April 2, 2018: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Choose Fashion Industry Florist for Royal Wedding, Live Nation Accused of Threatening Its Competition, White House Adds Lawn Bowling to Easter Festivities

By Ian Zelaya April 2, 2018, 8:37 AM EDT

1. PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MARKLE CHOOSE FASHION INDUSTRY FLORIST FOR ROYAL WEDDING: For their upcoming royal nuptials, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have chosen a London-based florist well known for her work in the fashion industry. Vanity Fair: “While Kate and William followed in Prince Charles’ footsteps by choosing Royal Warrant holder Shane Connolly to fill Westminster Abbey with an avenue of trees, Harry and Meghan have opted for Philippa Craddock, the palace said Sunday. Known in the industry as a trend setter, whom Tatler described as 'a floral mastermind,' Craddock claims to be able to create any bride’s dream from 'a secret garden in a palace' to 'an outdoor botanical romance' promising clients 'We will make it happen… and most importantly ensure that you are centre stage on the day.' Royal Watch can reveal that Markle has been taking the lead with regards to her bridal bouquets. Prince Harry’s fiancée met with the Queen at Windsor in February to discuss the wedding arrangements and the monarch offered the services of the palace staff who are used to dressing the chapel and the state rooms. Markle and Harry instead opted for Craddock whose fair-trade designs are favored by some of the world’s leading fashion houses. In a statement issued Sunday, Kensington Palace said that Craddock 'will direct a team, including florists from St George’s Chapel and Buckingham Palace, to create the displays at St George’s Chapel and for St George’s Hall.' ... Craddock is also an expert at dressing marquees which will be useful because Harry and Meghan’s evening wedding reception on May 19 will take place in a purpose-built marquee in the grounds of Frogmore House."

2. LIVE NATION ACCUSED OF THREATENING ITS COMPETITION: Live Nation has been the most dominant company in the concert ticketing industry since it merged with Ticketmaster in 2010—but its main competitor AEG has accused the company of threats to remain on top. The New York Times: “Ticket prices are at all-time highs. Service fees are far from reduced. And Ticketmaster, now part of the Live Nation empire, still tickets 80 of the top 100 arenas in the country. No other company has more than a handful. No competitor has risen to challenge its pre-eminence. Now Department of Justice officials are looking into serious accusations about Live Nation’s behavior in the marketplace. They have been reviewing complaints that Live Nation, which manages 500 artists, including U2 and Miley Cyrus, has used its control over concert tours to pressure venues into contracting with its subsidiary, Ticketmaster. The company’s chief competitor, AEG, has told the officials that venues it manages that serve Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Oakland, Minneapolis, Louisville and Las Vegas, were told they would lose valuable shows if Ticketmaster was not used as a vendor, a possible violation of antitrust law. ... 'You have a disgruntled competitor that is trying to explain their loss around the boogeyman that there were threats made that nobody can document,' said Daniel M. Wall, Live Nation’s antitrust lawyer. The bloodletting between Live Nation and AEG has grown fierce in recent years and rippled through the industry. Last month, another of Mr. Wall’s clients, the heavy-metal icon Ozzy Osbourne, sued AEG on antitrust grounds, saying that it tried to bar him from playing its O2 arena in London, unless he played its Staples Center in Los Angeles. AEG said its policy was a response to Live Nation’s steering concerts to its Los Angeles rival, the Forum. The Justice Department’s inquiries into possible antitrust violations have gone beyond the bitter rivalry, with regulators in the past year looking into reports of Live Nation threats at venues that AEG does not manage: at the H-E-B Center outside Austin, Tex.; and at Boston’s TD Garden, according to executives familiar with the federal review."

3. WHITE HOUSE ADDS LAWN BOWLING TO EASTER FESTIVITIES: Thousands of people are expected to attend the 140th White House Easter Egg Roll, which takes place today. The event has added new activities, including lawn bowling. CNN: “Orchestrated by the East Wing, the festivities are Melania Trump's second crack at the Egg Roll as first lady and her first as a full-time White House resident. Last year, Trump, who was living in New York through the completion of the school year, oversaw the event, which marked a scaling-down and return to basics for the annual eggstravaganza. But this year's Egg Roll will showcase a first lady who has more fully embraced the role of White House hostess, just weeks before the White House holds its first formal state visit with France. This year's Egg Roll will feature activity stations, including the first lady's new addition of lawn bowling, as well as the egg rolling, egg and cookie decorating stations, a state egg display, cards for troops and costumed characters. The White House is expecting nearly 30,000 attendees at the event, which will feature entertainment from the US Marine, Army, Air Force and Navy Bands. Readers at the reading nook will include the first lady, director of national intelligence Dan Coats, Secretaries Elaine Chao and Betsy DeVos, and director of legislative affairs Marc Short. ... In addition to the thousands of hard boiled eggs on the South Lawn, guests will receive an official wooden White House Easter Egg, which this year features a presidential seal on the front and the President and First Lady's signature on the back. The Incredible Egg, which provides all 30,000 real eggs for rolling, dyeing, and eating, also provides the first lady with a commemorative egg gift of her own. The 2018 Commemorative Egg, the 41st of its kind, was designed by Master Egg Artist Deborah Grassel, who holds a Masters in Egg Art from the International Egg Art Guild."


AUSTIN:  This year’s Moontower Comedy Festival, which runs April 18-21 at venues downtown, has announced its full lineup. New additions include performances from Amanda Seales, Dulce Sloan, and Martha Kelly, along with a screening of the season two premiere episode of Showtime’s I’m Dying Up Here

CHICAGO:  This year’s Spring Awakening electronic music festival will take place June 8-10 at Addams-Medill Park.

LOS ANGELES:  Masters of Taste food festival will take place May 6 at the Rose Bowl. Participating vendors include Wolfgang Puck Catering, Redbird, Bone Kettle, and Butter Cake Shop.

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

NEW YORK:  Afropunk Fest will take place August 25-26 at Commadore Barry Park in Brooklyn. Headliners include Erykah Badu, Janelle Monáe, Miguel, and Tyler, the Creator. 

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

TORONTO:  The second annual Toronto Coffee & Tea Expo will take place April 14-15 at Evergreen Brick Works Pavilions. 

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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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