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Made In America Is This Weekend And It Has Not Sold Out!


Made in America, downtown LA (courtesy of the LA Times)

Summer is not totally over yet, and we still have one festival to go here in Los Angeles, the brand new version of Made in America which will take over downtown LA this weekend… but I am not going because the line up sucks… and I am not the only one!

According to the LA Times, the event has not sold out! What? Kanye West, Imagine Dragon, John Mayer and more than 40 pop, rap, EDM artists weren’t enough to draw the 50,000 people they had predicted? As of Thursday, only 36,000 of the 50,000 tickets had been sold, and ‘StubHub has tickets listed below face value and online discounter Gilt City offered two-for-one deals on single-day tickets’, not a good sign!

See, Jay Z has done this festival in Philadelphia since 2012, and he arrives in LA, thinking he can conquer the place, but the problem is that we are not waiting for him to set up a festival, we already have more festivals than we can digest here, huge one like the FYF fest (just last weekend), the upcoming Sunset Strip Music Festival in September, and small ones at the Echo/Echoplex, the Observatory in Orange County almost every weekend! We bathe in music here, people went to Coachella and Outside Lands during the last past months and this new festival has nothing special to offer except its horrible line up… and it’s not because they named the stages Marilyn Monroe and James Dean (true!) that they have branded it more LA!

I am not the only person thinking this, as Gary Bongiovanni, chief executive of Pollstar declared: ‘The big question is going to be the site and how people like going down to the park. The thing in Philadelphia is a really unique idea, and it sounded like a totally unique experience for the locals. Los Angeles is a very busy market, and in many ways the fans in L.A. are spoiled with the number of options they have. They have their work cut out to establish themselves.’

We are the blasé market, spoiled to the bone, with a choice of hundreds of concerts to go every week, plus Made in America had brought its part of controversy, as many people who reside downtown worry about the security, the crowd control, the alcohol consumption… What do they complain about? They are gonna have free concerts in the comfort of their condos! But I am joking, it is a concern. According to the LA Times, 240 Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies and 285 LAPD officers will be present on the site and working the streets around the festivals. We’ll see how it works.

But the promoters, including Jay Z, seem to be totally out of touch with LA busy music landscape, they present themselves as the saviors, although we have no need of saviors. Jay Z declared: ‘The festival stands for and represents diversity, discovery…. great music. There are amazing artists on the bill, we have a Cause Village [for charity], we have a skate park, we have amazing food trucks. This festival isn’t about me — it’s about an experience..’

About him? Nobody was thinking that, except him, and there’s nothing special in what he describes, diversity and food trucks can be found at any music festivals. But there is more, Omar Al-Joulani, vice president of touring at Live Nation said: ‘The city is under served in terms of a festival that’s easy to attend and affordable, and it has an A-level quality of artists. Made in America is in an accessible location, and we have a reasonable ticket price to see A-level talent across a wide spectrum of genres. It’s a concert for the city, in the city.’…. well, with its 2-day pass at $185 , it is more expensive than the FYF fest!

But I have a big problem with Mayor Eric Garcetti who also declared about the festival:

“Los Angeles has needed a great music festival for so long. But people leave here to go elsewhere, either Coachella or they go to Austin for South by Southwest. One of the things I campaigned on — it was time to make L.A. a cultural destination too.’

Does he realize we just had the FYF fest (with its share of problems) right in the middle of LA last week? Does he go out sometimes or hang out with Jay Z all the time?

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