February 12, 2016: What a Marriage Proposal Planner’s Life Is Like at Valentine’s Day, Inside Kanye’s Fashion and Music Spectacle, 'Billboard' and Instagram Partnership to Give Inside Access to Grammys

By Beth Kormanik February 12, 2016, 8:45 AM EST

1. WHAT A MARRIAGE PROPOSAL PLANNER’S LIFE IS LIKE AT VALENTINE’S DAY: Part event planner, part therapist, Ash Fox’s job as a professional proposal planner heats up around Valentine’s Day. This Valentine’s Day weekend she has 10 proposals scheduled in New York, each orchestrated to “maximize romance and minimize any awkwardness.” Racked: “To date, she estimates she's planned close to 1,000 proposals, all in the New York City area. (Shockingly, while a few proposals have been cancelled altogether, Fox says none of her clients have received a no.) Name an iconic or semi-romantic spot in the five boroughs, and Fox has orchestrated an engagement there. She's photographed dozens of couples in Times Square — on four separate occasions, she was also charged with renting out a billboard that would ask the big question — dozens more on rooftop bars and waterfronts across the city, one on a private yacht, another in a castle in Tarrytown, and, a personal favorite, a proposal in the Nomad hotel bar The Library.”

2. INSIDE KANYE’S FASHION AND MUSIC SPECTACLE: Did anyone really know what to expect from Kanye West’s big event Wednesday staged at Madison Square Garden and broadcast to theaters nationwide? Music fans knew they would hear his knew album, and fashion fans would see his new Yeezy 3 line. But the event also featured celebrity cameos, a big entrance by his wife’s famous family, and an announcement for his new video game. It was an overstuffed, yet hugely buzzed-about spectacle. “As a concert event, it was sort of lacking. Instead of watching West perform his songs, he pressed 'play' and danced along, occasionally offering some insight. But West’s actual concerts are often as notable for his rants/sermons/soliloquies as they are for the musical performances. So Kanye fans still got a bit of what they love about him. But it certainly seemed to flip the script on what a fashion show usually does (full disclosure: I’ve never been to one). Instead of models prancing down a runway, the models (or 'extras') stood still as statues, with cameras circulating through them so fans could get a look at West’s 'season 3' offerings. As a bonus, the musical backing was West’s hotly anticipated album.”

3. 'BILLBOARD' AND INSTAGRAM PARTNERSHIP TO GIVE INSIDE ACCESS TO GRAMMYS: The job of award season producers is hardly limited to the event itself. They have to devise a plan not only for the award ceremony itself, but also for how the event will look on social media. Toward that goal, Billboard, the Recording Academy, and Instagram announced a partnership to share video and photos from the Grammy awards as well as the pre-ceremony events and after-parties. Billboard: “Music events come to life on Instagram, with socially connected audiences and artists both turning to the platform for a collective visual experience,” said Lauren Wirtzer Seawood, head of music partnerships at Instagram.


ATLANTA:  The Shaky Beats Festival will take place May 20-22 at Centennial Olympic Park. Artists slated to perform include Major Lazer, Odesza, Nas, and Chromeo.

AUSTIN:  The Fusebox Festival will take place April 6-10 at various venues throughout the city. The event focuses on film, music, theater, dance, literature, visual, and culinary arts.

BOSTON:  Packed PB&J—a pop-up devoted to peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches—will debut at Hojoko on February 16. The concept may pop up again in March. Eater:

CHICAGO:  Local florist Flowers for Dreams has hired refugees to assist with its Valentine’s Day rush. Chicagoist:

LAS VEGAS:  The Fremont Street Experience Board has named Cannery Casino & Hotel vice president and general manager Patrick Hughes as the new president and C.E.O. of Fremont Street Experience.

LOS ANGELES:  Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation Laguna Beach is slated for May 15 at Montage Laguna Beach.

Local event listings from the new Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The second Delray Beach Bacon & Bourbon Fest will take place March 18-19 in downtown Delray. New this year is a speakeasy-like private lounge, the Bourbon Library, which will feature hourly releases of rare bourbons.

NEW YORK:  Pop culture convention planners ReedPop will no longer put on their secondary two-day comic book festival, Special Edition: NYC, because the company plans to devote all of its resources into expanding New York Comic Con—which is slated for October 6-9 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center—into a citywide event.

The New York City Children's Theater's 2016 benefit gala will take place April 11 at Manhattan Penthouse. The event will celebrate the company's 20th anniversary and honor its artistic director and founder, Barbara Zinn Krieger.

Amfar's 18th annual New York Gala on Wednesday raised more than $2 million for the organization’s AIDS research programs.

Gansevoort Hotel Group has appointed Gemma Keating as corporate director of sales for the hotel company's entire portfolio.

Local event listings from the new Masterplanner:

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Osprey Tavern will host the first Ramen Rumble March 7. The event is a tasting competition of ramen prepared by chefs Greg Richie, Chau Trinh, and Austin Boyd. The winning chef will decide which charity receives the proceeds.

PHILADELPHIA:  The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts will take place April 8-23. The event will feature more than 50 events, a street fair on Broad Street, and an interactive plaza installation at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

PHOENIX:  Muhammad Ali's 22nd annual Celebrity Fight Night will take place April 9 at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. Reba McEntire will serve as M.C., and the event will feature performances by Carrie Underwood and Brooks and Dunn.

SAN FRANCISCO:  Dominique Crenn’s new restaurant, Antoinette, is now open in the Claremont Club & Spa in Berkley. The venue is inspired by a French brasserie.

TAMPA:  The Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival will take place weekends from March 5-April 24, offering samples of food, wines, craft brews, and cocktails, plus entertainment from Andy Grammer, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the All-American Rejects, and others.

TORONTO:  Thompson Hotel has renovated its Lobby Bar. The revamped bar has a new design and a new sound system.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Food Tank’s second annual summit will take place April 20-21 at American University. The event will bring together various sectors of the food industry, including business, government, nonprofit groups, farmers’ organizations, unions, chefs, and more.

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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, Anna Sekula, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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