This Week in Los Angeles: The Grove's Drive-Through Fundraiser, a New Guide to Safe Events, a Pretty Spring Cocktail Idea, and More
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!
Photo: Maya Myers PhotographyIn Case You Missed It
This week, we took a look at drive-through graduation and prom parties designed by a group of Los Angeles event pros. Get inspired by the "elevated take on a car parade," and then learn how the organizers hope to apply the concept to brand activations in the future.
For more on how COVID-19 is affecting the event industry—including smart tips for keeping attendees engaged and case studies of recent virtual events—head to bizbash.com/coronavirus.
Southern California-based experiential marketing company GDX Studios has launched the "GDXtra Care Health and Safety Program," a 147-page manual that details how the team will ensure safe events once coronavirus lockdowns are lifted. The company has spent the last eight weeks consulting with organizations such as the CDC and the WHO to build the guide, which discusses best practices for venue selection, staff training, and other stages of a live event.
“Once in-person events return, it is imperative that we have protocols in place,” said GDX Studios founder Aaron Gaeir in a press release. “We’re making a commitment to all our clients and their attendees that health guidelines are enforced and that safety is top of mind before, during, and after each gathering. Additionally, brands will need to trust their agency that they’ve gone the extra mile to keep their patrons safe." To learn more about GDX's program, click here.
This Saturday, main street at The Grove will be open to cars for the first time in the outdoor shopping center's 18-year history. In addition to music and a fountain show, visitors can enjoy a "drive-through" lunch and dinner experience from Rosewood Miramar Beach executive chef Massimo Falsini; for every meal sold, the company will donate a meal to Para Los Niños, a Skid Row-based nonprofit that supports vulnerable children and families. The one-day event at the Grove aims to raise funds to feed more than 2,500 families.
In more outdoor venue news, this week saw the reopening of Los Angeles County beaches and public trails such as the Rose Bowl Loop. And starting Saturday, Angelenos looking for some fresh air will have another option: the beloved Descanso Gardens. To ensure social distancing, the garden will sell timed tickets and limit its capacity to 30 percent. All indoor spaces and drinking fountains will be closed, and hand-sanitizing stations are being added to the courtyard.
Grab a Drink
Los Angeles-based Cocktail Academy has been using its Instagram to post drink recipes, including this pretty-in-pink spring cocktail made from hibiscus-infused gin, lemon juice, citrus simple syrup, orange flower water, and sparkling water. See the full recipe on Instagram.
In the News
Governor Newsom has released guidelines for the eventual reopening of restaurant dining rooms. Eater: "The guidance notes that restaurants must craft a 'workplace-specific plan' for how to deal with issues like physical distancing, the use of face masks, sanitary procedures, and more. Restaurants are told to 'continue to encourage takeout and delivery service whenever possible,' and bars, nightclubs, distilleries, and other alcohol manufacturers that do not also serve food should remain closed. ... Newsom has long held that 'regional variance' could see different counties take different approaches (and at different times) to reopening the California economy, meaning Orange, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties could return to the 'new normal' sooner than Los Angeles County, with its 10 million-strong population and larger COVID-19 outbreak."
The inaugural Virgin Fest, slated to take place June 6-7 at Banc of California Stadium, has been canceled. USA Today: "[The new festival] with acts such as Lizzo, A$AP Rocky, and Anderson .Paak has pulled the plug for 2020 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, but is planned to return in 2021. ... Virgin Fest was organized to honor the 50th anniversary of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and hoped to attract 30,000 people per day to the event focused on inclusion and diversity."
At least five COVID-19 cases have been traced to a Pasadena birthday party. Los Angeles Times: "The party was held after the city issued stay-at-home orders March 19 and was attended by a large number of extended family members and friends who did not wear face coverings or stay six feet apart, the city said in a news release."
"While textbook large-scale events are not currently possible, you can see that people are seeking meaningful experiences more than ever before. Brands have an opportunity to realign their marketing objectives in order to become the key facilitator in helping audiences around the world enrich their lives through connection and community right now."
—NVE Experience Agency CEO Brett Hyman, chatting with The Hollywood Reporter about the future of events. The publication recently spoke to several Los Angeles-based event companies about how red carpets will change in the age of coronavirus.
Tomorrow night, the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF) will hold a virtual fundraiser to benefit its COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, which provides support for entertainment-industry workers. "We All Play Our Part: A Benefit for MPTF" will be broadcast on the nonprofit's YouTube page, and will be hosted by Yvette Nicole Brown and Tom Bergeron. George Clooney, Jodie Foster, Michael Douglas, Hugh Jackman, Allison Janney, and other A-listers are scheduled to make appearances.
ILEA Los Angeles kicked off an at-home tabletop competition yesterday. Members are encouraged to design a tabletop from items around their homes, then submit a picture by May 17. Winners will be announced at the next ILEA webinar on May 20.