May 29, 2018: New Midterm Elections Voting Campaign Will Have Election Night End With Free Concerts, See How the Pre-Game Show for Stanley Cup Was Produced, Ken Friedman's Restaurant Empire Begins to Crumble Following Sexual Harassment Allegations

By Ian Zelaya May 29, 2018, 8:37 AM EDT

1. NEW MIDTERM ELECTIONS VOTING CAMPAIGN WILL HAVE ELECTION NIGHT END WITH FREE CONCERTS NATIONWIDE: The #iVoted campaign, a new campaign that's encouraging music fans to vote in the midterm elections November 8, will culminate with free concerts across the U.S. on election night. The campaign was launched by entrepreneur and veteran artist manager Emily White. Billboard: “Through the campaign that is also being supported by Wilco’s Pat Sansone and Madison House’s Mike Luba, fans who show a photo of themselves outside of their local polling place will be granted free entry into a participating concert. The idea came to White after she saw the dismal turnout in some areas in the 2016 presidential election. 'I thought of it when I saw the margin of difference in Wisconsin because that is where I am originally from. I thought, that was a 22,000 difference in votes and that’s an arena. I know how to fill an arena full of people,' White tells Billboard. White adds, 'Initially I wanted to do a Wisconsin takes action concert, but then I thought, why don’t I just take the concept nationally, because then we can have that much more impact and change.' White began reaching out to her industry connections and saw immediate results with promoters who were eager to help. Immediately, Stacie George with Live Nation committed Irving Plaza, The Gramercy Theatre, and Warsaw in New York, while Peter Shapiro added Brooklyn Bowl to the slate. Amy Corbin and Margaret Galton from C3 Presents in Austin quickly added Stubb’s, Emo’s, and Scoot Inn in Texas. Most recently, Los Angeles’ Spaceland Presents joined the campaign with all three of their venues The Regent, The Echo, and Echoplex. Simply through word of mouth, the #iVoted campaign already has over 40 participating venues in 20 states plus the District of Columbia. Venues in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and other swing states were targeted first with the goal of having an #iVoted show in all 50 states by election day."

2. SEE HOW THE PRE-GAME SHOW FOR STANLEY CUP WAS PRODUCED: The National Hockey League's Stanley Cup championship kicked off in Las Vegas Monday, which left host team the Vegas Golden Nights—specifically the team's vice president of entertainment and production Jonny Greco—to produce a memorable pre-game show. ESPN: “Traditionally, NHL teams show a hype video or a short highlight package to get fans excited before the players take the ice. That concept has turned into a 10-minute theatrical production in Las Vegas that has become a can't-miss event for fans, who take their seats before the dramatic countdown for the show to start. Television networks, which have been showing the openings in their entirety, and bloggers, who post highlights and critiques of the shows before the puck drops, have also gotten into it. The theme and characters of the stories through each round—much like with all good trilogies-going-on-tetralogies—are similar. They begin with sound bites and quotes highlighted on the ice of different players and pundits that doubted Vegas this season, before it transitions to the dramatic voice of the narrator describing the current battle. In the office before Game 1 on Monday, Greco was talking to Ayron Sequeira, the team's senior director of entertainment production, as he described the scene. 'She wanted live arrows with fire being shot across the arena by archers,' Greco said. That one will have to wait until next season. For now, the archers are played by members of the promo team, holding bows for the first time in their lives, and pretending to launch arrows with fake flames—made from scratch with materials bought at Hobby Lobby—at the logos on the ice. The main event is when the villain, played by Zack Frongillo, a dance major at UNLV, comes onto the ice waving the flag of the opposing team, before the arrival of the Golden Knight, played by Lee Orchard, a local DJ who was actually a Medieval Times show director in Europe for seven years. Orchard and Frongillo dual at the center of the ice and the villain's eventual death has seemingly been more dramatic with each passing round. ... As Greco looks over the storyboard for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final in his office and at the costumes and props kept outside, he can't help but think about WWE. If there seem to be some elements of WWE in Vegas' over-the-top opening, it's because Greco was WWE's senior director/live events producer for five years before moving to Las Vegas to join the Golden Knights."

3. KEN FRIEDMAN'S RESTAURANT EMPIRE BEGINS TO CRUMBLE FOLLOWING SEXUAL HARASSMENT ALLEGATIONS: A high-profile restaurant portfolio once owned by restaurateur Ken Friedman and chef April Bloomfield is beginning to fall apart, five months after Friedman was accused of sexually harassing employees and responding with retaliation. The New York Times: “The two partners are no longer involved in Salvation Taco, the restaurant they opened in 2012 in the Pod 39 hotel in Manhattan, said Richard Born, an owner of the hotel, which has taken over the restaurant. As lawyers for Mr. Friedman and Ms. Bloomfield near the end of efforts to dissolve the partnership, the fate of two of their six remaining restaurants—the Breslin Bar and Dining Room and the John Dory Oyster Bar, both in the Ace hotel in Manhattan—is particularly uncertain. GFI Hospitality, the management company that retained the group to provide all food service for the hotel, is renegotiating that contract, three people knowledgeable about the matter said. Other restaurants are shedding talent. One of Ms. Bloomfield’s longest-serving lieutenants, the chef Josh Even, resigned from Tosca Cafe, in San Francisco, last week along with the general manager, Dana Katzakian. The high-profile butchers Erika Nakamura and Jocelyn Guest, who were handpicked by Ms. Bloomfield to run White Gold Butchers, on the Upper West Side, walked away in March. ... On May 21, the New York Police Department confirmed that it was investigating a woman’s claim that she was sexually assaulted at the Spotted Pig in 2005 by the celebrity chef Mario Batali, an investor and a regular at the restaurant’s notorious private third floor. (The police are also looking into another woman’s complaint that Mr. Batali drugged and raped her in 2004 at his Greenwich Village restaurant Babbo, a person familiar with the matter said.) Mr. Batali has denied that he engaged in any sexual assault. Mr. Batali’s partners in the B&B Hospitality Group announced this week that they expected to complete the process of buying him out by July 1, and would continue to operate the group’s 20-plus restaurants worldwide. The separation of Mr. Friedman and Ms. Bloomfield is more complicated; they are slicing up an empire, not surrendering one. Their remaining restaurants are operated by the partners’ company, Biergarten LLC. As the company is being broken up for parts, the future of those restaurants is unclear."


DALLAS/FORT WORTH:  Hotel Crescent Court has completed a $33 million renovation, the property's first major renovation since it opened in 1986. The renovation includes design revamps to the property's 186 guest rooms and 40 suites, a new 16-treatment room spa, and a new cocktail lounge. The hotel has 17 event spaces. 

LAS VEGAS:  Three Mario Batali restaurants are slated to close on July 27. Las Vegas Review-Journal:

LOS ANGELES:  This year's Vans U.S. Open of Surfing will take place July 28-August 5 at Huntington Beach. 

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Propel Co:Labs Miami Fitness Festival will take place June 2 at Faena Forum. The event will offer workout classes from local studios and trainers Gunnar Peterson and Harley Pasternak, a live collaboration with Wyclef Jean and Vixen Workout, free massages, and healthy snacks. 

NEW YORK:  Blue Apron's Unboxed pop-up runs today through Sunday in Flatiron. The pop-up features meal box cooking classes, live cooking demos, D.I.Y. crafting, and a cookbook author panel. 

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

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Isolé Villas, a private estate available for events and corporate retreats, has opened. The 25,000-square-foot venue has 15 suites. 

TORONTO:  The Body Shop will host a pop-up, the Yogurt Shop, to celebrate the brand's new Body Yogurt collection June 2-3 at 950 Queen Street West. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Hilton Garden Inn Washington D.C. Downtown has unveiled its $7.5 million renovation of the property's 300 guest rooms. The new Washington-inspired aesthetic was designed by Atlanta-based DesignONE Studio. 

YOUR NEWS: What are you doing? Tell us:

JOB BOARD: Post a job or find a job:

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

BizBash Daily is the must-read digest of event industry news from

Feed the Sheet:


Advertise with BizBash:


Sign up for the BizBash Daily - stay current with the event industry.
Your email inquiry will be sent to 3 venue