John Mayer, Imagine Dragons to headline L.A. Made in America

John Mayer, Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons to play L.A. edition of #BMIA

Imagine Dragons and John Mayer will headline the first L.A. edition of Jay Z’s the Budweiser Made in America festival.

Juanes, Afrojack and Steve Aoki will also anchor the two-day festival, which will take over downtown’s Grand Park and areas around City Hall over Labor Day weekend (Aug. 30-31).

The line-up is stuffed with acts reaching multiple genres. Rise Against, Weezer, Sublime with Rome, Metric, Capital Cities, Chance the Rapper, Cypress Hill, Gareth Emery, Rita Ora, Nipsey Hussle, ZZ Ward, Hit-Boy, DJ Mustard and A Tribe Called Red are all on the bill.  

There will also be a massive presence from Top Dawg Entertainment, the Carson-based rap indie whose success story set a new hallmark for the West Coast rap scene. It’s entire roster, which includes Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock, SZA and Isaiah Rashad, has been recruited to perform. 

The line-up was revealed simultaneously on Budweiser’s Twitter and Instagram on Thursday.

The two-day event is expected to attract 50,000 festivalgoers to Grand Park and will be staged at the same time as the one in Philadelphia, the first time a music festival has happened simultaneously on two coasts.

Kanye West, Kings of Leon, Tiesto, the National, Steve Aoki, Pharrell Williams and J. Cole are among the acts booked for the Philly edition, which will have it’s third run this year. Girl Talk, Spoon, Chromeo, De La Soul, Baauer, the Neighborhood, Danny Brown, YG and Bleachers also appear on the Philladelphia line-up.

If pulling off a festival in two cities on the same weekend wasn’t impressive enough, festival organizers got a handful of acts to commit to performing at both. Aoki, Gareth Emory, R3hab, Cut Snake,  YG and Will Sparks are among the acts with double duty.

Last year’s Made in America drew 60,000 fans each day to Philadelphia’s historic Benjamin Franklin Parkway for a lineup, curated by Jay Z, that included his superstar wife, Beyoncé, along with Deadmau5, Lamar, Miguel, Nine Inch Nails, Phoenix, Public Enemy, Queens of the Stone Age, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Calvin Harris.

In April, the rap mogul and city officials, announced that the festival would take over downtown L.A.’s Grand Park and surrounding areas in front of and around City Hall over Labor Day weekend.

“Two years ago, this was a dream,” Jay Z said from the steps of City Hall during the April press conference. "I had a vision of putting together a festival that blurred those lines of genres."

Bookended by the Los Angeles Music Center and City Hall, Grand Park -- with its lush grounds, interactive fountain plaza and eye-popping bright pink seating -- has yet to welcome an event of this size.

With just a dozen acres of space, it's not even half the size of the sprawling 32-acre cornfield of Los Angeles State Historic Park, which has housed big draws like the Hard festivals, FYF Fest and H20 Fest but is out of commission for the next year while it’s being renovated.

The rap mogul said his reason for placing the festival in the middle of the city "and not far away" is so that it can be more inclusive for concertgoers.

However, the festival's location has sparked  controversy.

It drew concern from Councilman Jose Huizar, whose district includes the park and who had previously requested city services not issue any permits for Made in America until it could be properly vetted. 

In a motion, obtained by The Times, Huizar noted that the festival would require street closures in the area around Grand Park for as many as 10 days. This would include partial and full closures on major downtown arteries including Main Street, Spring Street, Hill Street, Grand Avenue, Broadway, 1st Street, 2nd Street and Temple Street.

During the announcement, which was attended by members of the City Council, there were protests. One man hoisted a sign that read, "DTLA residents say no," and listed his reasons for being against the festival: "Noise Pollution, tramped garden, corporate buyout, drinks and drugs [and] Jay Z." Another woman had a sign that read, "No Grand Park party," and she was among a few who booed and heckled throughout the speeches.

"L.A. has 99 problems, but Jay Z and Budweiser Made in America ain't one," Supervisor Gloria Molina said during the press conference, acknowledging some of the opposition from the City Council.

Despite concerns, staging a large-scale music festival amid the hustle and bustle of the city's core isn't uncharted territory. The LA Weekly Detour Music Festival tested downtown's ability to stage a multi-stage event when it took over the block surrounding City Hall for a daylong festival that ran from 2006 to 2009.

So what might Made in America look like in L.A.?

There will reportedly be one stage within the boundaries of Grand Park; one at the intersection of 1st and Spring streets; and a third on the City Hall steps facing Spring. There will be two gates to get into the festival. The North Gate on Temple and the South Gate on 2nd (it appears that your ticket will grant you access through only one gate).

In Philadelphia, the festival took over the city’s historic Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

There were four stages, multiple pockets of food vendors, themed lounge areas, a giant carnival swing and a Budweiser beer vendor seemingly every 10 feet. One major pitfall? The festival's location -- a tree-and-sculpture-adorned boulevard that makes up the spine of Philadelphia’s museum row -- remained a congested mass of bodies throughout both days.

Tickets for the two-day festival are currently available through Live Nation.

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