Downtown LA Hosts The Made in America Festival! - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Downtown LA Hosts The Made in America Festival!

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Los Angeles, CA -

(FOX 11 / CNS) Los Angeles City Hall has "never looked better" serving as the backdrop to a two-day music festival that is expected to draw tens of thousands of people to downtown's Grand Park over the Labor Day weekend, Mayor Eric Garcetti said today as he toured the half-built concert site.

Garcetti, stopping to greet construction workers and survey musical stages with jumbo screens tucked amongst City Hall's pillars, said the Budweiser "Made in America" music festival will mean $12 million for the local economy.

Much of the spending will go into wages during the two days, with 2,400 people working the festival on each day.

The festival -- featuring top musical acts Kanye West, Iggy Azalea, Imagine Dragons and several dozen others -- will also highlight Los Angeles's "musical heritage" and show it is possible to throw a "great party right here in the heart of the city," Garcetti said.

Despite Los Angeles being the "musical capital of the world," music fans are "traveling outside of L.A. to go to places ... like Coachella, Austin or Philadelphia," to attend concerts, Garcetti said.

Garcetti said he hopes to dispel the city's reputation as being wrapped up in bureaucratic red tape, saying Made in America's promoter has never done 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. "I want to be a great city that celebrates its culture."

Concert promoter Live Nation Worldwide Inc. agreed to pay $500,000 to the city to cover policing and related services for the Saturday-Sunday concert. Live Nation also agreed to pay for any damage to public property. Live Nation also will pay $600,000 for the use of Grand Park, which is run by the Los Angeles 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.

Hundreds of Los Angeles Police Department officers will patrol the streets around the festival, while the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department will be responsible for the 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 like 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."

First Street will be closed both days 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 today.

Six engineers and two traffic control employees will also be working, the department's Bruce Gilman said.

Other scheduled performers include John Mayer, Imagine Dragons, Weezer, Kendrick Lamar, Sublime with Rome, Capital Cities, Nipsey Hussle, Hit-Boy, Will Sparks, Metric, Schoolboy Q, A Tribe Called Red, Chance the Rapper and Classixx, among others.

A sister festival, featuring many of the same performers, will be held in Philadelphia at the same time. West will play Philadelphia Saturday night before his appearance in Los Angeles Sunday.

Previous "Made in America" events held in Philadelphia generated about $10 million in local spending, according to a city motion.

From Hal Eisner:

This weekend LA's Civic Center is being turned into a huge concert hall as the 2014 Made in America Festival comes to the City of Angels and Philadelphia.

Back East in 2013, Philadelphia's festival was huge with lots big name entertainment and lots of music fans there having a good time. That's what LA's Mayor is hoping for this weekend as big name entertainers hit stages in Downtown LA including Kanye West, John Mayer and Iggy Azalea to name a few. It's another way, he says to put the spotlight on the "Entertainment Capitol of the World."

I couldn't resist. The big guy behind the festival is JayZ. I couldn't resist asking the Mayor, "Did you have a secret meeting with JayZ under Staples Center to get it going?" Said Mayor Garcetti, "The first meeting was at City Hall. The second meeting was at a concert at Staples Center and said to him ‘if you're serious LA wants to make this work' and, the Mayor delivered.

So, the city cut red tape and this project was off the ground and done in 3 months. Hizzoner thinks the return in the investment will be as big as the stars to perform here. Mayor Garcetti says, “The economic impact was 10 million dollars in Philadelphia. We estimate it's about a 12 million dollar spent here in LA which over two days… we're talking about 2500 jobs each day. Right now, we have about 7 or 800 of people just setting up, then construction and deconstruction of the stages.” Lots of work for lots of people he says.

Not everyone is so happy about this. There are people who live Downtown who are concerned about such things as drunk and disorderly conduct. Others already worried about the traffic, which is congested because of blocked off and narrowed streets.

We went to LAPD Headquarters and asked what police are planning. Lt. Andy Nieman told me, “We're not going to tolerate any kind of unlawful activity.”

Neiman added there will be hundreds of officer and Sheriff Deputies assigned to the two day event. Vendors will also provide private security. Paramedics will be on hand.

In trying to reassure everyone Neiman told me, “We have lots of events that happen downtown all the time, big events. We have big parades. We have demonstrations. We have concerts down here.”

But, the Mayor seems to think this will be even bigger that Philadelphia's last year. As he marveled at the main stage he told a construction worker. “I've seen a lot of things happen at City Hall but I've never seen anything this scale.”

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