Los Angeles, The City of Angels, home of stars, Hollywood Hills and the film industry capital of the world is a place that draws talents from all walks of life. From aspiring actors, to tech start-up gurus, LA is a hub for creativity, aspiring dreams, and perfect California weather. It is no wonder that Jay Z & Budweiser decided to pick Downtown Los Angeles as their expansion city for their widely successful Made in America Music Festival.
Made in America began in 2012, founded by rapper/entrepreneur Jay Z, marketing mogul Steve Stout and in partnership with Anheuser–Busch, to create a unique music festival as a way to bring together music and culture. For the past two years, the festival has taken place in Downtown Philadelphia, bringing in equally massive revenue to the city as the crowds it has drawn each year. For 2014, Jay Z, Stout, and Budweiser decided to try something no other festival has done before by bringing Made In America to Downtown Los Angeles while simultaneously hosting the festival in its original home of Downtown Philly on the same weekend.
Both festivals took place on August 30 & 31st. Myself being in San Francisco, only a few hours away, and the festival falling on my birthday, I of course ventured to the heart of LA to experience this one-of-a-kind event.
With a strong line-up featuring many of today’s biggest names in Hip-hop, rock, pop, R&B, and EDM, the festival had something for everyone, not to mention the extensive list of local food truck favorites providing festival grub to soothe the drunk munchies from the endless flow of Budweiser. The festival backdrop was the skyline of Downtown LA, City Hall and the picturesque Grand Park, filled with 50,000 fans from all over California and surrounding states.
I found myself planted at the James Dean stage which played host to some big names in dance music including up-n-comers Yellow Claw, DVBBS, and festival favorites 12th Planet, R3HAB, and Gareth Emery.
Each stage was named after an iconic pop culture favorite, Dylan, Monroe, and James Dean. Getting to see artists like Sublime with Rome, Cypress Hill, and John Mayer perform on the same stages as Kanye West, Afrojack, Kendrick Lamar, and Weezer was a new experience for me as I usually attend Dance music focused festivals. Each of these artists performed incredibly to massive crowds of dedicated and new fans, including myself.
Hosting a festival of this size in a downtown location can never be an easy feat. From traffic, sound ordinances, stage setup to permits and simply finding parking, setting up a festival like this takes precise planning and organization. To say Made in America left a positive lasting effect on Los Angeles would be an understatement. To question whether it will return next year as so many have, is simply ridiculous. Made in America was made for Los Angeles, and I can’t wait to see what next year brings.
Check out the official Made in America Music Festival photo gallery presented by Budweiser here.
Justen Barber is a Houston, TX native. He studied Mass Communication and Spanish at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX. Living in Puerto Rico as a kid solidified Spanish as a part of his life. Former Marketing/PR intern for Pacha NYC. Advent festival goer. San Francisco resident. Music. Travel. Fuego. For more, view Justen’s LinkedIn or follow him at @JustenBarber.