Grand Park. Courtesy Grand Park.
Grand Park. Courtesy Grand Park.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, himself a jazz pianist and composer, said Thursday that he was excited about the two-day concert in downtown’s Grand Park that is expected to draw tens of thousand of people over Labor Day weekend.

The Budweiser “Made in America” music festival — put on by Jay Z — will featuring about 30 musical acts, including Kanye West, Iggy Azalea and Sublime, and attract some 50,000 paying spectators.

Los Angeles City Hall will be the backdrop for the main stage, on the Spring Street steps of the iconic building, while additional acts will perform on two smaller stages.

Garcetti touted the festival as an economic boon for downtown, saying the $10 million it is expected to bring into the local economy is “no small change.”

“We’re an amazing music town, the creative capital of the world, and we have to go to places like Coachella and South by Southwest and other cities and spend our money there, instead of having great music festivals here,” Garcetti said during radio KNX-AM’s “Ask the Mayor” segment.

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 to any damage to public property.

Live Nation also will pay $600,000 for the use of Grand Park, which is run by the the Los Angeles Music Center.

Councilman Jose Huizar, whose district includes downtown, expressed concerns about the festival earlier, saying big crowds and beer for sale could be a bad idea.

The mayor minimized concerns voiced by unnamed sources in The Hollywood Reporter story today that the festival approval process was rushed, and that the concert did not have the support of police. A registered lobbyist with Live Nation served on Garcetti’s mayoral transition team, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Emails obtained by KPCC-FM showed that organizers were told to go through the Mayor’s Office for permits, though such requests are typically handled by other departments.

“You know, some people asked if we cut corners. What we did is, we cut red tape,” Garcetti said today in advance of a tour of the concert site.

He said the festival had the blessing of police, and the city did its “due diligence” in vetting the event. A similar concert in Philadelphia went off without a hitch “in terms of the security,” he said.

He said part of the festival’s proceeds would go to United Way of Greater Los Angeles.

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.

City News Service

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