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Bloomfest LA organizers don't expect ArtWalk repeat

By Omar Shamout
Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2012, at 05:11PM
Killsonic_5387 Ed Fuentes

A band performs at the 2010 Bloomfest LA event. Organizers say crowds can expect a "safe" and "positive" experience.

Bloomfest L.A. organizers said they are not expecting a repeat of last Thursday’s Occupy-driven ArtWalk protests where 17 people were arrested and four police were injured.

“Right now the contingency plan is business as usual,” said Edgar Varela, co-producer of Bloomfest L.A., who pointed out that Saturday’s permitted event will take place on closed streets (3rd Street and Traction Avenue) unlike the ArtWalk.

Varela said security personnel will be present around the perimeter of the event and in the parking lot areas, as mandated by the city, but noted, “We don’t have LAPD on hold, and we don’t have any extra precautions being taken.”

Varela, who owns the E.V.F.A. Gallery on Spring Street, said that as a Downtown business owner and Los Angeles River Artists and Business Association board member, he maintains a relationship with several Occupy leaders who assured him “there’s nothing to worry about.”

Bloomfest staff are expecting somewhere in the region of 20,000-25,000 attendees at the “family-friendly” event that lasts from 2pm-10pm Saturday in the Arts District. The festival will take place on roughly four city blocks and feature live music, art exhibitions, food vendors, a beer garden and areas for kids and pets too.

For more information, visit the Bloomfest LA website.

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