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Is downtown LA ready for Jay-Z?

Hip Hop artist Jay Z performs at The Staples Center on December 9, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
Hip Hop artist Jay Z performs at The Staples Center on December 9, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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A downtown Los Angeles music festival proposed for Labor Day weekend is under fire from critics who say there hasn’t been enough information or outreach about the event. The “Budweiser Made in America Festival” boasts music “curated by Jay-Z.” It would be held at Grand Park -- sidewalks and streets in the surrounding areas might be closed to up to 10 days to prepare for the event.

L.A. Councilman Jose Huizar is arguing that the city should hold off on issuing permits for the festival, citing concerns from business owners, residents, and traffic congestion. Huizar is pushing for more information from the show’s producers, Live Nation, as well as the Police Department and other city offices so that he can examine the cost and other logistical issues.

Last week, Huizar  introduced a motion calling for a committee of Downtown stakeholders and residents to help manage Downtown special events permits. He introduced a second motion--aimed specifically at halting the “Budweiser Made in America Festival” proposed for Grand Park. 

A spokesman for Mayor Eric Garcetti called the festival a lot of fun, a “boon for our economy,” and said it would highlight downtown’s rejuvenation.

Is the area around Grand Park prepared to support a festival of this size and length? How will business owners, residents, and commuters adapt during the preparations for the festival? In what ways would the city be impacted in terms of cost?

Councilmember Huizar's office addressed his motions in a press release:


José Huizar, Los Angeles City Councilmember since 2005 for the 14th District - encompassing Downtown LA

Carol Schatz, President and CEO of the Central City Association - which represents numerous downtown LA businesses