Grand Park Concerts Could Be Few & Far Between
Police think having a Jay Z event at downtown's relatively new Grand Park would open the door to a myriad of ticketed concerts, including raves. And that could make their job harder, the LAPD has said in a memo about the proposed festivities.
We reported yesterday that, indeed, some of the biggest electronic dance music promoters in the United States are eyeing the park as a potential venue for their parties, which can draw more than 100,000 people.
However, the director of Grand Park, Lucas Rivera, says not so fast:
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He discouraged any idea that the park will be turned into a place where fairly regular ticketed concerts will happen. The park produces limited-capacity, free parties on the 4th of July and New Year's Eve.
Outside those, Rivera said, there could be a very limited number of ticketed music shows. "We're working with promoters," he said, " - it's definitely in the works."
While a City Hall official and the office of L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina told us there's nothing precluding raves from the venue, Rivera says that he wants to limit the number of events that aren't free.
In fact, he said, he already has.
Confirming our reporting about promoters seeking to use the venue, Rivera says he's had discussions with concert execs - and mostly he has turned them down.
"There have been a lot of promoters asking," he said. "We shot them down."
So don't expect Grand Park to join the likes of the Empire Polo Club (home of Coachella) as a map point on the American festival circuit, Rivera said:
Those events are going to happen less. We don't have space to shut down the park for a couple days. Everything we do is free and open to the public. And ticketed events kind of hurt us in that way.
Rivera says the initiative for a two-day Budweiser Made in America event featuring Jay Z on Aug. 30 and 31 came from the office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has been enthusiastic about the possibility of such a concert happening downtown.
"The city has reached out to us to partner with them to try to make this happen as a rental space for this possible Jay Z event," he said. "No contract has been signed."
The festival, if it happens, would be a little novel for downtown. In order to accommodate 50,000 revelers, the footprint of the venue will go far behind Grand Park and use the streets of DTLA, Rivera notes.
"We're part of a bigger layout," he told us. "Everyone's walking into this conversation with no history or idea if it will work."
The party would close Temple Street to Second Street and Grand Avenue to Los Angeles Street.
(Club promoter Giant produced a few New Year's Eve events on the streets of downtown in the '00s).
L.A. city Councilman Jose Huizar, who represents the area, has requested a report on "any permits, actions, public safety concerns, and any necessary cost implications of the proposed" Jay Z concert.
He filed a motion that would deny any needed permits (mainly regarding street closures) until he gets his report.
He expressed concern about downtown residents and workers having to navigate around closed streets for what he said could be as many as 10 days.
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