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October 12, 2018: Fyre Festival Organizer Sentenced to Six Years in Prison, Inside the U.S. Premiere of 'If Beale Street Could Talk' at the Apollo Theater, Salt Lake Comic Con Says Court-Ordered Payment of $4 Million in Trademark War Will 'Destroy' Event

By Ian Zelaya October 12, 2018, 9:01 AM EDT


1. FYRE FESTIVAL ORGANIZER SENTENCED TO SIX YEARS IN PRISON: Billy McFarland, the organizer of the infamous Fyre Festival, was sentenced Thursday in Manhattan federal court to six years in prison for the disastrous event in 2017. Page Six: “The 26-year-old scam artist, who pleaded guilty in two cases since his 2017 music fest he planned with Ja Rule fell apart, had faced up to 20 years at his sentencing. 'I’m sorry, I am deeply sorry for my mistakes,' McFarland told Judge Naomi Buchwald in court, where his father sat crying along with other family members. 'I betrayed the trust of investors, family and even the court. I come from an incredible family—a loving environment, they [family] tried to teach me the value of family and friends,' added McFarland, who also faces a $26 million forfeiture order. ... In March, McFarland copped to two counts of wire fraud for using bogus documents to lure investors to what was billed as a luxe festival on the island of Exuma island in April and May of 2017. About four months later, the Short Hills, New Jersey, native pleaded guilty to another fraud in a fake ticket-selling scheme he admitted to carrying out while he was out on bail. He earned about $100,000 by selling the bogus tickets to exclusive events such as the 2018 Met Gala and Burning Man." https://pge.sx/2OZda20

2. INSIDE THE U.S. PREMIERE OF 'IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK' AT THE APOLLO THEATER: On Tuesday night, James Baldwin was celebrated in Harlem, his neighborhood of birth, as part of the 56th annual New York Film Festival. The U.S. premiere of If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins' film adaptation of Baldwin's novel of the same name, took place at the historic Apollo Theater. The Atlantic: “The significance of hosting the stateside premiere of Beale Street at the legendary Harlem auditorium was not lost on Jenkins. 'James Baldwin was born and raised in Harlem, this book is set in Harlem, it was filmed in Harlem,' the director said during a brief introduction preceding the screening. 'The first time it shows in the U.S. had to be in damn Harlem!' Jenkins, who directed the Oscar-winning 2016 picture Moonlight and the 2008 indie romantic drama Medicine for Melancholy, spoke with warmth as he introduced the cast of the film, whom he called 'the village of If Beale Street Could Talk.' As they gathered, the Liberty City, Miami–bred Jenkins turned the mic over to members of the Baldwin family. Standing onstage in the Harlem venue, several of Baldwin’s relatives spoke about the writer’s legacy and the film’s place in it. Karim and Aisha Karefa-Smart, Clarence Harris, and Trevor Baldwin all shared their accounts before the film played. ... At the after-party following the Apollo screening, held at the Lenox Avenue mainstay Red Rooster, cast members and crew drank and danced alongside audience members. Macaroni and cheese, hot honey chicken, cornbread madeleines, and grits nourished the filmgoers who’d been physically (and emotionally) spent." https://bit.ly/2pQ4T2b

3. SALT LAKE COMIC CON SAYS COURT-ORDERED PAYMENT OF $4 MILLION IN TRADEMARK WAR WILL 'DESTROY' THE EVENT: The producers of the Salt Lake City comic convention fear for the event's future, and Utah's economy, after they were given a court order to pay $4 million in a trademark infringement war with San Diego Comic-Con. The Salt Lake Tribune: “Dan Farr Productions, the company behind the FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention, filed an emergency motion with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, asking for a temporary postponement on the payment pending appeal in court. If the $4 million judgment is enforced, the company will be 'destroyed,' the motion states, costing Utah’s economy 'millions of dollars.' But the court 'likely wouldn’t harm' the other party—San Diego Comic-Con, by granting a stay. The California-based convention sued the event formerly known as Salt Lake Comic Con in 2014 about the use of 'comic con' in the Utah company’s name. San Diego Comic-Con’s legal team argued that even without the hyphen, those words infringed on its own trademark and confused people into thinking the events were associated. A federal jury sided with San Diego Comic-Con at the end of last year but found there had been no willful infringement and awarded FanX a slight break on attorney fees. The jury awarded $20,000 in damages to San Diego Comic-Con, which had originally sought $12 million, and $3.9 million in attorney fees and costs rather than the $5 million its lawyers had initially asked for. Still, the Utah-based company said in its motion Wednesday that the 'nearly $4 million award is wildly excessive.' The producers of FanX are also protesting a judgment that FanX stop using the phrase 'formerly known as Salt Lake Comic Con' in advertising and social media and delete any posts before the court ruling that refer to their event as 'comic con.'" https://bit.ly/2OlTNAF


*INDUSTRY NEWS*

AccorHotels has completed its acquisition of a 50-percent stake in Sbe Entertainment Group. Sbe founder and C.E.O. Sam Nazarian will control the remaining 50 percent. 

* LOCAL NEWS *

ATLANTIC CITY:  Caesars Entertainment has announced new restaurant concepts at its Atlantic City properties. Harrah’s Atlantic City has debuted Gordon Ramsay Steak, which seats 280 guests; Caesars Atlantic City has debuted a bar and lounge called 2100 Bar & Lounge; and Bally’s Atlantic City has debuted surf-inspired bar Bally’s Beach Bar. 

CHICAGO:  Viceroy Chicago hotel has launched “Designer Doors for Charity,” a monthlong installation that showcases doors on the fifth floor painted by eight local artists, each depicting an interpretation of the fight against breast cancer. A portion of revenue from each room booked on the floor throughout October will be donated to the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation. 

AIC Hotel Group has announced plans to open a 100-key Nobu Hotel this spring in the city's Fulton Market district. That's in addition to Nobu Hotel Los Cabos, the brand's first property to open in Mexico, slated to open in early 2019.

Chicago Children’s Museum will unveil its renovated meeting and event spaces on October 16. 

LONDON:  BMF Media Group has opened a London office to expand its global footprint. Craig MacIntyre will lead the London office and the continued expansion. 

LOS ANGELES:  The inaugural Wellspring from Wanderlust Wellness Conference takes place October 26-28 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The event will feature more than 200 workouts, lectures, workshops, and panels from Glennon Doyle, Marianne Williamson, Alicia Silverstone, and more.

Hotel Indigo Los Angeles Downtown has partnered with Baron Hats to host a limited-time pop-up beginning November through the end of the year. The shop will showcase Baron Hat creations, including those worn by Beyoncé during her Formation Tour, Sylvester Stallone in Creed, Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones, and Ed Harris in Westworld. Attendees will be able to purchase hat replicas and order a customized hat.  

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles

NASHVILLE:  Water and music attraction SoundWaves will open at Gaylord Opryland Resort in December. The venue will have 106,000 square feet of outdoor water attractions and 111,000 square feet of indoor attractions including lazy rivers, rock climbing, restaurants, and an adults-only indoor pool, bar, and lounge. 

NEW YORK:  Lufthansa will host Fly Through Time, an interactive consumer pop-up, on Sunday at Duarte Square. The activation will feature a 1950s-theme Lufthansa terminal set; an interactive model of the 1958 Lufthansa Super Constellation “Senator Service” first class onboard lounge; an augmented-reality mirror where guests can virtually dress in vintage uniform and passenger styles; an A.R. model of the first-ever luxury transatlantic flight; and a life-like boarding scenario. 

The New York Civil Liberties Union (N.Y.C.L.U.) will host its 16th annual Broadway Stands Up For Freedom concert We The People on October 15 at Town Hall. Alan Cumming will receive the 2018 Freedom Award. 

The fourth annual Through Her Lens: The Tribeca Chanel Women’s Filmmaker Program, in collaboration with Pulse Films and Tribeca Film Institute, will take place October 16-18. The three-day program provides mentorship, project support, and master classes for 10 emerging female filmmakers and awards $100,000 in grants. 

Meatpacking District’s annual Harvest Fest will take place October 27. The event will feature bites from neighborhood restaurants including Fig & Olive, Santina, and Dos Caminos. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA:  Visit North Carolina has named J Public Relations its PR agency of record. 

VANCOUVER:  In Goop Health will have its first Vancouver edition October 27-28 at Stanley Park Pavilion. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Sage Hospitality has appointed Mike Nelson general manager and Portia Hood director of sales and marketing to the Alexandrian Hotel and Morrison House. 

YOUR NEWS: What are you doing? Tell us: tips@bizbash.com

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

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

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