Jay-Z’s Made in America Music Festival Loses Top Sponsor

Made in America Festival (Credit: YouTube)

Budweiser has pulled the plug on its sponsorship of Jay-Z’s Made In America music festival.

The beer giant – which in years past reportedly spent millions of dollars organizing and promoting the festival – announced this week that it would no longer support the gathering.

“We are realizing that music is being consumed in many different ways today and we want to keep up with trends and how consumers are behaving today,” Budweiser Vice President Ricardo Marques told Ad Age.

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Budweiser helped launch the Made in America festival in 2012.

The popular gathering, which Jay-Z founded, is held on Labor Day weekend each year in Philadelphia. The inaugural event reportedly attracted 80,000 people, with Philadelphia officials saying the festival generated about $10 million in economic activity that year.

The 2018 lineup includes a wide-range of performers such as Nicki Minaj, Post Malone, Meek Mill, Diplo, Zedd, Miguel and Janelle Monae and Fat Joe.

But new research shows country music fans drink more Budweiser beer than those who attend hip-hop and R&B concerts, Marques explained.

“Fans at country music events spend more on beer than at similarly sized events featuring other genres,” Marques said.

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Budweiser is now focusing on country fans and co-sponsored the Country Music Showcase at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, earlier this year.

In 2014, the Made in America festival was held simultaneously in Philly and Los Angeles.

However, the two-day L.A. event – held downtown in Grand Park – faced sharp criticism for drawing massive crowds to the city center, and causing noise and traffic problems. According to the Los Angeles Times, about 71,000 fans attended, but the festival hasn’t returned to L.A. since then.

Budweiser declined to say how much it spent on the Made in America festival. Although sources told Ad Age the brewer poured about $10 million into sponsoring and marketing the event the year it was held on both coasts.