Jay Z’s Music Fest Will Boost L.A. Economy, Says Mayor Eric Garcetti

Eric Garcetti Jay Z Concert Los
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A Jay Z-“curated” music festival being staged in downtown Los Angeles over Labor Day weekend will run concurrently with one in Philadelphia.

On the steps of City Hall on Wednesday, the music mogul and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the Budweiser Made in America Festival, a West Coast version of the 2-year-old event in Philadelphia. The lineup of artists will be announced in early May; the intent is to feature musicians from an array of different genres. Although he is playing a role in the selection of artists, it is unclear if Jay Z himself will perform.

Before a gathering of media reporters and city officials, Jay Z said that they chose Los Angeles’ Grand Park for the Aug. 30-31 festival because of its central location, a contrast to other festivals in rural areas.

“It is inclusion, it is not exclusive,” he said. “It is not something that is far away. (It is) in the middle of the city. We started two years ago in Philadelphia and had huge success, and we will have even more success in Los Angeles.”

Garcetti said that the benefit for the city of Los Angeles will be an influx of an estimated 50,000 fans who will inject “millions of dollars” into the city’s economy via spending at restaurants and hotels. He noted that the inaugural festival in Philadelphia two years ago generated more than $10 million in economic impact there.

The event, he said, will “bring fans who recognize that this is the most creative spot on the face of the earth, and L.A. is the world’s music capital.”

Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar, who was not present at the event, introduced a motion last month to hold off permits for the festival until concerns are resolved over the disruption to the city from closed streets and over security. A spokesman said on Tuesday that although they were encouraged by a meeting with the mayor’s office last week, some questions remain to be resolved.

But Budweiser VP Brian Perkins said that Philadelphia city officials have been pleased with their event.

“I don’t think there is going to be a negative impact to the area here,” he said. “Based on our track record in Philadelphia, I think everyone is going to love it, and people are going to want us to come back.”

Two-day, “early bird” tickets are selling for $125 in Los Angeles and $99.50 in Philadelphia. Perkins said that they “don’t run the festival for a profit, so the community gets a charitable contribution.” Those proceeds will go to United Way of Greater Los Angeles, whose CEO, Elise Buik, was present for the announcement.

Perkins declined to say how much the event will cost to stage, but Budweiser and other organizers will have their own security for the event grounds. Additional city officers may be required for surrounding areas.

Perkins also said that they based their capacity figures on the configuration of Grand Park, which stretches from the Music Center atop Bunker Hill down to City Hall.

“We have done a very, very keen assessment of that, to the person,” he said. “We have made sure that this area contains a safe and reasonable number of people.”

Also at the event were Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation, which is promoting the event; Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina; and Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson.

Performances from both “Budweiser Made in America” sites will be available for fans to view with live-streaming.