Music News & Reviews

Massive crowd expected for free Common concert Monday evening in downtown Sacramento

Common is set to perform at the Imagine Justice Concert in Sacramento on Aug.21, 2017.
Common is set to perform at the Imagine Justice Concert in Sacramento on Aug.21, 2017. MCT

As many as 25,000 people are expected to attend a free concert by rapper, actor and activist Common on Monday evening on Capitol Mall, city officials said Friday.

The event, called the Imagine Justice Concert, is aimed at raising awareness about several bills in the California Legislature that would give more rights to juvenile offenders and revamp the state’s bail system, Common said in a statement.

“As an artist, I believe it is my duty to fight injustice wherever it appears and take a stand for my fellow brothers and sisters ... and support the most marginalized members of our society,” Common wrote on the event website.

The 5 p.m. concert is officially sold out via pre-registration, promoters said on the event website. “Due to high attendance, entrance to the event is not guaranteed without pre-registration,” the website states.

The concert is scheduled to end at 10 p.m.

Common co-wrote the Oscar and Grammy-winning song “Glory” for the 2014 film “Selma,” the story of the 1965 voting rights marches in Alabama. He played civil rights leader James Bevel in the movie.

Other performers on the bill for Monday’s concert include J. Cole, Goapele, Los Rakas and Syncopated Ladies. Speakers include DeVon Franklin, Bryonn Bain and Van Jones.

Some sections of Capitol Mall, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th streets will be closed Sunday through early Tuesday morning. City officials are warning downtown workers and visitors to expect congestion and high parking demand in the afternoon.

“We’re trying to let the state and businesses know if you can let your people out early, go ahead and do that,” city traffic official Ryan Moore said.

City officials said they have 3,000 parking spots in nearby garages designated for the event, and are asking people to reserve those spots in advance on sacpark.org.

Sacramento Regional Transit officials are encouraging people to take light rail to the event. Trains stop at several stations in the concert area, including 7th and Capitol and 8th and Capitol.

“We will have customer service staff at key light rail stations to assist customers,” spokeswoman Devra Selenis said. Most downtown buses will use detour routes.

The concert is the start of a three-day Sacramento campaign that includes a day of lobbying at the Capitol and a second concert for inmates inside a nearby prison, possibly Folsom State, said Michael Latt, who works with Common on social issues.

Concert promoters say they are calling attention to Senate Bill 395, which would require that minors have legal counsel before waiving their Miranda rights when in police custody, and to Senate Bill 394, which would give minors sentenced to life without parole a chance to be released after serving 25 years.

Common is also supporting Senate Bill 10, a controversial measure that would allow more people to be released on bail without the requirement of a money-backed bond.

Advocates argue the money bail system keeps low-income people in jail for financial reasons, potentially losing jobs and failing out of school. Opponents argue ending money-based bail would be costly and potentially put more dangerous people on the street.

Participants in a crime survivors rally on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, at the state Capitol looked for alternatives to hard sentencing and other punishment.

Tony Bizjak: 916-321-1059, @TonyBizjak

Imagine Justice Concert road closure area 
The Sacramento Bee

Downtown street closures

Sunday, Aug. 20 through Tuesday, Aug. 22

  • Capitol Mall between 8th and 9th streets will be closed from 4 a.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Tuesday.
  • 9th Street between N and L streets will be closed from 4 a.m. Sunday to 6:30 a.m. Monday; closed again from 9:30 a.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday

Monday, Aug. 21 through Tuesday, Aug. 22

  • Capitol Mall between 5th and 8th streets will be closed from 9:30 a.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday
  • 6th Street between L Street and Capitol Mall will be closed from 9:30 a.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday
  • 7th Street between L and N streets will be closed from 9:30 a.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday
  • 8th Street between L and N streets will be closed from 9:30 a.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday
  • 10th Street between L and N streets will be closed from 2 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday
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