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No Made In America In Los Angeles This Year!


Made in America in LA

So after all this hype and stories telling us it was a success, the LA Times has announced that Jay Z music festival Made in America will not be returning to Los Angeles this year. Last year, it started with a controversy, many people were opposed to a giant festival with multiple stages in the middle of downtown LA, potentially trashing the brand new Grand Park, bringing traffic nightmare and street closures during the busy Labor Day weekend. Major Garcetti received a lot of criticisms, but the festival did happen with high profile stars, such as Kanye West, Imagine Dragons, John Mayer, Kendrick Lamar, Iggy Azalea… and I forgot because I didn’t care much.

The festival in LA was supposed to be the returning twin edition of the Philadelphia festival which started 4 years ago, but it not happening this year. Billboard had announced that Made in America will host a free concert on New York’s Liberty Island headlined by Mary J. Blige instead, but the story seems to have disappeared since.

So what does it mean? That it wasn’t such a success after all? Because who wants to kill a successful festival? We were told that the festival generated $15 million in economic activity in the city, but the LA Weekly qualified the report of ‘sketchy’ and at the same time Garcetti’s aides said that the sum paid to the city by festival promoter Live Nation did not cover the costs and lead to a $170,000 expense for Los Angeles.

At the end, I suppose it was not that lucrative for Jay Z, and of course sponsor Budweiser is doing some PR damage control:

‘This is not at all a stepping back — this is a reevaluation of the model of going from one location to two to three,’ told Budweiser VP of marketing Brian Perkins to Billboard. ‘We’re a very ambitious brand, and we have a very ambitious partner in Jay Z, who also dreams big. And we always want to do big, bold things with music under the moniker of Budweiser Made In America.’

Dreams big… money? Because this is the only dream which matters for a Budweiser festival. I wonder whether this it the end of Jay Z’s adventure in Los Angeles. Did he understand that we already have the FYF fest and many other smaller festivals organically born in the city, and that we don’t need his branding-opportunity fest?

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