The BET Experience Returns to LA Live

Categories // LA Focus, Entertainment Monday, 02 June 2014

The BET Experience Returns to LA Live

Each year, the annual BET Experience energizes LA Live with the raucous buzz of glamorous celebrities as they host and attend the BET Awards, famous musicians and budding performers, seminars, youth programs, talks, and even offers a specific set of these events to be entirely free, so those watching their wallets but bent on joining in the fun can attend the Fan Fest at no charge. It draws celebs and fans alike from around the country each and every year. And in 2014, while the fanfare and fun that lights up downtown Los Angeles will be bigger and brighter than ever, the sounds of one of the biggest music festivals in America will be accompanied with rousing, joyous songs of worship, as the spirited melodies of Gospel will take center stage at BET’s first ever Gospel Choir Showcase.

“There’s certainly a large faith-based community,” Sydney Russell, the Vice President of AEG/LA Live Marketing, says of the BET Experience. “It made sense to have that be a part of the Fan Fest, to showcase a lot of the amazing choirs that are in Los Angeles. That’s something that we wanted to bring to the forefront.”

The showcase will feature five choirs from Los Angeles’ largest churches, including West Angeles Mass Choir of West Angeles Church of God in Christ, the Faithful Central Mass Choir from Faithful Central Bible Church, Psalms Choir of City of Refuge, Voices of Destiny choir from Greater Zion Church, and Myesha Chaney & Antioch Voices from Antioch Church of Long Beach. Each choir will perform a twelve minute set.

“Having the involvement with churches in the LA area is just something that we felt very strongly about,” Paxton Baker, the executive in charge of the BET Experience, says. “It was a natural thing for us to put something like this in place. At one point we’d talked about doing a gospel competition, but to the minsters credit, they did not want to have a competition, they felt like that was something that would not necessarily fit their bill for how they felt that should have been conducted, and they wanted more of a showcase.

“It’s more of a celebration itself, and a showcase versus a competition.”

There will also be a panel of pastors, some of whom have made television appearances and others who haven’t, to discuss the topic of “Fame and Faith.”

Jonathan Coleman, an executive coordinator at West Angeles Church and a producer of the showcase, says that this was long time coming, when taking BET’s gospel beginnings into consideration.

“Gospel was the foundation of BET, with Bobby Jones being the longest running show currently on [the network]. Gospel and faith were the foundation of the channel. So them believing in this event—and seeing how it goes—we really hope this Day of Unity, and this time of gathering, could be something that could happen year after year.

“We’ve gotta get the word out and hope that people of faith want to be a part of it.”

The Day of Unity isn’t meant to focus on one centric church, but to invite all churches from across LA to unite in the spirit of God, and Gospel.

“[It’s] a day of unity, where all the churches, no matter what their denomination is, or size, come together,” Coleman says, “and we just worship God and unity.”

But don’t forget that outside the Gospel Showcase—BET has three days worth of music, food, and fun to be had.

“We’re working on a couple of additional surprises that we’re close to confirming,” Baker hints, as plans for different guests at the Experience are still being finalized. But what is guaranteed: this year will be BET Experience’s biggest celebration yet.

“This year, the artists that are performing at the Staples Center are actually going to be coming over to the Fan Fest and participating,” Baker says. “So those will be exciting pieces.”

“This is LA Live,” Russell reminds us. “We’re the most entertaining place on the planet.”

And if you can’t wait until June 27th for the festival to begin, a new addition to the Experience this year includes “The Road to the BET Experience,” which features free concerts each weekend the four weeks leading up to the festival, beginning May 31st and ending on June 21st. Artists signed on for the free concerts include Eric Bellinger, Adrian Marcel, Eric Benet, Marsha Ambrosius, and more. Instead of being held at LA Live, these concerts will be at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.

“Los Angeles is such a diverse and amazing community,” Baker says, “that we wanted to involve the LA Community itself, to involve them in the whole BET experience, and everything that’s going on is not just down at LA Live, it’s across the whole of the community.

“This is something that into the future that we would look to continue to do—involve more parts of the city.”

For more information on the BET Experience and it’s individual events, go to www.bet.com/shows/bet-awards/bet-experience.html

Your Roadmap To The BET Experience

June 27, Friday

11:30 a -7:30p: Grammy Museum Exhibit— Grammy Museum

3:00p-5:00p: 106&Park Live—Nokia Plaza (Free)
Join the radio show in a live broadcast. To be a part of the audience, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before June 26th wiith 106 and Park Los Angeles in the subject.

7:00p: Comic View Live, Hosted by Sommore—Club Nokia
Come laugh with some comedy greats such a sKarlous Miller, Lil Rel Howery, Ray Grady, Sydney Castillo and Zainab Johnson.

7:30p: Maxwell, Jill Scott, Marsha Ambrosius—Staples Center

11:00p: Future With DJ Khaled & Friends—Club Nokia

11:00p-4:00a: Late Night VIP Afterparty (Invite Only)—Conga Room

June 28, Saturday
11:30 a -7:30p: Grammy Museum Exhibit— Grammy Museum

12:00p-9:00p: Fan Fest: South Hall/Concourse Hall, LACC (Free)

12:00p-9:00p: BETX Film Festival—Regal Cinemas (Free)

1:00p -6:30p: Acoustically Speaking—Theatre tat LACC (Free)

1:30p-3:00p: Sprite Celebrity Game—Sprite Court South Hall—LACC (Free)
Watch celebs like Snoop Dogg, Jay Ellis and Mike Epps play basketball with seasoned athletes such as Terrell Owens, Tammy ‘T-Time’ Brawner, and Corey Maggette.

2:00p-6:00p: Genius Talks—Concourse Hall, LACC (Free)

3:00p-4:00p: Youth Clinics—Sprite Court, South Hall—LACC (Free)
3:00p-4:30p: Music Matters—BETX Main Stage, South Hall, LACC (Free)
Watch Mack Wilds, Sevyn Streeter, and Karina Pasian perform.

3:00p-5:00p: 106&Park Live—Nokia Plaza (Free)

4:30p-6:00p: Centric Certified—BETX Main Stage, South Hall, LACC (Free)

4:30-7:00p: BETX Dance Competition—Sprite Court, South Hall, LACC (Free)

7:00p: Gospel Choir Showcase, Hosted by Anthony Anderson—BETX Main Stage, South Hall, LACC (Free)
Join us for some rousing Gospel music from LA’s largest and most prominent gospel choirs: West Angeles Mass Choir of West Angeles Church of God in Christ, the Faithful Central Mass Choir from Faithful Central Bible Church, Psalms Choir of City of Refuge, Voices of Destiny choir from Greater Zion Church, and Myesha Chaney & Antioch Voices from Antioch Church of Long Beach.

7:00p: Outkast, A$AP Rocky, Rick Ross, K. Michelle, August Alsina & Ty Dolla $ign—Staples Center

7:00p: Comedy All-Star Hosted by Joe Torry—Club Nokia

11:00p: The Roots Present Hip Hop—Club Nokia

11:00p-4a: Late Night VIP After Party (Invite Only)—Conga Room

June 29, Sunday
11:30a-7:30p: Grammy Museum Exhibit—Grammy Museum

12:00p-9:00p: Fan Fest—South Hall, Concourse Hall, LACC (Free)

12:00p-1:00p: Centric Certified—BETX Main Stage, South Hall, LACC (Free)

1:00p-3:00p: Music Matters—BETX Main Stage, South Hall, LACC (Free)
Watch Jonathan McReynolds, Lecrae, Roman Gianarthur, Tiara Thomas, Ell Varner and more perform for some Sunday gospel and more.

1:00p-3:00p: Genius Talks—Concourse Hall, LACC (Free)

1:30p-3:00p: Sprite Slam Dunk Contest—Sprite Court, South Hall, LACC (Free)

2:00p-3:30p: Diamond VIP BET Awards Red Carpet Experience—Chick Hearn Court
Diamond VIP ticketholders experience access to VIP-only lounge to watch the Red Carpet, eat and drink, get their own Red Carpet photo taken, and enter the BET Awards alongside other celebrity guest. For info on the Diamond package, visit www.bet.com

3:00p-5:00p: 2014 BET Awards Pre-Show—Chick Hearn Court

3:30p-5:00p: Streetball Game—Sprite Court, South Hall, LACC (Free)

5:00p-8:00p: 2014 BET Awards Show—Nokia Theatre

7:00p 2014 BET Awards Watch Party—South Hall, LACC (Free)

8:00p: Mary J. Blige, Trey Songz & Jennifer Hudson—Staples Center
8:00p-9:00p: 2014 BET Awards Post-Show—JW Mixing Room

11:00p-4:00a: Late Night VIP After Party (Invite Only)—Conga Room

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