By Mitra Sorrells Posted August 23, 2012, 1:01 PM EDT
ORLANDO Planners around Tampa are keeping an eye on the weather, hoping that Tropical Storm Isaac spares the region so the hundreds of events planned during the Republican National Convention can take place as scheduled. For five days beginning Sunday, venues throughout the area—both indoors and outside—are booked for breakfasts, luncheons, receptions, and late-night parties. Many are hosted by state delegations, while others are organized by lobbying groups, media outlets, and corporate brands. Here’s a look at some of the events people will be talking about next week:
OPENING NIGHT: Tropicana Field will be the site of the welcome event for delegates and media Sunday night. More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the party where country singer Rodney Atkins will be the headline entertainment, along with dozens of local performers on three stages. Centerplate is coordinating the food service, Bacardi is sponsoring the bars, and Conceptbait Global Events + Floral Design Group is creating 650 floral pieces. http://bit.ly/LxeROr
CNN GRILL: CNN is bringing its combined pop-up restaurant and mobile studio to Tampa. Unlike past conventions when the network took over an existing eatery, this time they are using what had been a vacant, raw space. Tampa Bay Times: http://bit.ly/MY26gq
PATRÓN POLITICS: John Paul DeJoria, owner of Patrón Spirits Company, is bringing his Patrón Tequila Express rail car to Tampa. The 85-foot rail car dates to 1927 and has a gourmet kitchen, dining room, three staterooms, and an observation room filled with rare textiles and exotic wood carvings. Dejoria will conduct interviews on the train for media outlets, including CNN, and he will also host a dinner on behalf of the Creative Coalition on August 29.
POP-UP PARTY: Karl’s Event Services is setting up a 30,000-square-foot tent at Curtis Hixon Park to create a pop-up version of the 1 Oak nightclubs in New York and Las Vegas. Created by Jamestown Entertainment, the waterfront venue will have space for 2,000 people and host nightly invitation-only parties. Monday night the California G.O.P. Delegation will hold a party with a performance from rock cover band Camp Freddy, which includes guitarist Dave Navarro. Tampa Bay Online: http://bit.ly/R1YRzW
SEARCH PARTY: Google and YG Network will host an invitation-only party on the closing night of the convention at the Tampa Museum of Art, with a theme of celebrating “American Innovation.” Politico: http://politi.co/NDBUbf
MORE YG: Elan Event Studio is helping to transform a 14,000-square-foot vacant space in the Channelside Bay complex into the YG Network’s Woman Up! Pavilion. The venue will host panel discussions and also have a café, lounge, retail area, women’s suffrage museum, and media area. http://bit.ly/NGr987
ZEN LOUNGES: Politico and Huffington Post will both host hospitality lounges. Media Bistro’s TVNewser: http://bit.ly/N7hT8o
Rafanelli Events is designing the Huffington Post Oasis, with project management from RSBP Events. The New York Times reports spa and beauty brand Bliss will have staffers in the lounge: http://nyti.ms/PrQKQO
BEACH BASH: Joyce Gates, owner of Washington-based Warehouse Productions and former chief of staff to Ohio congressman and current U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner, is taking over several vacant historic buildings in downtown Tampa for nightly parties. Tampa Bay Times: “A lobby will feature a pirate statue, a treasure map and lots of bamboo. Sand will be imported to cover the ground of one lounge, which will have hammocks, other hanging chairs and a coconut tree. There will be a jazz club, a massive dance floor next to a water feature and a turntable stage surrounded by the main bar. The improvements are temporary, however, and will vanish when the partying is over.” http://bit.ly/O1vcWo
TRAVIS OUT, JEAN IN: Lifetime Television and Got Your 6, a campaign to ensure successful reintegration of veterans into civilian life, will co-host a performance by Wyclef Jean Wednesday night at Glazer Children’s Museum. Randy Travis was originally scheduled to perform, but that was scratched after the singer's arrest earlier this month. Puff ‘n Stuff Catering is providing food for the invitation-only party where special guest Meghan McCain will also sign copies of her new book. http://bit.ly/P1EF6h
ROCK THE VOTE: The Rock the Vote Road Trip begins August 28 in Tampa with a stop during the day at Saint Leo University. In addition to laptop kiosks for voter registration, the tour will include a silent disco tent with Soul by Ludacris headphones, an Assassin’s Creed III lounge, a video confessional booth, and an opportunity for guests to try the Twonky Beam app to wirelessly share digital media. USA Today: http://usat.ly/Tzw35Q
That night, the bus heads to the Amphitheatre nightclub in Ybor City, where Rock the Vote will co-host a party with StartUp RockOn, a collaboration of Event Farm, HyperVocal and Fighter Interactive. DJ Steve Aoki will spin tunes, and Pringles and Tumblr are sponsors.
MUSICAL MIX: Journey, Gavin DeGraw, Kid Rock, Mongtomery Gentry, and Blues Traveler are some of the acts scheduled to perform at events during the convention. The Tampa Bay Times takes a look at the music scene: http://bit.ly/QYGUG6
AND MORE: Politico is maintaining a list of about 150 events taking place during the convention, including the names of hosts and sponsorship levels. http://bit.ly/PCE20Z