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News

Hard Knock Life: Councilman Wants To Put Jay Z Festival In Grand Park On Hold

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Jay Z in concert (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
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Jay Z and Budweiser plan on bringing their hugely successful Made In America Festival to downtown this summer, but Councilman Jose Huizar wants to put a hold on those plans. Huizar says wasn't given a heads-up about the weekend-long concert in his district and is worried about the festival could cause 99 problems for the city.

The proposal would bring the Made In America festival to downtown's Grand Park on the weekend of August 30th and 31st to occur concurrently with one staged in Philadelphia, where it has been held the last two years. LiveNation said that the event could bring 50,000 people to Grand Park. (Whether they meant each day or over the entire weekend isn't clearly, but the Philly festival did bring in nearly 50,000 per day.) Huizar writes in his motion that, "Without discussion of the potential merits, the event will involve the full closure of many streets in the civic center area creating major disruption concerns for workers, residents and businesses in Downtown." KPCC has a copy of Huizar's motion in a report on their site. Attempts to reach Hov were unsuccessful, but we're sure he'd say that it's just politics as usual.

Although the concert will be held on Labor Day weekend, Huizar is worried that the road closures leading up to and after the event will tie up traffic downtown, strain city resources and could affect public safety. He wants the city to withhold permitting the event until he knows what's going on. Mayor Eric Garcetti's spokesman gave a brief statement that didn't sound too concerned: "If and when details become more firmly set, we will engage additional stakeholders. We all share the goal of a fun event that showcases downtown and boosts our economy."

The concert was founded by Jay Z, produced by Live Nation, and co-sponsored by Budweiser and the United Way. The previous two festivals held in Philadelphia have featured lineups that included the likes of Beyoncé, Imagine Dragons, Nine Inch Nails, and Pearl Jam.