January 12, 2017: Petition Asks Coachella Headliners to Donate to Pro-L.G.B.T. Organizations, Virtual-Reality Company NextVR Seeks to Launch Paid Live Events, Inauguration Planner Promises Atmosphere of 'Soft Sensuality'

By Ian Zelaya January 12, 2017, 8:38 AM EST

1. PETITION ASKS COACHELLA HEADLINERS TO DONATE TO PRO-L.G.B.T. ORGANIZATIONS: A petition is asking Coachella headliners Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, and Radiohead to donate proceeds from their sets to pro-L.G.B.T. organizations. The petition is in response to the news that the festival’s owner, Phil Anschutz, has donated money to anti-L.G.B.T. groups. Billboard: “The Care2 petition follows the widespread revelation that the founder of Coachella producer Goldenvoice's parent company Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), Phil Anschutz, has donated significant money to groups supporting anti-LGBTQ and climate denying agendas. At time of publishing, the petition had received more than 4,400 supporters. ‘As a transgender woman and advocate for the LGBTQ community, my genuine hope is that these artists can turn a bad situation into a positive one,’ says Care2 LGBTQ issues advocate Sarah Rose. ‘’Im a diehard music fan and a musician myself, and I strongly believe that music shouldn't be used as a means to discriminate.’ Earlier this month when Coachella announced its lineup, a flurry of controversial articles about Anschutz followed tying him to anti-LGBTQ and climate denying groups over the years. Anschutz responded with a statement claiming he withdrew support for any anti-LGBTQ groups once he became aware of their discriminatory agendas (information that is largely impossible to verify without him releasing the pertinent documents).”

2. VIRTUAL-REALITY COMPANY NEXTVR SEEKS TO LAUNCH PAID LIVE EVENTS: Virtual-reality streaming service NextVR is slated to debut paid live events and more subscription content. Co-founder Dave Cole revealed the companies plans at C.E.S. Variety: “NextVR is best known for live sports streams, and struck a deal with the NBA in October to deliver at least one NBA game per week to NBA League Pass subscribers. Cole declined to comment on viewership numbers, but said that interest in the service has increased significantly in recent weeks, with many more users exploring virtual reality after getting their hands on a headset during the holidays. 'We’ve seen app installations go through the roof,' he said. NextVR isn’t ready to announce any pay-per-view partnership deals just yet, but Cole said that concerts could be a natural fit, perhaps as a way for consumers to get access to an event after they weren’t able to buy a ticket and attend it in person. NextVR struck a deal with Live Nation last May to stream hundreds of concerts in virtual reality. In December, NextVR streamed a Thievery Corporation concert live from Atlanta, Ga.”

3. INAUGURATION PLANNER PROMISES ATMOSPHERE OF 'SOFT SENSUALITY': Presidential inauguration planner Tom Barrack says the main celebrity at the January 20 event will be President-elect Donald Trump, and that the event will swap traditional A-list celebrity appearances for an atmosphere of “soft sensuality.” Associated Press: ”'So what we've done, instead of trying to surround him with what people consider A-listers, is we are going to surround him with the soft sensuality of the place,' Barrack said. 'It's a much more poetic cadence than having a circus-like celebration that's a coronation. It will be beautiful. The cadence of it is going to be, 'Let me get back to work.'' Inauguration organizers have been rebuffed by several celebrities, among them British singers Charlotte Church, who wrote Tuesday on Twitter that while Trump's 'staff have asked me to sing at your inauguration, a simple internet search would show I think you're a tyrant. Bye.' … Barrack, a private equity real estate investor, said Trump has opted to make the inauguration a celebration of everyday Americans and the military. He added that inauguration planners are 'fortunate in that we have the greatest celebrity in the world, which is the president-elect.' Since his election, including on his raucous 'thank you' tour to states that helped deliver him the White House, Trump has made little effort to reach out to those who didn't vote for him. But Barrack said the president-elect wanted his inauguration to be a unifying event.”


BOSTON:  Rafanelli Events has announced three new appointments to its Boston and New York offices. Deborah Farley has been named president; Michelle Mutter has been named managing director; and Jacqui Johnson has been named event director, based in New York. 

CHICAGO:  The 108th edition of the Chicago Auto Show will take place February 11-20 at McCormick Place. Event sponsors include State Farm, Fifth Third Bank, and Shell.

LAS VEGAS:  The 22nd annual Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit will take place August 26-29 at the Wynn Las Vegas. The event is co-hosted by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport.

LOS ANGELES:  The Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board has announced that the city welcomed 47.3 million visitors in 2016, breaking the visitation record for the sixth consecutive year. Last year, the city also became the first in the U.S. to welcome more than 1 million visitors from China.

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  First Serve Miami, an organization that provides youth with affordable tennis programs, will host its eighth annual All-Star Charity Tennis Event on March 21 at the Cliff Drysdale Tennis Center at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami.

NEW YORK:  The sixth edition of New Art Dealers Alliance New York will take place March 2-5 at Skylight Clarkson North. The contemporary art event will feature 100 exhibitors and 36 project spaces.

City of Hope, an independent research and treatment center for life-threatening diseases, will host its spring luncheon on May 8 at the Plaza Hotel.

The fourth annual Clio Sports Awards, which recognize creative excellence in sports marketing and advertising, will take place May 16 at Capitale.

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

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Choza Tequila will be a new outdoor “tequileria” at Epcot's Mexico pavilion serving margaritas, tacos, empanadas, and more.

Kenneth Lawson is the new C.E.O. of Visit Florida, the state's public-private tourism marketing organization.

TORONTO:  The Juno Gala Dinner & Awards will take place April 1 at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa. The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences also announced that the category Aboriginal Album of the Year will be renamed Indigenous Music Album of the Year to acknowledge all First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities in Canada.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Events DC will celebrate the opening of Compass Coffee in the lobby of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on January 12.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin and Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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