February 11, 2014: Inside Tech’s Hottest Networking Event, Blondie Refuses to Perform in Sochi, the Ugly Side of Fashion Week

By Beth Kormanik February 11, 2014, 8:12 AM EST

1. INSIDE TECH’S HOTTEST NETWORKING EVENT: Startup and Tech Mixer organize tech networking events—not parties, they say—that bring together young Silicon Valley denizens. And business is good, with 2,500 people attending a recent gathering at San Francisco’s W Hotel. Recode: “The line between work and play is blurry in the tech world. And as more young people flood into the city for work and look for friends, networking events have become a new sort of party circuit, one that mixes the trending startup lingo (‘iterate,’ ‘game change,’ ted talks) with more traditional fare (booze, games). The team behind the Startup and Tech Mixer events think the demand for raucous and potentially career-building events is huge.”

2. BLONDIE REFUSES GIG IN SOCHI: Booking entertainers to perform at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, has been difficult, with the band Blondie revealing via Twitter that it rejected an invitation to perform as a protest against Russia’s antigay laws. The Hollywood Reporter: “The offer was to perform a 45-minute set for a 25,000-person crowd at one of the Olympics' main venues, Sochi Medals Plaza. The Russian media reported that Blondie's slot is to be taken by the Latvian band Brainstorm and Russian singer Diana Arbenina.”

3. THE UGLY SIDE OF FASHION WEEK: While a fashion show means models strut down the runway, a lower-cost fashion presentation has models posing for an hour in a reception room where guests can view the clothes at their leisure. Gawker takes a minute-by-minute look at designer Erin Fetherston’s presentation as models profusely sweat, teeter in four-inch heels, and avert fainting with the help of a single Jolly Rancher candy. “Arms that previously hung loose are now propped on hips. Legs are crossed. Elbows are bent so that hands may be brought up to rest delicately against delicate faces.”


AUSTIN:  The Arts for Autism Gala, held February 1 at the Tower Club, raised more than $60,000, a record for the organization. The 200-person event featured a fashion show with more than 35 models.

BOSTON:  A new app allows runners all over the world to feel connected to the 2014 Boston Marathon. Users can set fitness goals before the April event, post photos, share running mileage, and connect with other amateur athletes. Fox19:

The National Golf Expo is February 28-March 2 at the Seaport World Trade Center.

CHICAGO:  Donna Iacobazzi Pecci is the new executive director of Revel Global Events.

LAS VEGAS:  Golden Gate Hotel & Casino will host World Fighting Championships’s “Downtown Beatdown” March 23, a competition for amateur mixed martial arts fighters.

LOS ANGELES:  The Hollywood Reporter: “Stars arriving at Monday's Oscar nominees luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel were greeted by loud protests and picketing by members of the Service Employees International Union, which is challenging the Oscars' security firm.”

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Miami Dade College is hosting a new fund-raiser, Paper Hearts, February 13 in the Freedom Tower for its new Museum of Art & Design. DJ Hotpants will play hits and indie classics and the dance duo Afrobeta will perform live. The gallerist Bernice Steinbaum curated more than 50 works from local artists to auction at the event.

NEW YORK:  Slake, a new music venue and nightclub, is opening this weekend at 251 West 30th Street from the founders of Webster Hall. The venue has four rooms spread over three levels and has a total capacity of 1,000. Partial buyouts are available for smaller groups.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food is now open at Univeral CityWalk. The restaurant serves dinner nightly and is part of an expansion project underway at the dining and entertainment complex.

TAMPA:  Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo will open Sea Lion Splash, a limited exhibit from March 1-May 31 featuring coastal sea lions performing daily splash shows.

TORONTO:  The city could host a new Open Streets festival this summer. The event would close off major streets such as Bloor and Yonge, and would focus on physical activities and community bonding. BlogTO:

WASHINGTON:  The British Embassy hosted a party to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles's visit to Washington. The event included a tribute band and guests in era-appropriate clothing. Washington Post:

The 59th annual Corcoran Ball on April 25 announced Capricia Penavic Marshall as its honoree. Marshall served as the United States chief of protocol from 2009-2013.

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

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