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LA3C, Penske Media’s inaugural culture and creativity festival, kicked off on Saturday for a two-day celebration of music, art and food in downtown Los Angeles.
Mustard, Gerardo Ortiz, Kyle, Fonseca, Chesca, Marc Seguí, Monogem, Shawn Wasabi, Chicocurlyhead, Accia, AJ Hernz, Arius, Cam Girl, Cuco, Freya Fox, Kill Bambi, Kim Lee, Linafornia, LoLo, Lucky Light, Madds, Meirlin, Paper Idol, Peach, Rosegold and Vice were among the other wide-ranging musical acts who performed throughout the weekend.
Inside the fest, held at Los Angeles State Historic Park, attendees were greeted by a selection of some of the city’s favorite bites from the likes of Love Hour, Prince Street Pizza, Lil Bobacita, Cena Vegan, Gogo’s Tacos, Los Angeles Pizzeria Co., Lettuce Feast, Ramen Hood, Vchos and Tepito Coffee.
LA3C also featured a collaboration with L.A.’s museums to celebrate renown and rising artists, with interactive pieces, large-scale murals and sculptures. Tiffany Alfonseca, Rogan Gregory, Amanda Ross-ho, Partick Martinez, Abi Polinsky, Edgar Ramirez, Jacolby Satterwhite and For Freedoms artist collective among the artists featured at the festival.
Despite going on during a rare rainy weekend in L.A., crowds started turning out when the gates opened at 1 p.m. on Saturday, grabbing early spots in front of the main stage or taking photos in front of the many Instagram-friendly activations. Dozens of cocktail, beer, wine and food tents and trucks covered the park, spanning pizza, hot chicken, tacos, burgers, chicken tenders, Korean BBQ, ramen, funnel cakes, churros, boba tea and macaroons.
A merch tent also offered up apparel from LA3C and the festival’s performers, and 20 local business stands occupied the SHE Media Meaningful Marketplace. A Facebook-sponsored creator lounge in the corner of the festival welcomed the social media crowd, alongside a photo-friendly lineup of luxury cars. Rockstar energy drink, NYX makeup, U.S. Bank and Homedics hosted pop-ups near the secondary Hot Import Nights stage.
On the main stage, musician Sophia Black made a surprise appearance during Shawn Wasabi’s set, followed by Kyle (who literally crowd surfed via a surfboard through the audience) and Free Nationals (known as the backing band for Anderson. Paak), who were joined by India Shawn.
Fans flocked to the stage at 6 p.m. for K-pop band Seventeen, many geared with posters and light sticks. The group, accompanied by fire and smoke, performed for almost an hour to thousands of screaming supporters, confirming “the energy today is crazy” and shouting out fans who had camped out to see them. One of the group’s 13 members, Joshua, grew up in L.A. and told the crowd they made him proud to be from the city.
The band ran through their hits, announcing that after a U.S. visit they were headed right back to Korea after the show. They closed with their song “Very Nice,” proceeding five times to end it and say goodbye to the crowd, only to return each time for another rendition.
After their performance, the group introduced Jane Goodall for a few words, as the conservationist was recognized as part of LA3C’s Creativity and Culture Awards. She jokingly asked the crowd, “Can you imagine how different this is than being in a rainforest?” before advocating for the importance of protecting nature and fighting against climate change. She led the audience in a chant of affirmation, “Together we can, together we will, together we must change the world.”
Snoop Dogg then took the stage, running through his decades of songs while surrounded by a trio of pole dancers and plenty of marijuana references. In between bouncing around the stage, the rapper at one point shot dollar bills into the crowd and performed tributes to Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur.
Also during his 45-minute set, Snoop shouted out the fans who had been with him since his 1992 beginnings and announced that before he left he “wanted us to sing our national anthem” — which kicked off “Young, Wild & Free” by Snoop and Wiz Khalifa. “Thank you for letting me be me,” the star said before exiting.
Finally, Lil Baby took the mic around 9:30 p.m. to close out night one, entering from the ground to appear on top of a series of boxes in the middle of the stage. The rapper joined the bill just weeks ago, stepping in for original headliner Megan Thee Stallion after she was unable to do the show, but he had the crowd jumping as he performed his fan-favorite songs.
On Sunday, Chicocurlyhead got things started on the main stage after gates opened at noon, followed by Monogem, Marc Seguí, Chesca and Fonseca.
Mexican-American singer-songwriter Gerardo Ortiz, who hails from Pasadena, dominated the main stage with his 6 p.m. set, backed by a mariachi band of at least fifteen different instrumentalists playing everything from the guitar to the accordion and tuba. Devoted fans danced and sang along at center stage (some even FaceTimed absent friends from the festival grounds to watch him perform), while other festivalgoers stood on higher ground in the distance and looked on from afar. When his more upbeat music slowed into ballads, several couples paired up two-stepped along, in their own worlds.
Snow Tha Product went on afterward, and her Mexican and queer identity was a major part of her set, toggling between her rapping in both Spanish and English and telling spirited anecdotes about her life.
“Women supporting women is my favorite thing,” she said onstage. “So even though some of you dudes don’t know who I am, some of those girls in the front look excited.”
In between songs, the rapper brought her mother on stage to take a shot of tequila, invited women from the crowd to come dance as she performed (which caused an energetic competition in the crowd to get chosen), and sprayed a champagne bottle into the nighttime crowd, yelling, “I’m trying to have a good time on stage!”
Though there was a brief break before Maluma was set to hit the stage as headliner, most of the crowd stayed in place following Snow Tha Product’s exit in order to have a secure spot in front of the stage. The Columbian singer, who has a whopping 62.8 million followers on Instagram, emerged from clouds of smoke as he began to serenade the crowd, who joined in like a chorus singing every word.
“Mi gente, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina…” the singer said, addressing the audience. Maluma, who wore a punchy Supreme motorcycle jacket, was joined onstage by bursts of fireworks and a group of backup dancers. At one point, he made a toast to the crowd, asking: “Are you guys drinking tonight or not?” before taking a sip from his own cup and leading into the next power ballad.
Immediately after Maluma thanked the audience, the festival brands, and sponsors for the night, the crowd walked — and jogged — over to the second stage where Tokimonsta was finishing up her electronic-dance-hip hop DJ set to close out the weekend.
“I have two minutes [left] and I want to get weird,” the producer said, as she played her final song. (The crowd chanted for an encore as people started to exit the park just before 10 p.m.)
Away from the festival grounds, Penske Media’s brands, including The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Rolling Stone and Robb Report, held insider events throughout the city as part of LA3C weekend. The Hollywood Reporter‘s Scott Feinberg sat down with Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey for an exclusive screening and conversation around Netflix doc Sr. on Sunday at the DGA. On Saturday, Deadline held a Contenders event; StyleCaster put on a beauty brunch; SHE Media hosted the Meaningful Marketplace pop-up at the festival; and Vibe threw a 30th anniversary DJ set.
Sponsors for LA3C include Facebook, U.S. Bank, Homedics, NYX Professional Makeup, Maker’s Mark, Redken, ViX+, Anheuser-Busch (Golden Road Brewing, Michelob ULTRA, Bud Light Seltzer, Stella Artois, Cutwater Spirits, NÜTRL Vodka Seltzer), Rockstar Energy Drink, Contraluz Cristalino Mezcal and Arrowhead Water.
Keep checking back, this post will be updated with highlights throughout the weekend.
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