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February 5, 2015: New Group Creates Events for People With Disabilities, HBO Opening 'Game of Thrones' Pop-Up Restaurant, John Legend Cancels Grammy Party Gig to Protest Discrimination

1. NEW GROUP CREATES EVENTS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: A United Kingdom-based group called Why Not People is raising money to offer live music events and other gatherings for people with disabilities. Mashable: “The company creates and hosts events such as live music gigs with top talent, built specifically for people with physical, sensory and learning impairments. … Why Not People is her way of ensuring that people with disabilities aren't left out or separated at live events—instead of being cornered off, they'll be in the middle of the action.”

2. HBO OPENING ’GAME OF THRONES’ POP-UP RESTAURANT: HBO will host a Game of Thrones pop-up restaurant at the Andaz Liverpool Street hotel in London later this month with catering and decor to match the lavishly designed show. The Verge: “HBO has orchestrated the ‘one-of-a-kind epic banquet’ to celebrate the release of the series' fourth season on Blu-ray and is inviting fans to enter a competition to win seats at the table. The food itself is likely to be fairly meaty, with catering provided by The Wandering Chef — a duo of London cooks who previously hosted a pop-up restaurant named ‘Heads, Shoulders, Veals and Toes, Veals and Toes’ to celebrate the tradition of nose-to-tail eating. So, diners can certainly expect a bit of blood on their plates.”

3. JOHN LEGEND CANCELS GRAMMY PARTY GIG TO PROTEST DISCRIMINATION: Singer John Legend has dropped out of the pre-Grammy party for LA Confidential at the Beverly Hills Hotel, joining a boycott of the property over the antigay policies of its owner, the Sultan of Brunei. New York Post: “On Tuesday, the Human Rights Campaign sent a letter to the mag asking it to consider moving the party. But publisher Alison Miller and Niche Media CEO Katherine Nicholls defended its decision, saying, ‘To boycott all companies and hotels with affiliations and ownership from nations that do not share our beliefs would cause serious financial harm and damage to the Los Angeles community and the American economy.’”


BOSTON:  The Boston Police Foundation will host its first "Operation Dine Out" on February 24. Restaurants throughout the city—including Stella and Russell House Tavern—will donate a percentage of sales to the foundation.

CHICAGO:  Chicago magazine visits the Commons Club at the new Virgin Hotel and notes that the bar/lounge/restaurant has business-traveler perks including free Wi-Fi and ample places to charge devices.

LAS VEGAS:  Wendoh Media, a Las Vegas-based publishing and event company, has acquired a 50 percent stake in the Life Is Beautiful Festival. The event, slated for September 25-27, was founded in 2013.

LOS ANGELES:  The Primetime Emmys will take place September 20, returning to the show's traditional spot on a Sunday in the fall. Los Angeles Times:

Chef Wayne Elias of Crumble Catering will again cater the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards viewing party.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  This morning, L.G.B.T. and straight couples were set to be married in a beach wedding ceremony in Fort Lauderdale in honor of Florida’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage equality. The event included a reception at the W Fort Lauderdale hotel, and singer and TV personality Lance Bass was on hand to congratulate the couples. The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau organized the event.

NEW YORK:  Diffa's Dining by Design will take place March 19-23 at Pier 92, co-located with the Architectural Digest Home Design Show.

The Brooklyn Museum will host the fifth annual Brooklyn Artists Ball April 15 at the museum and will continue its tradition of seating guests for dinner at tables created by artists.

The Dumbo Arts Festival appears to have ended after an 18-year run, according to a sponsor who said the event had grown too large for the neighborhood. Borough president Eric Adams held out hope the event could return. Brooklyn Daily Eagle:

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  Chris Brown has been appointed director of food and beverage at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. He was previously executive chef of JW Marriott Orlando, also located at Grande Lakes.

TORONTO:  Knot PR has changed its name to the Knot Group. The rebranded agency also has a new partner, Hilary Bonebakker, who will oversee a new event planning and management division.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  New D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's three-day inauguration events cost more than $1.1 million, according to campaign records, including "nearly $300,000 on event production, more than $200,000 on catering for the inaugural ball, around $100,000 on lighting and rigging for the convention center." Washington Post:

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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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