Grand Park’s music festival with Jay Z

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Recording artist Jay-Z. (AP Photo/Gary He, File)

Recording artist Jay-Z. (AP Photo/Gary He, File)

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Rapper Jay-Z is scheduled to join Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina today to announce details of a two-day music festival to be held at downtown’s Grand Park this Labor Day weekend, but one councilman is expressing deep misgivings.

Also scheduled to attend the news conference on the steps of City Hall on Spring Street is Brian Perkins, a vice president at Budweiser, which is to sponsor the “Made in America” music festival that Jay-Z has been planning for Aug. 30-31.

Councilman Jose Huizar isn’t happy. He complained earlier this month that the music festival, which is to be held in his district, would draw 50,000 concert-goers to the area, include several beer gardens and require street closures around Grand Park lasting up to 10 days.

He said city staff should hold off on issuing permits until the council receives a report on “public safety concerns and any necessary cost implications” of the event.

Huizar’s spokesman, Rick Coca, said Tuesday that — according to officials in Garcetti’s office and event organizers — the number and duration of street closures has been reduced, but still, “more work is needed.”

Coca said downtown “residents and stakeholders” should have a chance to share their concerns so any “potential negative effects to the downtown community” can be addressed before the event.

Coca noted that the event is being held at a public park, and fellow city leaders should consider whether residents and others in the downtown community deserved something in return for the hassle.

The county-owned Grand Park is managed by the Music Center but must obtain street closure permits from the city, Coca said.

Garcetti spokesman Yusef Robb told the Los Angeles Times that the mayor’s office invited Huizar to today’s news conference and will continue talking to him about ways to address the festival’s impact on its neighbors. But Coca told the newspaper his boss will not attend.

Although talks with Garcetti’s office have been “positive,” Coca said, Huizar is still concerned about outreach to the neighborhood — and the fact that the festival is a “ticketed event with an alcoholic beverage company as the main sponsor.”

“We have questions over whether that is the best use for Grand Park, the so-called ‘people’s park,'” Coca said in an email to The Times.


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