July 11, 2018: New San Francisco Music Festival Sparks Concern Ahead of Debut, Beverage Industry Professionals Are Holding Women-Only Wine Tastings, Why the Detroit Auto Show Might Switch Seasons

By Ian Zelaya July 11, 2018, 8:38 AM EDT


1. NEW SAN FRANCISCO MUSIC FESTIVAL SPARKS CONCERN AHEAD OF DEBUT: XO Festival, a new music festival slated to take place in San Francisco this weekend, is already causing controversy. Prospective attendees are worried the event will be a disaster, as multiple artists have dropped out and sponsors have claimed fraud. San Francisco Chronicle: “The festival website promises more than 100 music acts performing across three stages—down from eight stages initially announced—at the site, formerly the county fairgrounds, with headliners including the rappers Ludacris, T.I. and the Bay Area’s own Mistah F.A.B. With three-day ticket packages ranging in price from $375 to $2,495, it also advertises aerialists, carnival rides, a silent disco, comedy and culinary stages, plus appearances by the cast of 'Jersey Shore'— all in an 'ultra VIP' setting. But when The Chronicle reached out to many of the performers who are slated to perform, few were willing to confirm their involvement with the festival. The Canadian reggae-pop band Magic! dropped off the bill in June without commenting; while a representative for Vanilla Ice said, 'We are requesting full payment for Vanilla Ice before he gets on a plane.' Bob Rosenberg of the band Will to Power, which pulled out of the lineup after the promoters failed to send contracts and deposits, said in a Facebook post, 'I saw red flags when my tour manager first told me about it … The only info I could find on the internet was the XO website which sounded like Fyre Fest.' ... Representatives from XO Festival did not offer further details, and organizers have not returned calls and emails from The Chronicle for comment. Carmen Electra, who was initially billed as the host, was also quietly removed from the lineup, and only four local chefs are slated to appear on the culinary stage." https://bit.ly/2KYZ1zB

2. BEVERAGE INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS ARE HOLDING WOMEN-ONLY WINE TASTINGS: Sexism in the food and beverage industry—and the recent sexual harassment scandals its faced—has led to wine professionals hosting women-only tasting events. The New York Times: “Alexis Percival, one of the beverage directors and a partner at Ruffian Wine Bar, created this women-only wine tasting group in March, after years of frustration with the outright and subtle examples of sexism in her industry. ‘When I was talking to women who I was intimidated by—total rock stars—and they were telling me, ‘I’m so afraid to speak up in a tasting group. I’ve gotten talked over, I’m not listened to, I’m usually right when I look at my notes when the wine is revealed but I’m too afraid to say anything,’ that’s when I was like, ‘If you’re scared, everyone’s going to be scared,’’ Ms. Percival said. For wine professionals, tastings are more than a pastime. They are opportunities to prepare for tests administered by the Court of Master Sommeliers and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, organizations that confer certifications and diplomas. Those designations communicate knowledge of wine and spirits to employers. Out of the 158 people who have earned the title of Master Sommelier in the Americas chapter since the 1980s, 25 have been women. In California, women are the lead winemakers in about 10 percent of the state’s more than 3,700 wineries. … What many have called the ‘toxic masculinity’ of the food and beverage industry has become a rallying cry in the wake of #MeToo. Last year, four major restaurant groups, in New Orleans, New York and Oakland, Calif., were caught in sexual harassment scandals. After the high-profile reports of the groping, lewd comments, unwanted advances and more, women around the country spoke up by the dozen about the daily harassment they encountered while working in restaurants. Now, chefs and restaurateurs are figuring out how to move forward. Women who choose wines for restaurants and direct beverage programs at bars have not been immune to the abuse.” https://nyti.ms/2umCiDg

3. WHY THE DETROIT AUTO SHOW MIGHT SWITCH SEASONS: The Detroit Auto Show usually takes place every January, but the event might move to June in 2020 as organizers look to keep the show relevant—and to make it stand out among its competition. Detroit Free Press: “The move is intended to separate the show from the rush of auto shows around the world every fall through spring, and provide a vibrant new stage to demonstrate new vehicles and technologies like self-driving cars. The world’s leading auto shows are under intense pressure as automakers experiment for new ways to get attention when they unveil vehicles. This year has seen a flood of announcements from automakers saying they will pass on making news at shows in Detroit, Paris and Geneva. High-profile vehicle unveilings are important because they draw visitors to the show from around the country and intense media coverage from around the world. The Detroit show’s organizers have been working on a plan to take the show outdoors, expanding from Cobo Center into the streets and open areas in Detroit’s burgeoning downtown. The ability to offer test drives and demos of unprecedented technologies on the Cobo Center's rooftop parking lot, and possibly in public streets, convinced all parties the show had to move from its traditional slot in January." https://on.freep.com/2JdFhDE

* LOCAL NEWS *

ATLANTA:  Bold Catering & Design has appointed Claudia Aquas director of sales. 

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI:  The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center has completed a $20 million renovation of its 724 guest rooms. The renovation includes new furniture, artwork from Hallmark Original Photography, and a R.F.I.D. key system. 

LAS VEGAS:  The groundbreaking ceremony for Caesars Forum will be live streamed on July 16 at 10 a.m. PST.

LOS ANGELES:  Ellen Schwartz has been promoted to general manager of the Los Angeles Convention Center, and Brad Gessner has been promoted to senior vice president.

Shark Week: 30 Years of Shark ‘N’ Awe! The Exhibit will run July 14-29 at the Paley Center for Media. The  multimedia exhibit, which is free and open to the public, will celebrate the the 30th anniversary of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Mixed-use development Miami Ironside will host Design Decks @ Ironside Concepts July 15. The event, which is billed as an immersive shopping experience, will feature products from independent global designers. Products include Swiss movement timepieces from Wynwood Watch Co.; handmade eyewear from Portland, Oregon, from Shwood Eyewear; and athleisure from Will Lane. 

The Biltmore Hotel Miami will undergo a $25 million renovation, which will include its golf course. The redesign is slated to be completed by December. 

NEW YORK:  The Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation’s ninth annual Unconditional Love Gala will take place at a private waterfront residence in Southampton July 21.

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  The eighth annual Electric Daisy Carnival Orlando will take place November 9-10 at Tinker Field. 

TORONTO:  The inaugural MJBizConIntl, the international edition of B-to-B cannabis trade show MJBizCon, will take place August 14-16 at Metro Toronto Convention Centre. 

Quest Events, a company specializing in rental solutions for the event industry, has opened its first international location in Mississauga. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Humane Rescue Alliance’s 31st annual Bark Ball benefit will take place October 20 at the Washington Hilton. 

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

BizBash Daily is the must-read digest of event industry news from BizBash.com.

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