Giant robots and unicorns to take over downtown LA as I3 Arts Fest arrives

A model of the forty-foot robot at that will be installed at Grand Park as part of the I3 Arts Festival. Photo credit: I3 Arts Festival
A model of the forty-foot robot at that will be installed at Grand Park as part of the I3 Arts Festival. Photo credit: I3 Arts Festival
A model of the forty-foot robot at that will be installed at Grand Park as part of the I3 Arts Festival. Photo credit: I3 Arts Festival
The Jabba Barge Art Car at Burning Man. Cars like this will be displayed as part of I3's Art Car Ball. Photo credit: I3 Arts Festival
A model of the forty-foot robot at that will be installed at Grand Park as part of the I3 Arts Festival. Photo credit: I3 Arts Festival
William Close's Earth Harp is strung from the top of a 700ft skyscraper to create the world's tallest instrument in downtown L.A. in 2015. Photo credit: I3 Arts Festival
A model of the forty-foot robot at that will be installed at Grand Park as part of the I3 Arts Festival. Photo credit: I3 Arts Festival
I3 Arts Festival founder Xandra Myers with her dog and husband. Photo credit: I3 Arts Festival


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A 40-foot robot, unicorns and Burning Man-style art cars will liven up downtown Los Angeles this weekend for the I3 Arts Festival's inaugural run.

Founder Xandra Myers hopes I3 will put L.A. on the map as a destination for experimental art. She’s expecting 30,000 people to descend upon Pershing Square, Grand Park and California Plaza to hear music, view experimental art and listen to sounds from the world’s tallest harp. Myers said a festival of this scale has never been done in downtown, but she thinks it’s a natural fit. 

 “Los Angeles was built on imagination, right? It’s the city of dreams, so I think it is appropriate to have massive robots and unicorns and I think skyscrapers can become musical instruments. I think if there is anywhere where that can happen, it would be L.A.” 

When most people think of electronic music and Burning Man artwork, they might not think of something kid friendly, but Myers insisted this party is for all ages.

“There is a real stigma of this party atmosphere, and that you have to be under the influence to appreciate this art and music. And that mentality is, one, incredibly insulting to these amazing artists, but also it’s a mentality that encourages reckless behavior. And we are not that kind of party; we’re not that kind of event. This is a family-friendly event.” 

One of I3’s attractions is a 40-foot robot at Grand Park that kids can climb on.  They’ll be given a sticker that deciphers the "alien code" written all over its body, turning the installation into a sort of scavenger hunt to learn about the robot’s story.

At the heart of this festival, Myers said, is her desire to showcase art and music that encourages people to imagine, innovate and push boundaries. Parts of the festival are free, but tickets are available for the Art Car Ball at the I3 website or at the door.

 

Listen to the full interview by clicking the audio player above.