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J. Cole, Kaskade and Incubus to headline Air + Style's L.A. return

J. Cole, Kaskade and Incubus to headline Air + Style's L.A. return
Kaskade, shown rehearsing in a Pacoima sound studio in Pacoima in 2015, will play the L.A. Convention Center on May 7. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

J. Cole, Kaskade and Incubus will headline the Air + Style festival when it returns to Los Angeles in February.

The global music and sports festival -- think X Games meets Coachella -- made its U.S. debut last year at Pasadena's Rose Bowl. Set for Feb. 20-21, this year's two-day event will be anchored at Exposition Park.

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L.A. sister trio Haim, Big Grams (the experimental collaboration between Outkast's Big Boi and electronic rock duo Phantogram) and pop punk band All Time Low also top the bill for the festival, which is produced and hosted by extreme sports champion Shaun White.

Action Bronson, Rudimental, A-Trak, Gramatik, Netsky, A$AP Ferg, Flatbush Zombies, Travis Barker, the Struts, Migos, Allie X, Kaneholler, Bas, Cozz and Omen also appear on the bill.

Aside from two stages of music, the festival also showcases art, fashion and technology.

The world's top snowboarders will also compete on a 16-story jump for Big Air Snowboarding, the new Winter Olympic event established by Air + Style.

Festival organizers also plan on transforming Exposition Park into an interactive all-ages playground that will include a mini ski slope where festival-goers can snowboard and ski on man-made snow, bungee trampolines and a drop tower.

Produced by Shaun White Enterprises, Air + Style originated 22 years ago in Innsbruck, Austria, with a second event in the series added in Beijing six years ago. The Beijing event took place in early December, with the Innsbruck event scheduled for Feb. 6.

The action sports icon and two-time Olympic gold medalist brought Air + Style to the United States for the first time last year but the inaugural event was anything but gold-medal-worthy after Kendrick Lamar cut his 90-minute headlining set in half after technical issues.

Day one "opened as gracefully as White flying and spinning through the air -- but ended like a Wile E. Coyote thud and a poof of powdery snow," Los Angeles Times writer Randall Roberts wrote in his review that took organizers to task for a litany of logistical failures.

Fans were equally miffed, with some petitioning for the festival to make up for first day jitters.

"The 'cuisine' boasted about by Air + Style in advance literature was a fancy term for food trucks and taco stands. An Umami Burger cost you about an hour. That the 24-ounce can of Pabst Blue Ribbon ($10) wasn't described as an American-style Wisconsin lager seemed a missed opportunity, given that the $14 'premium' beer was a 24-ounce can of Tecate (about $2.25 retail)," Roberts wrote. "The event also had promised 'art,' but the most impressive piece to be found was the jumbo Rose Bowl sign affixed to the stadium — unless you consider the long queue for portable toilets to be a performance piece on the tyranny of bodily functions."

General admission, VIP and single-day tickets are on sale now.

For more music news follow me on Twitter: @gerrickkennedy

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