June 7, 2018: E3 Welcomes More Consumers and Expands Venues, 'Variety' Magazine Apologizes For Event That Lacked Women, Chicago Taco Festival Might Be a Scam

By Ian Zelaya June 7, 2018, 8:35 AM EDT

1. E3 WELCOMES MORE CONSUMERS AND EXPANDS VENUES: One year after opening its event to the public, video game industry conference E3 is continuing to welcome consumers—and expand its Los Angeles presence. This year’s event takes place June 12-14, and will offer 15,000 of its 65,000 tickets to the public. Variety: “The show is also no longer confined to the Convention Center: E3-related events will take place at a host of venues, from nearby L.A. Live to the Hollywood Palladium. The pivot from exclusively insider to open to the public, show director Dan Hewitt said, is one driven as much by the industry as it is by the fans of gaming and the media covering it. ‘There has been a shift in how news is produced, delivered and consumed,’ he said. ‘If we were running the same trade show we ran 10 years ago, we wouldn’t see the energy and excitement we see today.’ Phil Spencer, executive vice president of gaming for Microsoft, says the evolution of the show has turned the event into a ‘key moment for fans and major announcements for the year.’ Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé noted that fan involvement is what makes E3 special. ‘The business deals will always get done and the press will always get their news,’ Fils-Aimé said, ‘but it’s most rewarding to see the pure joy on the face of Nintendo fans when they walk into our booth for the first time.’ In broadening the show, E3 has created a stand-alone event at L.A. Live in which Hollywood luminaries share the stage with video-game developers to discuss a variety of topics. This year’s guests include actor-producers Jack Black and Elijah Wood and director Joe Russo.”

2. 'VARIETY' MAGAZINE APOLOGIZES FOR EVENT THAT LACKED WOMEN: Variety has apologized after receiving backlash for planning a Hollywood writer showcase that featured only one woman on the panel. CNN: “’A Night in the Writers' Room’ is set to happen June 14 and will feature back-to-back panels with writers from TV comedies and dramas. Those listed as panelists include Joel Fields from ‘The Americans,’ Stephen Glover from ‘Atlanta,’ Matthew B. Roberts of ‘Outlander’ and film director Judd Apatow in his capacity as showrunner for the TV series, ‘Crashing.’ Soon after invites for the event went out, some took to Twitter to complain that there is only one woman listed as a panelist—‘Mom’ co-creator, Gemma Baker. … ‘If any female showrunners want to do a panel on Thursday night, I will moderate and organize,’ ‘The Post’ screenwriter Liz Hannah wrote in a tweet. This led to an offer of help from the Writers Guild Foundation and an ‘I'm in’ from ‘Grey's Anatomy’ showrunner, Krista Vernnoff. In response, Variety posted an apology on Twitter Tuesday. ‘On behalf of Variety, we apologize for the egregious oversight regarding the lack of female writers participating in our upcoming A Night in the Writers' Room event,’ the tweet read. ‘We hear you loud and clear, and are currently working on rectifying our mistake.’”

3. CHICAGO TACO FESTIVAL MIGHT BE A SCAM: A taco festival in Chicago is slated to take place on Saturday—but while tickets are still on sale, the event might not be real. Chicago Tribune: “Only a few days before Taco Fest Chicago is supposed to occur, no exact location has been revealed (just 'Randolph Street Chicago,' according to the event’s Facebook page), and no vendors have been announced. Mary May, who handles public relations for the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for Chicago, confirmed that the department has received no application for a festival by that name. The event was created by Fanoomies Entertainment, which lists an address in Hawaiian Gardens, Calif. The Facebook page for the event claims over 1,000 people have already signed up to go. That includes Jermaine Pigee, an editor at Northwest Quarterly Magazine in Rockford, Ill., who planned to attend with his wife and sister-in-law. He was initially concerned about Fanoomies' website. 'The website was pretty vague,' says Pigee. 'So I emailed a bunch of questions, like how many tacos we could eat and what kind of beverages were available.' To his surprise, someone responded quickly, answering most of his questions. He decided to purchase three tickets May 22 for $25 apiece. That's when the communication stopped. He's emailed multiple times since then, but no one has replied in the two weeks since. The Tribune also attempted to contact Fanoomies by email, but we have not received a response. This isn't the first time that a questionable festival has been promoted by Fanoomies. The company recently promoted a sushi festival in Sacramento, Calif., which The Sacramento Bee reported May 31 might also be fake. Though Fanoomies claimed the event was taking place at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento, the hotel denied that the event was planned. The newspaper also confirmed that Fanoomies was 'not registered as a corporation or LP/LLC with the California Secretary of State' and that the company's address (12528 Arliene Drive, Hawaiian Gardens, Calif.) didn't exist."


Meeting Professionals International (MPI) announced new initiatives at its World Education Conference, which ended June 5 in Indianapolis. MPI will collaborate with New York University’s School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality to conduct a research study that will examine tactics that could make all attendees at meetings and conferences feel welcome through inclusive event design. MPI will also publish a new report on meeting planning safety and security by the end of June. The association plans to develop education, research reports, and case studies based on that report’s recommended practices later this year and in 2019. 


CHICAGO:  The seventh edition of Expo Chicago, the International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, will take place September 27-30 at Navy Pier. The event will feature 135 galleries from 27 countries and 63 cities, representing more than 3,000 artists. 

DENVER:  The Great American Beer Festival will take place September 20-22 at the Colorado Convention Center. Jameson Irish Whiskey will be the event’s first spirits sponsor and will feature limited-edition Jameson barrel-aged beer from 17 brewery partners. 

LOS ANGELES:  The annual Game Awards, which honor gaming and esports from the past year, will take place December 6. The event will stream live from the Microsoft Theater. 

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

NEW YORK:  Bruce Springsteen will perform live at the 72nd annual Tony Awards, which take place Sunday at Radio City Music Hall. Springsteen will also receive a special award for his Springsteen on Broadway concert residency at the Walter Kerr Theatre. 

Bar and beverage industry trade show Bar Convent Brooklyn will take place June 12-13 at the Brooklyn Expo Center. 

“Stand Up & Sing for the Arts! A Night of Comedy and Song” will take place June 19 at Lincoln Center. Presented by Lincoln Center Corporate Fund and Netflix, the event will feature sets by Michael Che, Michelle Wolf, and Demetri Martin, plus a performance by actress and singer Patina Miller.

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Poca Madre, a Mexican restaurant from chef and restaurateur Victor Albisu, will open June 19 next to Albisu’s Taco Bamba in Chinatown. The restaurant will seat 68 in the dining room, six at a bar, and 28 in a seasonal outdoor cocktail lounge. 

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

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