severe circumstances outside of production control, the 2023 Made in America festival will no longer be taking place,” organizers posted on the event website. “This decision has been difficult and has not be made lightly nor without immense deliberation.” This year’s festival was scheduled for September 2nd and 3rd and […]

todayAugust 8, 2023 2

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