Jay Z’s Made In America Festival May Cost L.A. Taxpayers $170k

Jay Z brought his Made In America festival to the West Coast this year, operating a show out of Los Angeles during Labor Day weekend for the first time after two successful years based out of Philadelphia. As it turns out, taxpayers may end up paying around $170,000 to cover expenses associated with the concert, according to a new report from The Los Angeles Times. Live Nation, who put on the event, were required to pay for $500,000 worth of city expenses, but costs for required city services exceeded that amount.

Mayor Eric Garcetti championed the event and said on Monday that the city will benefit from the exposure that the festival provided, and pointed to the success of Made In America’s Philadelphia iteration, which has made an estimated $10 million for the city’s economy. “It’s not just a dollar-for-dollar comparison,” said Central City Association representative Carol Schatz. “It’s about the perception that it generates … that L.A. is really the place to do this and the place to do this is in L.A. is downtown.”

Detractors argue that the city should have forced Live Nation to pay more. “I just don’t think the city should pay a penny,” James O’Sullivan, president of the Miracle Mile Residential Association, told The LA Times. “How many sidewalks can that pay for? How many pipes can it fix? That crucial infrastructure is crumbling, or deteriorating, under our feet.”

The show — which featured performances from Kanye West, Imagine Dragons, Kendrick Lamar, and John Mayer — never sold out, and even discounted their ticket prices in the days leading up to the start of the festival. A full analysis of the financial impact of the festival will be available later this year.