April 11, 2018: Royal Wedding Won’t Have Political Leaders in Attendance, Why the Academy of Country Music Awards Is Staying in Vegas, Oregon Music Festival Sues Coachella Over Radius Clause

By Ian Zelaya April 11, 2018, 8:39 AM EDT

1. ROYAL WEDDING WON'T HAVE POLITICAL LEADERS IN ATTENDANCE: The royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle next month is keeping the attendee list low key. While it was long speculated about whether the Obamas or the Trumps would attend, Kensington Palace revealed no world leaders or politicians were invited. The New York Times: “Neatly sidestepping the issue, Kensington Palace released an opaque statement Tuesday saying that no politicians would be invited to the May 19 wedding at Windsor Castle, not even Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain. ‘It has been decided that an official list of political leaders—both U.K. and international—is not required for Prince Harry and Ms. Markle’s wedding,’ Kensington Palace said in a statement. ‘Her Majesty’s Government was consulted on this decision, which was taken by The Royal Household.’ The lack of ‘an official list’ was interpreted by royals watchers to mean that no invitations would be issued to political leaders. In deciding to limit the attendees to close friends and family, the couple were characteristically keeping things low key and breaking with a long tradition of grand British royal weddings attended by world leaders and politicians. The question of the Obamas versus the Trumps was always a difficult one. It was widely believed that the Obamas had the inside track, after Prince Harry and Mr. Obama forged a friendship while attending the Invictus Games in Toronto last year. … The Palace source said that 600 guests would be invited to the wedding ceremony, based on the size of St. George’s Chapel, and said that it is not necessary for the royal couple to invite world leaders and politicians to their wedding because Prince Harry is not a direct heir to the throne.”

2. WHY THE ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS IS STAYING IN VEGAS: After the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival last October, the Academy of Country Music Awards contemplated leaving Las Vegas—but the event, which takes place Sunday, ultimately decided to stick with its venue of the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Washington Post: “Producers and organizers are acutely aware of the sensitive nature of this year’s show and, for months, have grappled with how to handle the event. 'It takes a lot of courage and commitment for the artists and industry, many of whom were there that night on those festival grounds dodging bullets, to return to Las Vegas,' said Pete Fisher, ACM chief executive officer. 'It’s going to be quite an emotional return and we applaud those in our industry who are standing strong and coming back.' Fisher said after the shooting, some involved with the ACM Awards wondered whether they should keep the ceremony in its original location or go somewhere else for 2018. 'It certainly was contemplated, but no one was speaking up saying we had to move. In fact, just about the opposite happened,' Fisher said. 'As difficult it will be for some people, everyone wanted to come back to Vegas.' He added, 'Moving the show out of Las Vegas this year would have just really felt like an abandonment, and, in a sense, like hate won.' Since the tragedy, Fisher said, ACM’s charitable arm (ACM Lifting Lives) has donated $400,000 to charities to help the victims and their families, as well as first responders. The show will also feature a tribute to the victims of the horrific attack. And given that it’s a celebratory telecast, Fisher said he hopes the ACM Awards can also serve as a distraction for people who need it."

3. OREGON MUSIC FESTIVAL SUES COACHELLA OVER RADIUS CLAUSE: Organizers of a Portland, Oregon, music festival are suing Coachella and its organizers, stating that the festival’s radius clause—which restricts where artists can play before and after the event in Indio, California—violates unfair competition and anti-trust laws. Billboard: “Lawyers for Soul’d Out Music Festival founders Nicholas Harris and Haytham Abdulhadi say they had approached TDE artist SZA to play this year's event but were turned down because of the radius clause, barring her from playing other West Coast states. When Harris and Abdulhadi reached out to Goldenvoice for a waiver, the concert promoter refused. Same goes for artist Daniel Caesar, who allegedly declined to perform at the Soul’d Out Music Festival because of the Coachella radius clause. According to a suit filed in U.S. District Court, Coachella officials stand accused of requiring acts to sign a radius clause that bars artists from playing within a five-state radius of Indio, California, during a five-month period from December until May, a month after the event, which takes place this year April 13-15 and 20-22 and features headliners The Weeknd, Beyonce and Eminem. Billboard reached out to Goldenvoice and was told Coachella organizers had no comment. The Soul’d Out festival, by comparison, takes place April 18-22 and this year includes Erykah Badu, De La Soul and Wyclef Jean, spread out over five Portland venues. Lawyers for Harris and Abdulhadi argue Coachella organizers are allegedly engaging in ‘an unlawful restraint on trade, meant to use Coachella’s market power in the music festival market to suppress competition by other festivals.’”


The Association of Association Executives has launched the Africa Associations Congress, which will take place October 29-31 at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria, South Africa. The new conference is designed for Pan-African, regional, and national associations in Africa as well as international associations with members in Africa. 


COAST TO COAST:  Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass have announced a five-city book tour for their book Like Brothers. The tour will go to Alamo Drafthouse with Books Are Magic May 7 and Symphony Space May 8 in New York; Smithsonian Associates at the Hirshhorn Museum May 10 in Washington; Alamo Drafthouse with BookPeople at First Baptist Church May 11 in Austin; the JCC of San Francisco May 12; and the Regent Theater DTLA May 16 in Los Angeles. 

Destination and event management company Pacific World has appointed Cherryl Brazier and Patricia Perez-Sahin U.S. sales directors. Brazier and Perez-Sahin will work with Chicago-based Ruby Serra, Pacific World’s director of sales. 

CHICAGO:  The Ring Lardner Awards for Excellence in Sports Journalism will take place Thursday at the Union League Club of Chicago. 

W Chicago—City Center has debuted a multi-million dollar renovation of its lobby and restaurant Midland Social Club. The new design is inspired by the hotel’s early ties to Chicago and highlights the city’s neighborhoods.

DETROIT:  Rick Portwood, president of Display Group, and Michael McConnell, owner of Fairway Productions, have formed Audio Visual Lighting Creative. Fairway Productions will close and its staff will be part of the new company, which will be located in Display Group’s Packard Building #22 headquarters.

LAS VEGAS:  GES, a full-service provider of live events, has launched GES Sponsorship & Sales, a new service designed to boost its sponsorship program. 

LOS ANGELES:  The second Los Angeles Times Food Bowl has announced its programming schedule and lineup. The 31-day event in May will feature over 200 dining events, panel discussions, chef collaborations, volunteer projects, and other gatherings celebrating local chefs and restaurants. Through charitable partners, the festival will also raise money to fight food insecurity and hunger and promote waste reduction and sustainability.

The Humane Society of the United States will host its annual To the Rescue! Los Angeles Gala on April 21 at the Paramount Studios Backlot.

The Orphaned Starfish Foundation’s third annual Party for a Purpose fund-raiser will take place May 9 at 1 Oak. 

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The National Hotel will host the inaugural Croissant Battle Miami April 15. Presented by French Morning—a digital news resource for French speakers in the U.S.— the event will gather South Florida bakers to compete in a competition for the best croissant. Competing bakeries include Rosetta Bakery, Flavorish, La Provence Miami, and Zak the Baker. 

NEW YORK:  Design on a Dime's Groundbreaker Awards will take place April 25 at Metropolitan Pavilion. 

Figure Skating in Harlem’s Champions in Life Benefit Gala will take place May 1 at Pier Sixty. The event will feature appearances from the 2018 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team and other figure skaters including Michelle Kwan and Sasha Cohen. 

National Sawdust’s 2018 Spring Gala: Alhambra Nights will take place May 10 at the Alhambra Ballroom. 

U.S. Veg Corp’s eighth annual New York City Vegetarian Food Festival will take place May 19-20 at the Metropolitan Pavilion. The event will benefit the Humane League, a national farm animal protection nonprofit.   

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

SAN DIEGO:  Paradise Point Resort & Spa in Mission Bay will complete a $24-million renovation to its 462 guest rooms in May. 

SAN FRANCISCO:  Experience design agency the XD Agency has expanded to San Francisco. Managing directors Jack Spilberg and Rachel Hermansader will lead the company's West Coast growth. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Arc the Hotel will open in Foggy Bottom May 1. The tech-forward boutique hotel will have 136 guest rooms and offer customizable pillow menus, mobile concierge, and mobile room entry. 

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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