February 27, 2018: Music Festivals Pledge to Fight Gender Inequality, How Brands Are Partnering With Live Nation to Reach Millennials Through Live Events, Oscars Stage to Feature 45 Million Swarovski Crystals

By Ian Zelaya February 27, 2018, 8:48 AM EST

1. MUSIC FESTIVALS PLEDGE TO FIGHT GENDER INEQUALITY: Forty-five music festivals and conferences across the globe have pledged to reach a 50/50 gender balance in their artist lineups by 2020. Billboard: “The initiative is being led by PRS Foundation's Keychange scheme, which launched last year to with the aim of improving gender equality across the industry. Ambassadors include Garbage singer Shirley Manson, record producer Tony Visconti and Spanish indie-rock band Hinds.   Among the 45 festivals and events that have signed up to the 50/50 programme is by:Larm (Norway), Canadian Music Week (Canada), Eurosonic Noorderslag (Netherlands), BBC Music Introducing Stages (U.K.), Liverpool International Music Festival (England), North By North East (Canada), NYC Winter Jazzfest (USA) and Oslo World (Norway). … ‘The Keychange network of female artists and industry professionals and the festival partners' idea of establishing a collective pledge will significantly accelerate change. I hope that this will be the start of a more balanced industry which will result in benefits for everyone,’ said PRS Foundation CEO Vanessa Reed in a statement. Those sentiments were echoed by Keychange's festival partners, with Alex Schulz from Germany's Reeperbahn Festival admitting its ‘festival stages aren't as balanced as we would like them to be. Welcoming the initiative, Schulz said that Keychange was ‘promoting a shift that will ultimately be good for our festivals and good for the industry as a whole.’”

2. HOW BRANDS ARE PARTNERING WITH LIVE NATION TO REACH MILLENNIALS THROUGH LIVE EVENTS: In the past few years, ticket sales company Live Nation has become a go-to place for brands seeking to reach young people through live experiences. Adweek: Last year, Live Nation moved over 530 million tickets, and with those sales came a ton of data about music fans of all ages. Live Nation is now using that data to help brands (from Pepsi to State Farm) connect with millennial and Gen Z music lovers at a place where tons of brands want to be: live events and music festivals. ‘If you look at the business 10 years ago, brands were interested in simple things [like] entertaining. They were doing a lot of sports sponsorships,’ Russell Wallach, president of media and sponsorship at Live Nation, said. ‘In the last four or five years, brands have realized that the absolute best place to reach Gen Z and millennial consumers is at live events.’ According to research from Live Nation’s ‘Love for Live’ study, 99 percent of Gen Z and millenials said live music is important to them, while 62 percent said they absolutely can’t live without it. In the last five years, 92 percent said their attendance at music festivals has increased, with most fans saying they attend two or three festivals a year on average. With that in mind, it makes sense that brands would want to find ways to connect with fans on the ground at these festivals and live experiences. This past year, at music festival Lollapalooza, Live Nation helped Pepsi create the Pepsi Zero chill house aimed at elevating the fan experience. With Live Nation’s help, Pepsi brought in a number of artists playing the festival for fans to meet. There were also opportunities for fans to score backstage passes.”

3. OSCARS STAGE TO FEATURE 45 MILLION SWAROVSKI CRYSTALS: With the Oscars reaching a 90th anniversary milestone on Sunday, scenic designer Derek McLane, who's designing the stage for the sixth consecutive year, has incorporated new elements to dazzle the audience—including 45 million Swarovski crystals. Architectural Digest: “Rather than focusing on a historic design movement, like he did for last year’s Art Deco–themed stage, McLane went for a more abstract look this year. 'It's more about reflectivity and light, than it is about a particular period,' he notes. And while there are certain designs that reflect the past, there’s also a sense of the future: 'I think that what I've done feels pretty modern and forward-looking.' The proscenium, which is the arch surrounding the stage in front of the curtain, is a brand-new design this year—and perhaps McLane’s favorite element of the show. 'It feels a little bit like a geode, or a kind of sculpture made out of crushed glass,' he says. When producers Mike De Luca and Jennifer Todd asked the designer to do the show again this year, the proscenium was the first design he conceived. The end result is this dazzling faceted piece decorated with a staggering 45 million Swarovski crystals. (For comparison, last year’s proscenium only had 27,120 crystals.) He then expanded upon the crystalline structure for the other pieces on the stage you see here, flattening them into more abstracted, two-dimensional forms that have a bit of an Art Deco flair to them."


BOSTON:  Loews Boston Hotel has appointed Brooke Lester catering sales manager. 

CHICAGO:  A Recipe for Relief: A Culinary Event to Benefit Hurricane Survivors will take place March 14 at the Lakewood. The event, which will support restaurants, hospitality, and tourism in Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane Maria, will have stations from a number of local restaurants. 

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN:  The 11th annual Converters Expo, an event for the paper, plastic, and nonwoven packaging and converting industry, will take place April 17-18 at the Lambeau Field Atrium. 

LAS VEGAS:  China Tang, the first U.S. restaurant from Hong Kong-based Lai Sun Group, is now open at the MGM Grand. The Chinese restaurant seats 232 guests. 

LOS ANGELES:  The Planned Parenthood Los Angeles Food Fare will take place Thursday at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. The benefit will offer tastings from more than 100 restaurants, caterers, and wineries. 

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants announced the appointment of Awet Sium as general manager of Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa and Mohan Koka as general manager of Kimpton Surfcomber Miami, South Beach.

NEW YORK:  Kimpton Ink48 Hotel has appointed Nick Ivezaj general manager. 

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

TORONTO:  This year’s Spring Flower Show will run February 25-April 17 at Allan Gradens Park and Conservatory. 

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

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