This Week in Los Angeles: Food Boxes for Struggling Event Pros, Plus L.A. Tourism's Resources for Planners, Redbird's Cocktail Kits, and More

West Coast editor Claire Hoffman covers the week's biggest event news.

The Los Angles Tourism & Convention Board has launched a comprehensive resource page for event planners, offering virtual site inspections for more than 35 venues, plus customizable presentation tools and an online venue finder. The site also offers downloadable Zoom backgrounds (pictured) of sunsets over iconic L.A. landmarks, and is live streaming sunsets from the Hotel Erwin every evening. “Our team is harnessing the creativity, innovation, and cutting-edge technology Los Angeles is known for to help planners navigate the unforeseen challenges brought by the pandemic,” said Darren K. Green, the board's senior vice president for sales, in a statement. “Like any producer knows, events—like movies—are one part logistics, one part hard work, and a sprinkling of magic. These tools will help set the stage.”
The Los Angles Tourism & Convention Board has launched a comprehensive resource page for event planners, offering virtual site inspections for more than 35 venues, plus customizable presentation tools and an online venue finder. The site also offers downloadable Zoom backgrounds (pictured) of sunsets over iconic L.A. landmarks, and is live streaming sunsets from the Hotel Erwin every evening.

“Our team is harnessing the creativity, innovation, and cutting-edge technology Los Angeles is known for to help planners navigate the unforeseen challenges brought by the pandemic,” said Darren K. Green, the board's senior vice president for sales, in a statement. “Like any producer knows, events—like movies—are one part logistics, one part hard work, and a sprinkling of magic. These tools will help set the stage.”
Photo: Courtesy of the Los Angles Tourism & Convention Board

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, we explored how top event designers are creating jaw-dropping "quarantine tables" from items around their homes, in a popular Instagram challenge started by Hollywood-based designer Ed Libby.

For more on how COVID-19 is affecting the event industry—including tips for social media and insights into the future of concerts and festivals—head to bizbash.com/coronavirus

Spotlight On
EventLA, a new nonprofit aimed at supporting the event and live entertainment industry, has organized a food bank for industry pros and small businesses affected financially by COVID-19. Those who register and qualify are given weekly time slots to pick up free boxes with groceries and basic supplies (valued at $50); pickups happen at City Market Social House downtown. To keep costs low and to support farmers, EventLA is repurposing food that would otherwise go to waste due to the closure of restaurants and live event venues. The team distributed kits for more than 800 families in the first nine days.

To apply for aid—or to donate or volunteer for the food distribution program—head to eventla.org.


In the News
Comic-Con International has been canceled for the first time in 50 years. Los Angeles Magazine: "Comic-Con said in a statement that the event, which was scheduled to kick off on July 23 for a four-day frenzy of movie and TV megapanels, sneak previews, and a downtown teeming with costumed characters, will return to the San Diego Convention Center from July 22-25, 2021. ... WonderCon Anaheim, which was supposed to have taken place April 10-12, was also scrapped. It is scheduled to return to the Anaheim Convention Center on March 26-28, 2021, organizers said."

The state of California has enlisted a bunch of A-list residents—including Larry David, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Kim Kardashian—for stay-at-home PSAs. The Hollywood Reporter: "An unprecedented global crisis has led to extraordinary celebrity participation in offering public health messaging, with [California Governor Gavin] Newsom's office leading the way by calling on Hollywood constituents essentially in his backyard. For years, stars have been called into action to influence public behavior in one way or another ... but it's typically nonprofits making the requests. Never before have stars showed up en masse in a matter of weeks for a public health crisis and for the office of a governor."

Southern California-based Sunmerry Bakery is now selling a toilet paper-theme cake. Los Angeles Times: "They worked with their head chef, Bruce Dai, to design a toilet paper cake, a nod to the high demand for toilet tissue during the coronavirus outbreak. It’s a four-layer chocolate chiffon spongecake, layered with an Oreo cookie filling and covered with white chocolate. 'It’s so you can send it to a friend to say that you are essential to me and that’s why I got this cake,' [marketing specialist Victoria] Chuang said. 'We just wanted to lighten the mood.'"

Pivot of the Week
Chef Neal Fraser's modern-American eatery Redbird has launched the "Wish You Were Here" happy hour cocktail kit. The kits—which include instructions and materials to make the eatery's Nogoda and Old Dog New Trick cocktails—can serve one to four people and cost $45 per person; they are available through contact-less curbside pick-up. Redbird's Tobin Shea also hosts happy hours on Instagram Live every Friday at 5 p.m. 


Venue Buzz
APL Restaurant in Hollywood has launched a new meal-matching program with the St. Joseph Center in Venice: For every meal ordered for takeout or curbside pickup, the steakhouse will donate the same meal to the nonprofit, which supports homeless families and others in need. 

Local chef Ria Barbosa’s has launched Petite Peso, a new Filipino restaurant downtown. Barbosa and the Peso Hospitality group call it a "soft digital opening" for now, offering takeout and delivery only; hours and menu items are expected to expand once stay-at-home orders are lifted. 

On the Scene
Last weekend, Los Angeles-based festival producer Insomniac hosted a Halloween-theme rave-a-thon. More than 2.4 million viewers tuned in to the two-night event, which featured DJs such as AC Slater, Bonnie x Clyde, Cut Snake, and Dillon Nathaniel. A display of props from the company's Psycho Circus EDM festival created a moody atmosphere at Insomniac's Los Angeles headquarters, where company founder Pasquale Rotella introduced the virtual event. Kendoll By Gabe TianoPhoto: Courtesy of Insomniac

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