August 9, 2018: Oscars Announce Major Changes to Future Telecasts, Airbnb Calls Off Great Wall of China Sleepover Event, Charlottesville Declares State of Emergency for Anniversary of Violent Rally

By Ian Zelaya August 9, 2018, 9:09 AM EDT

1. OSCARS ANNOUNCE MAJOR CHANGES TO FUTURE TELECASTS: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced several changes that will be made to upcoming Oscars telecasts. Starting with the 91st Academy Awards on February 24, 2019, the telecast will be reduced to three hours, and certain awards won’t be televised. The ceremony will also introduce a new popular film category and an earlier February date starting in 2020. The Hollywood Reporter: “To address the concerns of those who find the show to be too long and boring (thanks largely to the current existence of 24 competitive awards, of which the general public only cares about a few), Academy president John Bailey and Academy C.E.O. Dawn Hudson said in a letter to members that the board has ‘committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours.’ They explain that this will be achieved partly by ‘present[ing] select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks (categories to be determined).’ Those categories will not be removed from the telecast; instead, ‘the winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast.’ This new format is similar to the one employed at the Tony Awards, which are annually broadcast on CBS, to recognize some of its lower-profile categories. (The Tonys present those awards and record acceptance speeches of them during a pretelecast portion of the ceremony, rather than during commercial breaks. Presenting them during commercial breaks is probably intended to make nominees in those categories feel more integrated into the heart of the telecast.) … At least as important, in terms of improving the ratings of the Oscars telecast for ABC, the Academy also said in its letter that it “will create a new category for outstanding achievement in popular film’ in time for the 91st Oscars, adding that ‘[e]ligibility requirements and other key details will be forthcoming.’ Some will complain that adding such a category cheapens the prestige of the Oscars, making it more like the People's Choice Awards or MTV Movie & TV Awards, but that is old-world thinking. More than the length of the telecast or the name of the host, Oscar ratings have been shown to correlate with the popularity of the nominated films among the general public. And the gulf between what the public buys tickets to see and what the Academy nominates and awards has never been greater.”

2. AIRBNB CALLS OFF GREAT WALL OF CHINA SLEEPOVER EVENT: Airbnb has cancelled an event that was slated to take place at the Great Wall of China. The home-sharing brand had offered a contest that would give users the chance to sleep overnight at the historic landmark in a furnished watchtower. Advertising Age: “On Chinese social media, some online commenters had expressed concerns about commercializing a historic site, or damaging it. In Airbnb's initial response, it said it had worked with authorities on the project and that protecting the monument was of utmost concern. But eventually, it called off the event, initially scheduled for next month, altogether. ‘While there was an agreement in place that was the basis for the announcement of this event, we deeply respect the feedback we have received,’ the company said in a statement. ‘We have made the decision to not move forward with this event,’ and will work instead on other projects. Separately, a local cultural committee in the district where Airbnb planned the event said on social media that its cultural protection department had not been informed and had not approved of the plans. There have been other marketing campaigns at the historic monument; in 2015, to promote Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Disney had an event with 500 Stormtroopers at the Great Wall. And Procter & Gamble's SK-II skincare brand hosted an installation there in 2016, setting up posters of children talking about their dreams. … Airbnb had taken pains to ensure the four winners and their guests would experience Chinese cultural traditions. Guests were to have dinner there, with each course representing ‘a different aspect of Chinese culture and the culinary traditions of its people.’ And there was to be a concert of traditional music too. To enter the contest, people had to answer an essay question. ‘Why is it more important now than ever to break down barriers between cultures? How would you want to build new connections?’”

3. CHARLOTTESVILLE DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY FOR ANNIVERSARY OF VIOLENT RALLY: The city of Charlottesville, Virginia, has declared a state of emergency ahead of the one-year anniversary of a white nationalist rally that left one person dead. One organizer of last year's rally still plans to hold a second rally on the anniversary in Washington. Associated Press: “Jason Kessler has vowed to press ahead with plans for an August 12 rally in Washington, D.C., after Charlottesville denied him a permit. Authorities faced unrelenting criticism for their handling of last year’s rally and an independent review that found serious police and government failures in responding to violence at the 'Unite the Right' rally. It drew hundreds of white nationalists from across the country to the Virginia college town. Chaos erupted before the event even began, with participants and counterprotesters brawling in the street. Later, a woman was killed when a car drove into a crowd protesting against the white nationalists, and dozens more were injured. ... Several city officials left their jobs in the months after the rally. The city attorney took a new job, the city manager’s contract was not renewed, a spokeswoman quit and the police chief, who was 50 at the time, retired after less than two years on the job. Several peaceful events are planned in Charlottesville to commemorate last year’s event and promote racial healing. The city is planning to establish a 'defined security area' downtown where weapons will be banned. Charlottesville police chief RaShall Brackney said the goal for that community is to have a peaceful weekend."


The International Live Events Association (ILEA) will hold its ILEA Global Event Forum August 15-16 in at the Sheraton Denver and Denver Botanic Gardens. The event will bring together 25 live event influencers from across the globe for short talks and dialogue sessions focused on the future of the live event industry. 


LOS ANGELES:  The eighth annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival will take place August 22-26. Events will include cooking demos with celebrity chefs, exclusive lunch and dinner series by some of the country’s favorite culinary personalities, live entertainment, and more.

The second annual Tropicália Music and Taco Festival will take place November 3-4 at Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach. The event will be headlined by Cardi B and Morrissey. 

Tom Tom, a new bar and restaurant from Bravo reality series Vanderpump Rules stars Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval, opens in West Hollywood today. Observer:

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The inaugural Haunted Hauteness, an event benefitting Miami Model Citizens, will take place October 20 at the Macaya Gallery. 

NEW YORK:  The New York Times: “The New Art Dealers Alliance, or NADA, announced on Wednesday that it would cancel its annual New York art fair—one of many in a crowded scene that flares up each March around the Armory Show at the Piers—and open a new gallery outside the city.”

As part of an expanded partnership to raise awareness and support for arts education and advocacy nationwide, American Express Platinum and the card’s creative director Pharrell Williams will host the Yellow Ball on September 10 at the Brooklyn Museum. The event, which will benefit arts-in-education network Young Audiences Arts for Learning, will feature performances by Missy Elliott, ASAP Ferg, and DJ Stretch Armstrong. The benefit will also have a multi-room art experience from contemporary artist Daniel Arsham and a dinner curated by chef Dominique Crenn. 

Travel agency company Travel Leader’s Group has launched a digital content platform called ViewFrom36k. The platform was designed to address business travel issues affecting the industry and provide solutions for the factors affecting domestic and international business travel. The platform focuses on travel expenses, safety and security, policies, traveler satisfaction, meetings and incentives, and technology. 

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

RENO, NEVADA:  The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority has appointed Kelly Carr general manager of S.M.G.-contracted facilities in northern Nevada and Dante Nicastro Nevada general manager of Savor, the food and beverage divison of S.M.G. 

SEATTLE:  The Space Needle has completed a full renovation thanks to a $100 million private investment. The multi-level space now features the Loupe, a revolving glass floor created with constructed layers of glass; a reimagined observation deck that provides 360-degree views of the city; and a cantilever grand staircase that connects the upper and lower levels. The renovation also introduced the new Atmos Wine Bar at the 500-foot level, which offers regional wine selections. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) has announced its 2018-2019 board of directors. Ed DiAntonio of Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort has been named president. The entire list can be found here:

Doukenie Winery's Bluegrass Festival will take place August 18 in Purcellville, Virginia. 

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

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