This Week in Los Angeles: the Clippers Buy the Forum for $400 Million, Plus Virtual Dance Parties From DJ D-Nice and Insomniac Events
West Coast editor Claire Hoffman covers the week's biggest event news.
LOS ANGELES—Welcome to BizBash’s Los Angeles-based column, where West Coast editor Claire Hoffman covers the week’s biggest local news. Got a tip? Get in touch!
In Case You Missed It
This week on bizbash.com, Austin Johnson—C.E.O. of Anaheim-based production firm AKJohnston Group—argued that face-to-face events will be more powerful than ever in a post-coronavirus world. "The fundamentals behind gathering, touching, exploring, and playing aren’t going anywhere soon—and neither is the live events industry," he said. Read his full guest column here.
For more on how COVID-19 is affecting the event industry—plus tips for virtual happy hours, online team building, and finding creative inspiration from home—head to bizbash.com/coronavirus.
In the News
The Clippers have purchased the historic Forum arena in Inglewood for $400 million. Los Angeles Magazine: "[Previous owners] Madison Square Garden Co. had been embroiled in litigation with the Clippers over plans to build a new, privately funded arena for the N.B.A. team to play elsewhere in Inglewood. As part of the purchase deal, that litigation will be dropped. Under the new ownership, the Forum will continue to host concerts and live events. All current staff are expected to be offered the opportunity to continue to perform their jobs once facilities reopen after the current pandemic wanes."
On March 19, California's Alcoholic Beverage Control department made it easier for restaurants to sell beer, wine, and cocktails for pick-up and delivery. Eater: "What’s required under the new rules is a current ABC license and containers with a secure lid or cap for the alcohol. Alcohol also must be sold with food, all from the same establishment. ... This shift is a potential beacon of relief for restaurants with an ABC license. Alcohol sales can comprise up to 30 percent of restaurant revenue.
A number of people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 after attending Rancho Palos Verdes mayor Susan Brooks's 70th birthday party, held at the Trump National Golf Club on March 8. Eater: "Brooks, who has since tested positive for COVID-19, [says] that she cautioned eventgoers to stay home if they felt sick in any way, and advised in a message to attendees that they keep a respectful distance throughout the event. The group included a variety of mostly older people from around Rancho Palos Verdes, including current Fourth District county supervisor Janice Hahn, who is now self-quarantining at her home."
On the Scene
On March 21, Los Angeles-based producer, rapper, and celebrity DJ D-Nice hosted a nine-hour (yes, you read that right) virtual dance party on Instagram Live. The "#ClubQuarantine" event drew more than 100,000 people, including Michelle Obama, Rihanna, Mark Zuckerberg, Joe Biden, and Elizabeth Warren. D-Nice plans to host additional virtual events, including last night's "couch party" that encouraged watchers to register to vote; he also recently teamed up with Spotify to launch the "Homeschool" playlist.
Last week, the Los Angeles Convention Center and caterer Levy Restaurants teamed up with nonprofit Musically Fed to donate and distribute 4,000 pounds of food from canceled events. Donations went to the Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, which benefits students and their families in grades 6 through 12.
The L.A. Tourism & Convention Board has compiled a list of nonprofits, pro sports teams, Hollywood studios, and other organizations helping Los Angeles residents in need. Find the full list here.
Downtown restaurant Redbird has established an employee relief fund, where 100 percent of gift card sales through the end of the month will help financially support its staff.
Moves & Milestones
A group of industry pros, including local producer Alexandra Rembac of Sterling Engagements, has formed a new national coalition of event and entertainment businesses. The Live Events Coalition is calling on the Trump Administration and Congress to establish a special task force to rescue the industry. Learn more at liveeventscoalition.com.
The 48th annual Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show is slated to take place this fall. The event will feature more than 34,000 handmade creations from hundreds of exhibitors, plus live entertainment, an area for kids, contests, and more. It takes place October 2 to 4 in Ventura, October 9 to 11 in Del Mar, October 16 to 18 in Costa Mesa, and December 4 to 6 in Pomona.