Philadelphians have yet again been deprived of seeing SZA perform. The popular R&B artist was set to headline the 2023 edition of Made in America, Jay-Z’s annual Labor Day weekend music festival on the Ben Franklin Parkway. But on Tuesday, organizers announced the fest would no longer take place.
The two-day music celebration, which would have kicked off Sept. 2, is being canceled due to “severe circumstances outside of production control,” festival organizers said.
Ticket holders will be refunded, but no other specifics were provided. A source told NBC Philadelphia that “ticket sales were not good.”
Pop artist Lizzo, whose dancers recently sued her for alleged sexual and workplace harassment, was also set to headline the show. Both artists were named as headliners in June, marking the first time the two headliners at the festival, are both women.
Other performers slated to participate in the festival (also referred to as “Made” or “MIA”) included Miguel, Ice Spice, and Lil Yachty, according to the event website.
As questions swirled around the reasons behind the cancelation, disappointed fans noted something else: This is the second time in the past five months — and the third time in about six years — that SZA’s performances in Philly have been canceled or postponed.
In March, just three months before she was announced as a headliner for MIA, SZA canceled her concert at the Wells Fargo Center during her first arena tour due to “unforeseen logistical/production issues.”
A few years back, SZA’s concert was moved from December 2017 to January 2018 due to a scheduling conflict during her “Ctrl the tour,” according to The Fillmore.
Now it’s August, and something in the universe has once again prevented the New Jersey native from performing for thousands of Philly fans at Made as scheduled.
“We’re grateful to the partners and festival goers who have contributed to this event’s incredible success over the years, and we look forward to bringing MIA back to the Parkway next year,” the mayor posted online.
Jay-Z started the musical festival in 2012 and throughout the years has featured several top artists, like Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, and Philly native Meek Mill. Made also has philanthropic partnerships via their “Cause Village,” which features various local and national charity organizations.
Since the birth of the festival, it’s created an estimated direct economic impact of $150 million, WHYY News reported last year.
SZA is still slated to perform in Philly: Her canceled Wells Fargo tour stop has been rescheduled to Sept. 26. All tickets for the March 2 performance will be honored, but some fans on Twitter are jokingly skeptical as to whether the show will go on, noting this unfortunate track record.
Only time will tell if Philly fans will get to see the “Kill Bill” singer in September. If not, something really, really odd is going on.