July 31, 2017: Disastrous Pokémon Go Fest Results in Class-Action Lawsuit, MTV to Make V.M.A. Moonman Gender Neutral, Thousands Evacuated at Barcelona Music Festival During Massive Fire

By Ian Zelaya July 31, 2017, 8:41 AM EDT

1. DISASTROUS POKEMON GO FEST RESULTS IN CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT: Niantic, the company that created the massively popular augmented-reality Pokémon Go game last year, has been hit with a class-action lawsuit after its disastrous anniversary event on July 22. Ars Technica: “The main thing that many festival-goers found—instead of make-believe characters in the game—was themselves standing in huge lines and without Internet at a 20,000-person party to celebrate the augmented reality game's first year in operation. Things were so bad that many fans couldn't even log into the game because of server problems and overloaded cell towers at the Grant Park festival. The tickets had a face value of $20, but sold for much more on the secondary market because of high demand. ... As a result of these blunders, Niantic finds itself as a defendant in a proposed class-action lawsuit (PDF) over the scarred festival. The lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, seeks unspecified damages and alleges that the festival didn't live up to Niantic's hype. The case was brought by a California man who traveled to Chicago for the event, and it seeks to represent other aggrieved festival-goers. 'Fest attendees, many of whom like Plaintiff traveled to Chicago from other states or countries, had the reasonable expectation of arriving at Grant Park for a day of capturing rare 3D monsters with their friends, families, and other so-called Pokemon Go 'Trainers,' but the reality of the Fest fell flat in comparison to Defendant's promises,' the suit said. 'Upon reaching Grant Park, Fest attendees encountered a 'three-mile line' and an unplayable Game.'"

2. MTV TO MAKE V.M.A. MOONMAN GENDER NEUTRAL: In a recent interview, MTV president Chris McCarthy revealed that the network would be bringing its live afternoon show Total Request Live back to Times Square—and that the upcoming Video Music Awards will no longer hand out a “Moonman” as an award, but rather a “Moon Person.” The New York Times: “There have been many strategic shifts at the network in the last five years: heavy investments in scripted programming, a hiring spree for MTV News, and a seemingly endless stream of dark and dreary reality series. When Mr. McCarthy came aboard, he quickly killed more than 100 projects in development. 'MTV at its best—whether it’s news, whether it’s a show, whether it’s a docu-series—is about amplifying young people’s voices,' he said. 'We put young people on the screen, and we let the world hear their voices. We shouldn’t be writing 6,000-word articles on telling people how to feel.' Mr. McCarthy also incorporated TV into the annual movie awards and made the acting categories gender neutral. Likewise, when the Video Music Awards are handed out next month, winners will walk away with a trophy that will now be called the Moon Person—not the Moonman. 'Why should it be a man?' Mr. McCarthy said. 'It could be a man, it could be a woman, it could be transgender, it could be nonconformist.'”

3. THOUSANDS EVACUATED AT BARCELONA MUSIC FESTIVAL DURING MASSIVE FIRE: More than 22,000 attendees were evacuated during the Tomorrowland electronic music festival near Barcelona on Saturday after a massive fire broke out on stage. Associated Press: “The fire Saturday night consumed the large outdoor stage at the ”Tomorrowland” electronic music festival held at Barcelona's Parc de Can Zam. Twelve firefighting units needed around an hour to extinguish the flames just before midnight. Firefighters said they were investigating the cause. The “Tomorrowland” website published a statement saying the 'stage caught fire due to a technical malfunction.' Barcelona firefighters said there were no serious injuries during the evacuation but the event's private security treated 20 people for minor injuries or anxiety. Video images show the fire starting at the top of a tall temporary structure erected on the stage where a large screen showed a performer signing. The towering flames quickly spread until they engulfed the entire stage."


ATLANTIC CITY:  The New York area chapter of International Association of Exhibitions and Events will host its annual golf tournament Atlantic City Invitational on September 17 at Atlantic City Country Club. The event is sponsored by Meet AC. 

LOS ANGELES:  The Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament will take place August 4-6 at L.A. Live. 

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Miami magazine will host To Live and Dine 2017 on August 23 at the M Building. The event, which will feature tastings from the city’s top eateries, is a tie-in with the publication’s annual feast issue.

NEW YORK:  With the official caterer of the Prospect Park Boathouse still missing, the Prospect Park Alliance has announced it will waive up to $6,000 in fees for weddings slated to take place at the venue this fall. The Cut:

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

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Construction has begun on the 187-room hotel at the new Margaritaville Resort Orlando. It's slated to open in late 2018. The resort will also have 30,000 square feet of event space, 200,000 square feet of retail space, a dining and entertainment district, 1,000 vacation homes, and 300 timeshare units. 

TORONTO:  The Ward's Island Fire Parade will take place August 4. The event will have fire artistry and sculpture, shadow-puppet performances, stilt and flag choreography, and more. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Laurene Powell Jobs's organization Emerson Collective has agreed to acquire a majority stake in The Atlantic magazine. The New York Times:

YOUR NEWS: What are you doing? Tell us:

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, Rayna Katz, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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