A group of sexy dancers backed Iggy Azalea as Rita Ora joined her on stage. Kendrick Lamar shared the spotlight with label-mate Schoolboy Q during his set. Afrojack got the crowd jumping, and Imagine Dragons closed out the evening.
The first night of the inaugural Budweiser Made in America music festival in Los Angeles went off with few problems, despite concerns from residents about possible security and traffic issues.
Lamar noted the unique setting, saying, “I’ve been touring the world, and I ain’t never done a festival in the heart of Los Angeles.”
Other acts performing Saturday in sunny Grand Park included Metric, Sublime with Rome, rapper YG and rockers Capital Cities.
Authorities made 29 arrests Saturday, including six for felony narcotics, according to Los Angeles Police Sgt. Andrew Neiman. Seven people were transported to local hospitals for unknown reasons, he said.
Founded in Philadelphia by Jay Z in 2012, the Budweiser Made in America concert brings top acts to urban centers. This is the third year the Philadelphia show has been held at Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The inaugural Los Angeles show is at Grand Park, a green space between city hall and the Music Center.
Mayor Eric Garcetti championed the Made in America event, fast-tracking it through city approvals.
“There’s no question there will be economic benefit” for the city, he told reporters.
The mayor is among the 35,000 people expected to attend the multi-stage show in the park, which opened two years ago and is being used for the first time for a large, ticketed event. Police will be present in force, and several streets in the area are closed to accommodate the concert.
Concert promoter Live Nation paid the city $500,000 to cover setup and security costs, Garcetti spokesman Yusef Robb said. It also promised to pay for cleanup and any property damage, he said.
Officials anticipate the festival to be an economic boon for the city, Robb said, citing a reported $10 million infusion in Philadelphia during past Made in America events.
“The reason why Mayor Garcetti worked so hard to secure this event was … to boost our economy by activating a space that’s otherwise dead over Labor Day weekend,” Robb said, “and hopefully attract other live events to our city by showing we can get it done.”
Fans such as Joe Luhrsen of Redondo Beach came to the downtown concert because “it’s in our backyard.”
“It takes us 15 minutes to get here,” he said.
The two-day concert continues in Los Angeles Sunday with acts such as Cypress Hill, Rita Ora, Juanes, Weezer, John Mayer and Kanye West. The sister show in Philadelphia Sunday is set to feature Grimes, Tiesto, Spoon and Kings of Leon.