January 5, 2015: What to Know About Event Permits at SXSW, Why Olympic Stadiums Should Serve More Than the Olympics, Are Surprise Weddings the Next Trend?

By Beth Kormanik January 5, 2015, 8:22 AM EST

1. WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT EVENT PERMITS AT SXSW: Ahead of this year’s South by Southwest, the city of Austin, Texas's music and entertainment division is trying to educate event planners about its permitting process with an interactive graphic. Austin Business Journal: “The graphic, posted on the division's website, addresses six 'permit myths' surrounding the festival, such as the commonly held belief that a club's maximum capacity automatically increases during SXSW or that free alcohol can be served during an event with no other oversight or regulation. The graphic was commission to help event planners and companies outside of Austin learn about the city's regulations for the popular festival ahead of the crunch of special permit submissions.”

2. WHY OLYMPIC STADIUMS SHOULD SERVE MORE THAN THE OLYMPICS: The physical centerpiece of any Summer Olympics is the stadium, but the cost and architectural demands have created a high-stakes project, particularly in Japan, host to the 2020 Summer Games. The $1.37 billion stadium from architect Zaha Hadid is under intense scrutiny, which includes making sure it has a life after the Olympics rather than becoming a white elephant like its counterparts in Montreal and Athens. The New York Times: “One success story is the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which has twice served as an Olympics arena—in 1932 and 1984—and continues to be used for college football and other events. Olympics officials are emphasizing permanent use in evaluating possible sites for the 2024 Summer Olympics. … In Tokyo, the Sport Council has unveiled an elaborate post-Olympics plan for the new 80,000-seat stadium that includes sports, cultural and civic events.”

3. WILL SURPRISE WEDDINGS BE THE NEXT TREND?: Some daring—and confident—grooms are trying to pull off a new type of wedding: the surprise wedding. Brides-to-be are invited to an event that they don’t realize is their own wedding until they arrive. The affairs may seem spontaneous, but months of planning can still go into making the wedding just as special as if the bride were planning it herself. Toronto Star: Event Designer Bronson van Wyck “likens it to a person getting on stage at Madison Square Garden and proposing in front of a packed arena. ‘It’s so fascinating to watch because it is dangerous,’ he says, musing that the person being surprised could be really unhappy.”


LAS VEGAS:  In a trend report highlighting predictions for the new year in Las Vegas, Delano general manager Matthew Chilton noted a growing demand for casual and flexible social spaces, driving the redesign of casinos' common areas into distinct social hubs. See the full report:

LOS ANGELES:  Just in time for the new year, the scaffolding has come down on the exterior of the Broad museum on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, ahead of the planned fall opening. The exterior veil is a structural exoskeleton comprising 2,500 fiberglass reinforced concrete panels and 650 tons of steel. At the center of the Grand Avenue side is the architectural feature known as β€œthe oculus,” an indentation of the veil into the building.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Filmgate Interactive, a transmedia conference, returns to Miami for its third year February 1-8.

NEW YORK:  After 2,000 pounds of confetti and one million people crowd Times Square on New Year’s Eve, here’s how it gets cleaned up. Mashable: “The 178 workers use 26 mechanical brooms, 25 trucks, 38 leaf blowers and other assorted equipment to clean up the mess made ringing in the new year, according to the City of New York Department of Sanitation.”

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  Hyatt Regency Orlando's Napa restaurant is now named Urban Tide, and it will be rolling out a new seafood-centric menu in the coming weeks. Urban Tide will also offer a beverage menu that gives guests the choice between classic cocktails and the restaurant's current take on those familiar drinks.

TORONTO:  Art Gallery of Ontario restarts its First Thursdays series on February 5 to mark the opening of the exhibit β€œJean-Michel Basquiat: Now’s the Time,” which opens two days later. The evening will include interactive installations, a panel discussion, and live performances, including one by DJ Grandmaster Flash.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The first Lincoln Awards, which honor people who support veterans and military families, are Wednesday at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. NBC’s Brian Williams will host the event.

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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, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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