Los Angeles, the preeminent international travel & tourism brand, has no destination music festival leveraging the brand and engaging the city's music, entertainment and hospitality infrastructure. The opportunity cost of this untapped market potential amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact.
Floyd E. Vasquez Jr., registrant of the Los Angeles Music Festival® trademark, seeks to establish a festival based on the model of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Each year the New Orleans Jazz Festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors and has an economic impact of more than $300 million. The festival is also the principal fundraiser for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, which uses the proceeds from the festival for year-round programs in education, economic development and cultural enrichment. And it's not just New Orleans. See Montreux, Montreal, Newport and Austin.
What does New Orleans have that Los Angeles lacks? New Orleans is not the superior music city. Los Angeles artists, musical heritage, venues, cultural diversity, arts and culture institutions and hospitality infrastructure are at least the equal of New Orleans. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival was the culmination of years of discussions and efforts by city leaders who wanted to create an event worthy of the city’s legacy as the birthplace of jazz. The origin story is told in "Myself and Others" by festival impresario George Wein. Mr. Wein was invited to New Orleans in 1962 to meet with city leaders including the mayor, trade chairman, local music legends and representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association. The civic leaders "were brimming with ideas" and eager to plan a possible event. From the beginning the idea was for the festival to rely on promotion of New Orleans and Louisiana culture. Wein writes "Name artists would come and go, but the core of the festival had to be the culture itself." In short, what Los Angeles appears to lack is leadership that sufficiently recognizes the collective value of LA's music history and assets and therefore the logic of a destination music and arts festival in its name.
Music festivals have always been expensive, risky investments and the economics and marketplace trends in the live concert industry have made the cost of entry high. In 2018 there is arguably a glut of similar music festivals nationwide including two in the LA area: FYF (formerly the Fuck Yeah Festival) and Arroyo Seco Weekend in Pasadena. Fortunately, there is no rule that says a destination music and arts festival must pursue the same approach as others in the marketplace. To the contrary. For many reasons there has never been a greater opportunity to design and present a next generation international music and arts festival under the name Los Angeles Music Festival®. Read more...