A two-day concert featuring Kanye West, Iggy Azalea and Kendrick Lamar is due to conclude today in Grand Park.
The Budweiser Made in America event, which features about 30 solo performers and bands, is being touted by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as a way to show that it is possible to throw a “great party right here in the heart of the city.”
Los Angeles City Hall, which is adjacent to the two-year-old Grand Park, will assume a visually prominent role as the backdrop to the concert’s main stage.
Twenty-nine arrests were reported on Saturday, the first day of the concert. In all, six people were arrested on Saturday for alleged felonies that were narcotics-related, according to Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Andy Neiman. The other 23 were arrested for misdemeanors, primarily alcohol offenses, according to Neiman.
Philadelphia is the site of a sister festival that features some of the same performers.
Garcetti noted last week while touring the partially-built festival site that music fans are “traveling outside of L.A. to go to places … like Coachella, Austin or Philadelphia,” to attend concerts.
To remedy this, Garcetti said he reached out to the festival’s founder, rapper and entrepreneur Jay Z, to bring the concert to Los Angeles. Previous Made in America events held in Philadelphia generated about $10 million in local spending, according to event organizers, and it will likely be a $12 million boon to the Los Angeles economy, Garcetti said.
It also seems fitting to throw a high-profile music festival in a city that is considered a hub of the music industry, Garcetti said.
Garcetti, who has been on several radio stations to promote the Labor Day weekend event, said he looks forward to seeing deejay Steve Aoki perform today.
Garcetti said he hopes to dispel the city’s reputation as being wrapped up in bureaucratic red tape, noting that Made in America’s promoter Live Nation Worldwide Inc. has never produced a major music festival in Los Angeles even though the company is based here.
Angelenos may need to sit through traffic and endure other inconveniences, but that’s not a reason not to do things, he said.
To reimburse costs to taxpayers, Live Nation agreed to pay $500,000 to the city to cover policing and related services for the concert. Live Nation also agreed to pay for any damage to public property.
Live Nation also will pay $600,000 for the use of the county-owned Grand Park, which is run by The Music Center.
Councilman Jose Huizar, whose district includes downtown, earlier expressed concerns about the festival, saying big crowds and beer for sale could be a bad idea.
The festival is expected to have a large law enforcement presence from both the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Hundreds of LAPD officers will patrol the streets around the festival, while the sheriff’s department will be responsible for festival areas on the county-owned Grand Park, LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman said.
The LAPD is not unaccustomed to having large crowds in the downtown area, having managed events such as the Los Angeles Marathon, Fiesta Broadway and large rallies, Neiman said.
The concert is unique in that it is “the first of this kind of festival that has been at this specific location,” he said, because Grand Park, which opened in 2012, “didn’t exist before,” Neiman said.
First Street will be closed today between Grand Avenue and Los Angeles Street. The closures will also affect Olive, Main, Spring and Hill streets, plus Broadway, immediately around First Street.
The Department of Transportation will respond to anticipated gridlock by deploying 54 traffic officers and 14 supervisors over the two days, officials said.
Six engineers and two traffic control employees will also be working, the department’s Bruce Gillman said.
Festival organizers recommend attendees take public transportation to the show. The nearest Metro rail stations are the Pershing Square and Union Station Red/Purple Line stations and the Gold Line station in Little Tokyo Arts District.
The Civic Center/Grand Park Red/Purple Line station will be closed.
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles will hold Masses this weekend, with church officials saying worshipers should leave for the cathedral earlier than usual and to review detour information at its website www.olacathedral.org.