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Today In Events: Masks Become Burning Man Accessory Thanks to Air Pollution, Real Estate Owners Invest in Esports Venues to Draw Gamers, Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards Heading to Middle East

1. MASKS BECOME BURNING MAN ACCESSORY THANKS TO AIR POLLUTION: People attending Burning Man in late August will likely experience poor air quality due to windstorms that carry highly alkaline playa sand. In response, many attendees bring reusable masks that are doubling as fashion accessories. Vogmask makes reusable masks that directly target Burning Man attendees, but also address environmental issues. The New York Times: “When Marc Brown attended Burning Man in 2011, he was disappointed that there were ‘no cool-looking, highly efficient filtering face masks’ to be found on the playa, despite the risk of what Burners have termed ‘playa lung,’ an infection caused by the inhalation of alkaline silica dust from the desert. So he and his mother, Wendover Brown, decided to make their own, working with medical design engineers to ensure its efficacy. Since founding Vogmask in 2012, they have seen demand rise, not just in the United States but around the world.” 

2. REAL ESTATE OWNERS INVEST IN ESPORTS VENUES TO DRAW GAMERS: As the esports industry begins to hold more live events, property companies are building stadiums, lounges, and other venues equipped to host video game tournaments to draw the gaming crowd. A subsidiary of Comcast Corp and the Cordish Companies are building a $50 million venue that will host Activision Blizzard Inc.'s Philadelphia Fusion games; and last year in Arlington, Texas, city officials built a $10 million, 100,000-square-foot esports stadium in an existing convention center. The Wall Street Journal: “Not all esports events are profitable, and running an esports stadium has its challenges. Tournament organizers who come from the gaming community but have little professional experience handling logistics for big events could stumble on equipment failures, cost overruns, and schedule delays, gamers and organizers say. Landlords say they also have to figure how to engage gamers who tend to be younger and more tech savvy than property executives. They demand high-speed connectivity, which requires additional processing power, and affordable food and drinks.”

3. NICKELODEON’S KIDS’ CHOICE AWARDS HEADING TO MIDDLE EAST: Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards will head to the Middle East for the first time. The Viacom network is bringing the event to the Middle East under a five-year contract with the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi. The ceremony will take place September 20 along with adjacent Nickelodeon events. The Hollywood Reporter: “Financial details of the partnership were not disclosed. The award show is expected to air in the Middle East and other parts of the world. … Abu Dhabi said it would also launch additional events and activities to run alongside the award ceremony and The World of Nickelodeon, which will take place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre September 19 to 21.”