By Gerrick D. Kennedy
12:27 AM EDT, June 29, 2013
Beyonce was the universal buzz at the first annual BET Experience, which kicked off Friday in Los Angeles. The pop diva opened the three-day festival with the U.S. debut of her Mrs. Carter Show tour.
But earlier in the day, it was all about who had the golden ticket as scalpers roamed the L.A. Live complex in Downtown L.A. looking for extras to buy and then sell.
The BET Experience was also set to feature shows by Mike Epps and Erykah Badu on Friday, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole on Saturday and ending with the BET Awards and a show by R. Kelly on Sunday. The Roots will also play this weekend, and Kirk Franklin will host a gospel show Sunday afternoon. All of the events are being hosted in various venues and on outdoor stages in and around the L.A. Live complex.
Friday drew the first of what’s estimated to grow to a crowd of tens of thousands to various outdoor shows and events as the heat challenged those who waited in long lines to get in.
The Music Matters outdoor stage -- an area free to the public -- was one of the biggest draws early Friday. It offered four hours of music by up-and-coming artists such as Mali Music, the Rap Pack and Kimberly Nichole. MC Lyte wooed crowds at the Pantene Style Lounge, while Robin Thicke and Mario packed the Radio Remote Room.
Throngs of teens also lined up to watch 106 & Park broadcast live this afternoon, with performances by Mindless Behavior, Janelle Monae and Jason Derulo. Marlon Wayans was also slated to show up, as well as Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum.
"It's hot out here," rapper Bow Wow told the hundreds of teens who packed into the courtyard. Production staff passed out water and cold towels as the 90-degree-plus heat pounded down over the audience. At the free expo fans were given paper fans with BET's logo, which are sure to get a lot of use this weekend.
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