Made in America festival in downtown L.A. gets off to a good start

Made in America: Day 1
Brooke James, 22, of Lakewood holds an album up for shade.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

As the sun beat down on tens of thousands of concertgoers in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, organizers of the city’s debut Made in America festival said the weekend event was going as planned. 

An estimated 26,000 people had entered the festival grounds in Grand Park outside City Hall by 5 p.m., according to L.A. County sheriff’s Capt. Charles Stringham. He said attendance figures, which organizers predicted would reach up to 35,000 for both Saturday and Sunday’s shows, were expected to grow as the evening wore on.

With temperatures peaking in the low 90s, concertgoers sought shade to dance in as rapper YG took to the stage for a high-energy set with R&B singer Jeremih. Stringham said several attendees were treated by medics on site after they fainted from heat exhaustion.

He said there had been no arrests. Asked about the clouds of pot smoke wafting above the crowd, Stringham said: “What are you going to do?”


The concert, curated by rap mogul Jay Z and promoted by Live Nation, has transformed the Civic Center area, blocking major streets and diverting traffic. The festival is taking place concurrently in Philadelphia with a different lineup.

Not everyone has welcomed the arrival of dozens of pop, rap and electronic acts. At a community meeting with representatives of concert promoter Live Nation, the city and the LAPD this week, downtown residents voiced concerns about traffic, noise and crowd control. Some worried about the security in and around their apartment buildings and condos.

Stringham said there have not been reports of problems in the vicinity of the festival. The festival runs from noon to 11 p.m.



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