Philly is gonna get loud this weekend.
The Made in America festival, orchestrated by rapper, producer and ubiquitous entrepreneur Jay-Z, will take place in Philadelphia over Labor Day weekend, and is expected to attract a crowd of more than 100,000 music-lovers. Organizing a festival is not surprisingly a difficult undertaking, and Jay-Z will be headlining the festival himself along with rock legends Pearl Jam. But is this festival actually boosting the rapper’s popularity or is it all getting a little old?
Quite the line-up has been curated for the inaugural event, with around 30 prominent artists and bands taking to the stage currently in construction on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. From Calvin Harris, to Passion Pit, to Santigold, Gary Clarke Jr. and a Run DMC reunion, there will be a little something to suit any taste.
In the week following the announcement of the festival in mid-May, Jay-Z added close to 18,000 new Twitter followers, a 26 percent increase from the week before. However, a look at his more recent numbers tell a different story. Over the past month there has been a significant decrease in the amount of new fans he has attracted on Facebook. With 16 million followers total, he gained close to 335,000 new likes last month, compared to 540,000 month before, a decrease of around 38 percent. The same is true for his Twitter account, with a little more than 50,000 new fans, almost 30 percent less. And despite all the hype around the festival, even his mentions are down drastically, close to 70 percent in comparison to the month before.
What is more, comparing his numbers to those of Pearl Jam, shows that they are enjoying much more of a boost from all the attention around the festival. In the past week the band was mentioned on Twitter about 10,000 more times than Jay-Z. This is a 145 percent increase as opposed to a 5 percent decrease. They also added about 1000 more Twitter followers than the rapper and saw a 7 percent jump in Wikipedia page views, while Jay-Z saw a decline in both of these metrics.
This is not to say that New York’s most prominent rapper does not still enjoy a dedicated and ever-growing fan base. He is in the top 99th percentile of artists across most social networks and streaming services, from YouTube, to Myspace, to Last.fm, and an average of 120,000 people check out his Wikipedia page each week.
Whether or not Made in America will be a success remains to be seen. Then again, most things Jay-Z have a hand in, seem to do just fine.