Made in America Festival Canceled Amid Lizzo Controversy

The 2023 Made in America festival has been canceled, organizers announced Tuesday (Aug. 8). The festival was scheduled to take place on September 2 and 3 at Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

In a statement, festival organizers cited “severe circumstances outside of production control” as the reason for the cancellation. They did not elaborate on what those circumstances were.

However, fans have speculated that the cancellation was due to the recent controversy surrounding Lizzo, who was one of the headliners.

The ‘Truth Hurts’ artist was sued last month by three of her former backup dancers who accused her of creating a toxic work environment. The dancers alleged that Lizzo made racist and homophobic comments, and that she subjected them to verbal, sexual and emotional abuse.


The lawsuit sparked a wave of backlash against Lizzo, and some fans called for her to be boycotted and dropped from major show. It is possible that the festival organizers decided to cancel the event co-headlined by SZA in order to avoid the controversy surrounding Lizzo.

In a statement shared on her social media pages, Lizzo responded to the “false allegations,” writing: “These last few days have been gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing. 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 continues, “These sensationalized stories are coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional.”

She adds, “I am not here to be looked at as a victim, but I also know that I am not the villain that people and the media have portrayed me to be these last few days. I am very open with my sexuality and expressing myself but I cannot accept or allow people to use that openness to make me out to be something I am not. There is nothing I take more seriously than the respect we deserve as women in the world. I know what it feels like to be body shamed on a daily basis and would absolutely never criticize or terminate an employee because of their weight.”

In addition to the Lizzo controversy, it is also worth noting that the 2023 Made in America festival was scheduled to take place just a few weeks after the midterm elections in the United States. It is possible that the festival organizers were concerned about the potential for protests or other disruptions during the event.

The 2023 Made In America lineup was set to include Metro Boomin, Ice Spice, Latto, Coi Leray, Tems, Lola Brooke, Doechii, and Lil Yachty, as well as a special joint set by Mase and Cam’ron.

As they prepare to bring the experience back to Philly next year, festival organizers say “All ticket holders will be refunded at original point of purchase.”
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