LOS ANGELES (AP) ― Thousands flocked to downtown Los Angeles’ inaugural outdoor music festival Saturday despite concerns from residents about possible security and traffic issues.
The Budweiser Made in America concert, which featured three large stages dotting Grand Park in front of City Hall, kicked off under a blazing sun and thumping beats. The event marks the West Coast expansion of the two-day festival that rap mogul Jay Z launched in Philadelphia in 2012.
Mayor Eric Garcetti has championed the Made in America event, fast-tracking it through city approvals.
“There’s no question there will be economic benefit” for the city, he told reporters Friday.
|Rich Boy performs on the Dylan stage during the Made in America festival in Los Angeles on Saturday. (Los Angeles Times/MCT)|
The mayor is among the 35,000 people expected to attend the multistage show near the park, which opened two years ago and is being used for the first time for a large, ticketed event. Several streets in the area are closed to accommodate the concert.
Dozens of acts are set to perform, including Kanye West, who will headline in Philadelphia on Saturday and Los Angeles on Sunday. Other performers scheduled for Los Angeles include Iggy Azalea, Cypress Hill, Weezer, Kendrick Lamar, John Mayer and Imagine Dragons. The event also includes beer gardens, vendors and various food trucks.
Concert promoter Live Nation paid the city $500,000 to cover setup and security costs, Garcetti spokesman Yusef Robb said. It also promised to pay for cleanup and any property damage, he said.
Officials anticipate the festival to be an economic boon for the city, Robb said, citing a reported $10 million infusion in Philadelphia during past Made in America events. This weekend‘s festival at Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway kicked off earlier Saturday with a performance by Young & Sick. Other featured acts include Pharrell Williams, De La Soul, The National, Tiesto and Kings of Leon.
Tickets are still available for all shows.
“The reason why Mayor Garcetti worked so hard to secure this event was ... to boost our economy by activating a space that‘s otherwise dead over Labor Day weekend,” Robb said, “and hopefully attract other live events to our city by showing we can get it done.”