'Occupy Skid Row' Concert Featuring Public Enemy, Cypress Hill, Kurupt in Doubt, LAPD Says: It Doesn't Have Permit
See our review of the festivities here. Updated at the bottom with what went down. First posted at 4:33 p.m. Friday.
A planned "Occupy Skid Row" free street concert Sunday featuring Public Enemy, Cypress Hill, Kurupt and other hip-hop artists is in doubt, police tell the Weekly.
The Los Angeles Community Action Network (LACAN) is holding a street festival at the location and has a permit to do so, police say. But they don't have a permit to hold a concert, and LACAN organizers told cops that the show is not happening, at least according what authorities told us.
Public Enemy frontman Chuck D. has been promoting the event in media interviews this week. In fact ...
... this morning he told KNX 1070 Newsradio that authorities should let the show go on, indicating that there might be some doubt, even among slated performers.
LAPD Sgt. T. Keenan told us that police can break up the concert, shut it down or prevent it if they so desire.
If the show does happen, the on-scene incident commander would make that decision, he said.
The concert is scheduled to start at 1:15 p.m, with Public Enemy going on at 4:15 p.m., a publicist for the group states. The concert and street fair's location is Gladys Avenue between Fifth and Sixth streets next to the troubled Gladys Park.
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Other acts scheduled to perform: Mellow Man Ace, Kid Frost, and Nispy Hustle.
Keenan said LACAN has a Bureau of Street Services permit to shut down Gladys Avenue for the fair.
They have a permit for a street closure, but it doesn't say anything about a concert. It's still a little unclear as to whether it's going to happen.
Although the event is being affiliated with the Occupy movement, the statement from Public Enemy's rep calls the free concert "Operation Skid Row."
The press release says of D's participation:
His "day of action" will promote the human right to housing (inspired by his participation in the new book Freedom Now: The Struggle For Housing Rights in the United States and Beyond) and to reinforce the hip hop community's responsibility to social justice causes.
Representatives of LACAN were not immediately available for comment.
D is scheduled to hold a 10 a.m. press conference and Freedom Now talk starting at 10 a.m. at the Grammy Museum at LA Live Sunday, according to his publicist.
[Added]: LACAN referred us back to Public Enemy's publicist, who insisted the music portion of the festivities will be legit:
We have a valid permit for a street festival, and the permit specifically includes a stage and music.
Our thoughts: There would normally be more than one permit here if there was a street closure and a concert, in our experience. We shall see ...
[Added No. 2]: When we phoned LACAN again to say that it appears they only have a street closure permit (the Bureau of Street Services couldn't even approve a concert if it wanted to) and nothing related to amplified music, an LACAN rep said, "Yep."
[Added No. 3]: Sounds like a lot of bullshit is emanating from the PE publicity camp.
KPCC indicates that most if not all the other acts on the bill are not going to perform. What's more, Pete White of LACAN said, "it's not a show." But PE will perform.
[Added No. 4]: It looks like Occupy L.A. has little or nothing to do with the event. They've scheduled an "Occupy Sunday Picnic" at Exposition Park from noon to sunset.
Cops at the Skid Row event.
[Update at 3:17 p.m. Sunday]: Cops tells us Public Enemy did take the stage. Twitter user Ken Montenegro said Flavor Flav went up as well.
After that, he described "an exodus" from the area.
Police said the crowds were small and there were no arrests.
[Added]: Our own Rebecca Haithcoat was there and reports that Yo-Yo, Kurupt, King T, Kid Frost and Egyptian Lover showed up.