How to survive the Made in America Festival

The Made in America Festival on Aug. 30-31 won’t be just in Grand Park, but on surrounding blocks as well. Numerous streets will be closed before and after the concert. Stars represent festival entrances, and the dotted lines are suggested routes from public transit stops. 

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - If you’re a ticket holder to the Budweiser Made in America Festival, you may be worrying about how to schedule your time to see Kanye West, Imagine Dragons and the dozens of other performers playing in Grand Park on Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 30-31.

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If you live or work in Downtown Los Angeles, you’ve got greater concerns, namely, how to survive not only a concert that will bring 30,000 people a day to the area, but also how to navigate all the pre- and post-show street closures

To help Downtown make it through the Jay Z spawned event, Los Angeles Downtown News has put together information related to street closures, who to call for problems, and more.

Size Matters

How big is this thing? Really big, and by that we mean larger than the 12-acre Grand Park. The entire concert area is bounded by Los Angeles Street on the east, Second Street on the south, Grand Avenue on the west and Temple Street on the north.

In the Money 

Many have wondered if the taxpayers are getting jammed for the show. That remains to be seen, but Live Nation has agreed to pay the city $500,000 and to dole out $350,000 to the county for its services related to the event.

Long Arm of the Law

Big crowds can bring big messes. Fortunately, law enforcement will be out en masse. Los Angeles Police Department Capt. John McMahon said Sheriff’s Department deputies will patrol the festival grounds. On the surrounding streets, some 200 LAPD officers will be on hand. They’ll be watching for intoxicated people causing problems, and other issues. 

“They’ll be out there, enforcing the laws, making sure no one’s causing any problems in the Downtown community,” McMahon said.

In the case of an emergency, call 911. If there’s a less-vital problem, call Central Division’s main line at (213) 486-1094.

Those with an issue or complaint inside or outside the festival can call or text (424) 271-4415 for community liaison Ginny Brideau. Text the words “Metro” or “parking” to get info and links for both. Additionally, Live Nation spokeswoman Jacqueline Peterson said there will be ample event staff inside the show who can help. 

Getting Around

Some road closures have already begun. Here is what to expect in upcoming days: 

Monday, Aug. 25-Wednesday, Aug. 27: As crews run power, set up tents and fences and build stages, Spring between Temple and First streets will be open to bus traffic only. Additionally, two lanes of First between Main and Spring will be closed.

Thursday, Aug. 28: The load-in continues and a perimeter fence will be erected. Spring between Temple and First streets will be totally closed and two lanes of First between Main and Spring will be shuttered. 

Friday, Aug. 29: Spring between Temple and First will be totally closed. First between Main and Spring and Spring and Grand will be closed beginning at 7 p.m. Additionally, Hill, Broadway, Spring, Main and Olive between First and Second will close at 7 p.m.  

Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 30-31: Gates open at noon, and the last acts finish by 11 p.m. Completely closed are: Main, Spring, Hill and Broadway between Temple and First; First between Main and Spring and Spring and Grand; Hill, Broadway, Spring, Main and Olive between First and Second; Main between First and Second; and First between Main and Los Angeles. There will be southbound traffic only on Grand between Temple and First. 

Monday, Sept. 1: The show is over, but the street closures aren’t. Still totally closed are: Main, Spring, Hill and Broadway between Temple and First; First between Main and Spring and Spring and Grand; and Hill, Broadway, Spring, Main and Olive between First and Second. Again, there will be southbound traffic only on Grand between Temple and First.

Tuesday, Sept. 2: The only full street closure is Spring between Temple and First.

Wednesday, Sept. 3: Things are mostly back to normal. The traffic lanes closest to the curb will be closed on Main Street between Temple and First and Temple and Judge John Aiso Street. 

Thursday, Sept. 4: Every street and lane in Downtown is fully open. Well, except for all those shut down due to work on the Regional Connector.

Public Transit

If you’re trying to escape the crowds on shows days, be warned: There are three entrances to the festival, and they’ll be full of people. The north gate is on Broadway at Temple, the south gate is on Second between Broadway and Hill Street, and the west gate is on First at Grand Avenue.

The closest Metro options are Pershing Square, Union Station and the Gold Line’s Arts District/Little Tokyo Station. Note: The Civic Center/Grand Park Metro station will not be open on Saturday or Sunday. No trains will stop there. We mean none! 

donna@downtownnews.com


Getting to the Shows

If you live in Downtown Los Angeles and are attending the Made in America Festival, then you’re walking to the show. Right? If not, then please, leave the car at home and bike or call Uber.

If you’re coming from outside Downtown, and are driving, then good luck. The place is going to be a circus on Saturday and Sunday.

The best bet is mass transit and some foot power. The closest Metro options are Pershing Square, Union Station and the Gold Line’s Arts District/Little Tokyo station. The Civic Center/Grand Park Metro station, which is the closest one to the festival site, will not be open on Saturday or Sunday. Seriously.

There are three entrance points to the festival. They are: 

North Gate, Broadway at Temple: It’s about a half-mile walk from both Union Station and the Little Tokyo/Arts District station. 

South Gate, Second Street Between Broadway and Hill: From the Arts District/Little Tokyo station, it is a .6-mile walk. From the Red or Purple lines at Pershing Square Station, walk north along Hill Street. 

West Gate, First Street at Grand Avenue: From Pershing Square, exit onto Hill and walk north toward Second Street.

Metro authorities caution that for those who want to park and ride on the Expo Line, parking will be limited at the Culver City Station and La Cienega/Jefferson stations due to the USC football game on Saturday, Aug. 30. Officials suggest parking at the Expo/Crenshaw Station on Saturday, but noted that parking is not permitted at Expo/Crenshaw Station on Sunday.

—Donna Evans

© Los Angeles Downtown News 2014