May 3, 2018: Royal Wedding Commoner Invitees Asked to Bring Their Own Food, Oculus to Launch New App for Live VR Events, FIFA Proposes Scaled-Down World Cups Every Two Years

By Ian Zelaya May 3, 2018, 8:41 AM EDT

1. ROYAL WEDDING COMMONER INVITEES ASKED TO BRING THEIR OWN FOOD: The upcoming royal wedding invited 1,200 handpicked members of the public to attend the ceremony May 19—but the spectators inside the Windsor Castle grounds won't be treated to the castle's catering. The Guardian: “Representatives of the royal family, which has an estimated net worth well in excess of £400m, have sent letters to these guests encouraging them to bring their own picnics, in a move described by one invitee as 'unfathomable'. Debrett’s guide to etiquette advises at least six canapés per person pre-lunch at a wedding, but guests have been encouraged in letters from lord lieutenants, the Queen’s representatives in the counties, 'to bring a picnic lunch as it will not be possible to buy food and drink on site'. The crowds are expected to spend at least four and a quarter hours on the verges outside St George’s chapel, filling a space inside the castle grounds that would otherwise show up on TV coverage as empty. Saeed Atcha, 21, the founder of Xplode, a Bolton-based youth magazine set up after the 2011 riots, said some of the disadvantaged people his charity helped were bemused by the decision. Kensington Palace indicated this week that some refreshments and snacks would be available, but declined to elaborate. ... Last month Kensington Palace announced that Meghan and Harry wanted to shape their wedding day 'to allow members of the public to feel part of the celebrations too'. The invited crowd inside the castle perimeter will include people 'from a broad range of backgrounds and ages, including young people who have shown strong leadership and those who have served their communities'. They will play a starring role in TV pictures beamed around the world to an audience expected to be in the hundreds of millions—although throwing rice or confetti is not encouraged."

2. OCULUS TO LAUNCH NEW APP FOR LIVE VR EVENTS: Oculus, Facebook’s virtual-reality platform, will launch a new app called Oculus Venues, which will offer live sporting events, concerts, and comedy shows in VR. TechCrunch: “The unified app will feature content from a bunch of different partners, including stuff from startups like NextVR, which has been among the most prolific in terms of streaming sporting events from its own partnerships with the NBA, NFL, NHL and WWE. They have also streamed concerts via a partnership with Live Nation. ‘Oculus Venues is a bold move to provide profound social VR engagement and we are honored to deliver such an important part of this new product release from Oculus,’ NextVR CEO David Cole said in a statement. ‘NextVR has built a passionate fan base around leading VR content experiences. Venues will satisfy our fans who want to enjoy this type of content on a massively social scale.’ The app is launching May 30 on Oculus Go and the Gear VR.”

3. FIFA PROPOSES SCALED-DOWN WORLD CUPS EVERY TWO YEARS: FIFA president Gianni Infantino has proposed staging mini World Cups every two years. The events, which would consist of eight international teams, would be held in addition to the main World Cup. Reuters: “The tournament, known as the ‘Final 8’, would be the climax of a proposed global Nations League competition, part of an ambitious plan to reform international football which FIFA believes could be worth $25 billion in a 12-year cycle. In a letter seen by Reuters, Infantino, who has already overseen the enlargement of the existing World Cup from 32 to 48 teams starting in 2026, suggested that the new tournament would take place every October and/or November of every odd year starting from 2021. He said that a ‘solid and serious’ group of investors were willing to spend $25 billion on the competition and a revamped version of the Club World Cup, which would also start in 2021 with 24 teams. The Confederations Cup, currently staged every four years in a year before the World Cup, would be abolished. The new competition would run parallel to existing international tournaments such as the European Championship, Copa America, and African Nations Cup, plus the World Cup qualifying stages. It could lead to criticism that FIFA is over-complicating international football and devaluing its flagship World Cup. FIFA could not immediately be reached for comment.”


COAST TO COAST:  Adult Swim on the Green, a traveling outdoor pop-up screening event, will run May 31-July 30. Hosted by comedian Zack Fox, the events will have screenings and sneak previews, a beer and wine garden, themed games and activities, and local vendors. The tour will stop in Miami, Raleigh, Charleston, Knoxville, Louisville, Buffalo, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Minneapolis. 

AUSTIN:  Paul McCartney, Metallica, and Childish Gambino will headline this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival, taking place October 5-7 and October 12-14 at Zilker Park. 

BOSTON:  The Groton Inn, a boutique hotel that calls itself “America's oldest inn,” reopens today following its destruction by a fire in 2011. Forge and Vine, a restaurant located at the 60-room property, will open this summer.

LOS ANGELES:  The Paley Center for Media’s multimedia exhibition The Crown: Imaging A Royal World will run May 12-July 29. The free exhibit will feature costumes, photography, art, and more from season two of the Netflix series. 

Castaway restaurant in Burbank opens today with a steak-focused menu from chef Perry Pollaci. The space has a 10-seat Chef's Table, a wine cellar, and a multi-level patio.

The Mayfair Hotel has named Tiffani Velazquez director of catering and sales. 

Three trade shows—the 2018 Western Foodservice and Hospitality Expo, the New Healthy Food Expo West, and Coffee Fest Los Angeles—will be co-locating at the Los Angeles Convention Center August 19-21. One registration will grant industry professionals access to all three shows.

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Turning the Tables for Paws, hosted by Chopard Fine Jewelry, will take place May 12 at the Cruz Building. All proceeds of the casino-theme event, which will feature The Real House Wives of New Jersey’s Teresa Giudice, will benefit Paws4You animal rescue.

NASHVILLE:  Thompson Nashville is partnering with Bonnaroo Music Festival to provide V.I.P. cabanas—embodying the hotel’s signature style—at this year’s festival, from June 7-10. The package includes two V.I.P. Platinum festival tickets, round-trip transportation from the airport, and an additional night’s stay at the hotel June 11.

NEW YORK:  The Independent Lodging Congress will host its sixth annual hospitality conference October 17-19 at the William Vale Hotel in Brooklyn. Registration is now open for the event.

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

TORONTO:  The first edition of Urbani_T: Public Playground for Urban Culture and Creativity, a free outdoor celebration of creativity and local talent, will take place May 17-19 at Nathan Phillips Square. The event will have live music, art installations, fashion shows and talks, design workshops, and food trucks. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The 10th annual Events DC Embassy Chef Challenge, presented by T.C.M.A., will take place May 17 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The event will bring together embassy chefs from more than 25 countries. 

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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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