1. U.S. PAYS TRIBUTE TO PRINCE WITH PURPLE LANDMARKS AND PARTIES: Hours after music superstar Prince was found dead at his suburban Minneapolis compound, major buildings including New York’s Madison Square Garden, San Francisco’s City Hall, and New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome glowed purple to commemorate the 57-year-old “Purple Rain” singer. Cities also paid tribute to Prince with vigils and parties. Associated Press: “A vigil quickly turned into a party at Los Angeles' Leimert Plaza Park, where dozens danced as huge speakers blasted Prince hits and deep cuts. Some wiped away tears but most treated the gathering as a celebration. Thousands of people have filled the streets outside the downtown Minneapolis nightclub where Prince's ‘Purple Rain’ was filmed ahead of an all-night dance party in honor of the singer. … Filmmaker Spike Lee drew a crowd of roughly 1,000 people for an impromptu street party in honor of Prince, presiding from the stoop of his Brooklyn headquarters in a purple T-shirt. Fans brought their babies and their dogs, dancing to Prince's music in front of Lee's 40 Acres & A Mule production company. Police shut down the block for the celebration that was going strong late into Thursday night.” http://apne.ws/1qGaplL
2. WHY CANNES SIMULATED A TERROR ATTACK: As Cannes prepares for next month's high-profile film festival, the French Riviera resort town conducted a simulated terror attack that included a fake explosion at the city's Palais, armed actors, and injured extras. City security will use the simulation to determine if more protocols should be implemented during the festival, which is expected to attract 200,000. The Hollywood Reporter: “The simulations were the first of their kind, put in place to test out the city's new security protocols following the Charlie Hebdo attacks last January and the Le Bataclan attacks in November in Paris. 'You have to be prepared for what we consider a multi-terror event, not only in one place and not only in one hour—in a few places over a few hours,' city security consultant Nitzan Nuriel told The Hollywood Reporter. … Since last January's Charlie Hebdo attacks, the country has been operating under the Vigipirate protocol, a nationwide security alert that has made bag checks and metal detectors mandatory at movie theaters, among other things. As part of this new protocol, the Palais moved the perimeter away from the building and blocked the immediate entrance from the doors for major events. All entrants are subject to bag checks and wanding by hand-held metal detectors before being allowed through metal gates.” http://bit.ly/1WfWeQs
3. HOW RENOVATIONS HAVE EXPANDED CHURCHILL DOWNS: The host of next month's 142nd Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs has undergone an $18 million renovation that has expanded premium seating areas, including the sought-out Turf Club, Stakes Room, and Clubhouse. The renovations have also led to higher demand and prices for reserved seating at the horse racing event. Forbes: “Churchill Downs is following the recent trend of sporting venues enhancing food and beverage programs. The new premium seating spaces will have live food service pumping out improved dishes and cocktails throughout the day, including offerings from a stone and fire pizza oven and a prime rib rotisserie. There will be varying table sizes, lounge seating, race-day entertainment, in-seat technologies, and added wagering windows. Some of the most coveted spots on third and fourth levels were those in alignment with the finish line, but the spaces were clunky and unattractive. The new designs are airier and more communal. The Turf Club also has been built out to take advantage of a previously unused space with views of the paddock.” http://onforb.es/22R9I5v
* LOCAL NEWS *
BOSTON: ArtWeek Boston will take place April 29-May 8. The event comprises more than 170 gatherings, including a yoga class at the Citi Wang Theater, screenings of French films, and pop-up jazz concerts.
Pier 6 in Charlestown will host Boston Scene's annual charity Kentucky Derby Party on May 7.
CHICAGO: Second City and NBCUniversal will host the second annual “Break Out Comedy Festival” in Chicago June 3-4. Saturday Night Live alum Tim Meadows will host the event, and all performances will take place at Up Comedy Club.
LAS VEGAS: The 18th annual Tiger Jam silent auction is now live. Tiger Jam will take place April 29-30 at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino.
LOS ANGELES: The Helping Hand of Los Angeles will present the 87th Mother of the Year luncheon and fashion show on May 6 at the Beverly Wilshire.
For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles
MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA: The Cushman School Gala will take place April 30 at Mana Wynwood. Dinner is from chefs Michelle Bernstein and Dena Marino, and the auction will be emceed by Nick Weir, vice president of entertainment for Royal Caribbean.
Kim Thompson has been named director of sales at Hawks Cay Resort, a 60-acre property in the Florida Keys.
NEW YORK: This year's Jazz at Lincoln Center's gala, “Jazz and Broadway,” will take place May 9 at Frederick P. Rose Hall. The event will be hosted by Vanessa Williams and anchored by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.
The 27th annual GLAAD Media Awards, which take place May 14 at Waldorf Astoria, will honor singer Mariah Carey.
Edible Schoolyard NYC's fourth annual spring benefit will take place May 17 at Skylight at Moynihan Station. Momofuku's David Chang will be the event's culinary chair, and has curated a lineup of 25 chefs, each of whom will design and prepare a four-course dinner for individual tables.
Free performing arts festival SummerStage, which is produced by the City Parks Foundation, has announced its summer lineup of events. More than 100 shows from artists and bands like Public Enemy and Cage the Elephant will take place throughout the five boroughs from May 16-September 23.
For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork
ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA: The Conrad Spirit of Innovation Summit is taking place at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex through Saturday. Ninety high school teams from around the world are vying for seed funding, patent support, scholarships, and other opportunities. The competition was created to honor late Apollo astronaut and entrepreneur Charles Conrad.
Memorial Day weekend marks the start of new nighttime hours at Animal Kingdom and the debut of a limited-run musical production based on the hit film The Jungle Book. At Hollywood Studios, a third Toy Story Midway Mania track opens Memorial Day, and at Epcot, Soarin' Around the World opens June 17.
SAN FRANCISCO: As rates rise at San Francisco hotels, more business travelers are booking stays in the East Bay. San Francisco Business Times: http://bit.ly/1SdgzVk
TORONTO: The Hazleton Hotel, Toronto, has appointed Hani Roustom as general manager.
WASHINGTON, D.C.: American Alliance of Museums is hosting a Museum Event Planner Forum on May 28 in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The event is in partnership with the Association for Women in Events and takes place during the alliance’s Annual Meeting and MuseumExpo.
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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin and Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Ian Zelaya in New York.
BizBash Daily is the must-read digest of event industry news from BizBash.com.
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