August 8, 2014: Petition Calls for Weird Al to Perform at Super Bowl, Drinking Problems at Country Music Concerts, Tech Conference Criticized for Condom Sculpture

By Beth Kormanik August 8, 2014, 8:24 AM EDT

1. PETITION CALLS FOR WEIRD AL TO PERFORM AT SUPER BOWL: A movement is underway to get pop’s most famous parodist, Weird Al, to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show. Nerdist: “In a not-at-all bizarre twist, given the rabid fanbase the musician has gained over the decades, a fan campaign has been launched to make Weird Al the featured act at 2015’s NBC-hosted Super Bowl. The petition already features over 79,000 signatures since launching earlier this week.”

2. DRINKING PROBLEMS AT COUNTRY MUSIC CONCERTS: A number of alcohol-related incidents at country music concerts this summer—including a Keith Urban concert in Massachusetts where nearly two dozen concertgoers went to the hospital for intoxication and a man is accused of raping another fan—are prompting venues and local government officials to change the atmosphere around the events. One target: preshow tailgating. Washington Post: “City officials in Pittsburgh made some serious changes to tailgating rules this summer after fans trashed downtown prior to [Luke] Bryan’s concert at Heinz Field football stadium in June; the same thing happened to the city last year during a Kenny Chesney-Tim McGraw headlining tour. The Bryan concert also resulted in many arrests, fights and hundreds of 911 calls. … New rules went into effect when [Jason] Aldean made a stop at PNC Park baseball stadium a couple of weeks later—the lots opened at 2 p.m. instead of 11 a.m., and tailgating had to end by the time the first opening act took the stage.”

3. TECH CONFERENCE CRITICIZED FOR CONDOM SCULPTURE: BSides Las Vegas, an information security conference, is drawing criticism for a large-scale “colosseum of condoms” welcoming attendees to the event. The condoms are promotional items from the antivirus company Bitdefender. Valleywag: “The history of sexual harassment against women at tech conferences has been well documented. And this doesn't compare to what goes on at Def Con, the infamous hacker conference also happening in Vegas this week. But BSides organizers proudly noted the gender diversity among speakers this year, which makes the elaborate (safe) sex sculpture at an industry event such a contradictory welcome sign.”


Reed Travel Exhibitions has appointed Jaime Rosov as event director of I.B.T.M. America 2015.


ATLANTA:  TasteATL, the culinary event management company, is launching the Atlanta Meatball Festival on September 14 in a tented area at Belle Isle Square. A “battle of the balls” challenge will send the top three chefs to a “MeatBrawl Throwdown” at Taste of Atlanta on October 25.

BOSTON:  The new Harvard Square Tasting Tour takes groups on a two-hour spin around Harvard Square. There are stops at Grafton Street, Russell House Tavern, and Park, and a guide shares facts and trivia about each restaurant.

CHICAGO:  Dylan’s Candy Bar is coming to Michigan Avenue. With a sneak-preview pop-up scheduled for November, the space will span two floors and have a bar and café area suited for private events. Chicago Tribune:

LAS VEGAS:  The Venues Group held a ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday for the Venue Las Vegas, an event space that will have 36,000 square feet spread over two floors and a rooftop patio.

LOS ANGELES:  Music Academy of the West’s gala, called Cabaret, was Thursday at the Fess Parker Santa Barbara Hotel—A DoubleTree by Hilton Resort. Carol Burnett helped prepare the academy's students for their performance.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Better Days, a pop-up bar located in a thrift shop in the 500 Brickell Building, opens tonight. Decorated in a vintage style, the spot will include pool tables, a DJ booth, and a stage.

NEW YORK:  Space Ibiza New York, an offshoot of the Spanish nightclub, opens in Hell's Kitchen on September 12. The 20,000-square-foot space will be available for private event rental.

The Mashable Media Summit: Formats of Creativity will take place December 5 at the Hudson Theater.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Melissa Riley is the new vice president of convention sales and services at Destination DC, the city’s official tourism and marketing office.

The Washingtonian Wear It Washington: Sample Sale is August 20 at Long View Gallery. More than 200 shoppers are expected to attend the ticketed event, which will include cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, gift bags, and DJ entertainment.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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