October 2, 2013: Government Shutdown Hurting D.C.'s Event Industry, Dita Von Teese Sues Over Event Insurance, How Concerts Use Tech to Attract Fans

By Beth Kormanik October 2, 2013, 8:18 AM EDT

1. GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN HURTING D.C.'S EVENT PLANNERS, CATERERS: The federal government shutdown is hurting the city's event planners and caterers, causing lost business during one of the busiest times of year. Washingtonian: “We’re done until further notice,” says Susan Lacz, C.E.O. of Ridgewells, which has the exclusive contract for events on the House side of the Capitol. “We just lost six figures’ worth of business on the Hill today alone.”

2. DITA VON TEESE SUES OVER EVENT INSURANCE: Burlesque star Dita Von Teese is suing her insurer over loses from performances she had to cancel because of Hurricane Sandy. New York Post: “The glamour-girl stripper has filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming that her insurers never told her they have a policy to cover performances cancelled by 'acts of God'—so she never signed up for it. Now, she’s out more than $100,000 over her cancelled “Burlesque: Strip Strip Hooray’’ performance at the Gramercy Theater in Manhattan last October, says the suit.”

3. HOW CONCERTS USE TECH TO ATTRACT FANS: In the age of free music streaming, live concerts are a reliable way for bands to make money, and technology is helping them stay relevant for fans, according to those at the SF MusicTech Summit Tuesday. San Jose Mercury News: “Bay Area startups such as DeliRadio have jumped into the live-concert space, turning out Web and mobile applications that aim to help fans more easily find and attend concerts. There's a whole crop of technology applications emerging that offer concertgoers restaurant suggestions near the venue, early release tickets, a chance to win merchandise, or meet the artist at a show. Other new applications let concertgoers check in on their smartphone at a show and share a snippet of the live performance, giving bands and venues access to a trove of data. And companies including DeliRadio are mapping concert ticket purchases on the Web to help guide venues on which bands to book and for how many nights.”


ATLANTA:  Aggreko provided power and cooling services that required more than 100 generators for the TomorrowWorld music festival this past weekend.

AUSTIN:  Ticketbud, an event registration and ticketing service, has updated its system with an interactive event page editor, a new event management dashboard, and two new pricing options. The “Free to Attendee” option charges the host $99 to sell unlimited tickets at any price; the “Free to the Event Organizer” model charges each attendee a fee and the host pays nothing.

BOSTON:  On October 12, Herb Chambers's Lexus of Sharon dealership will host “Cars and Coffee.” The event is geared toward specialty car enthusiasts (and, of course, offers coffee).

CHICAGO:  Oxygen will host a premiere event for its new series Preachers of L.A. at the Illuminating Company on Thursday. The luncheon will include a meet and greet with the cast, plus a screening of the show.

LAS VEGAS:  The PR firm PR Plus felt compelled to send an open letter to media via email to address the official First Friday program and other events happening on the same dates: “This amazing monthly event, which takes place in the Arts District, was created to celebrate art, music and culture in Las Vegas. Unfortunately we are consistently dealing with untruths being spread about the festival being dangerous or unsafe. Each month First Friday sees tens of thousands of people enjoying themselves with friends and family, with almost zero incidents or trouble. The implication that the festival is overrun by gang activity and unruly and drunken teenagers is blatantly false and the damage to the community due to erroneous reports, which don't differentiate between the First Friday event and problems that may happen in the wee hours of the morning miles away from our event, must not be taken lightly.”

Forbes: “Foodies will have a field day as the fourth annual Food & Wine All-Star Weekend, hosted by Bellagio, Area Resort & Casino and MGM Grand, returns to Las Vegas on October 4-6 with a series of enticing events and even more culinary superstars.”

LOS ANGELES:  Publishers Weekly: “Nearly 300 booksellers, authors, publishers, and librarians were on hand September 27 and 28 at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel for the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association annual trade show and author feast, which broke tradition with its first two-day event rather than the customary single day affair.”

Emily Davis has joined the PR team at Caruso Affiliated as senior manager of of public relations.

On September 25 Randy Fuhrman Events coordinated and designed the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce Golden Palm Awards for business excellence on the rooftop of the L’Ermitage Hotel. Randy Fuhrman Events also introduced its new print design service, designing the invitation and print media for the event as well as the crystal award, provided by Tiffany & Company.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Waterstone Resort & Marina, undergoing a reinvention from Boca Bridge Hotel and opening later this year, named Ben Baez as director of sales and marketing. Baez will be responsible for introducing the new resort and developing marketing strategies.

NEW YORK:  The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain has abandoned plans to open a location on the Upper West Side in the Metro Theater site, citing financing issues. A downtown Brooklyn site remains under construction. New York Times:

Pastis, the pioneering meatpacking district brasserie, has filed notice that it plans to close in January. It may remain open depending on negotiations with its landlord. Crain's New York Business:

Canard Inc. is catering the annual opening night of Avenue magazine's Antiques Art & Design Show at the Park Avenue Armory on October 9, which will include cocktails, passed hors d'oeuvres, and stations for more than 1,000 guests.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  Eddie V's Prime Seafood is scheduled to open on Sand Lake Road October 24. The Darden-owned restaurant will be located on land that used to house Timpano. It's expected to have private dining space and live musical entertainment nightly in the bar.

TORONTO:  The Canadian Opera Company's “Operanation” will be held at the Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts on October 24. This year's theme is “A Night of Temptation,” inspired by Cosi fan Tutte.

Rethink Breast Cancer's Boobyball will take place on October 18 at Sound Academy.

WASHINGTON:  Krystal Glass of Empire Events and PR is launching Scandal DC, a ticketed watch party of the ABC show and networking event for women on Thursdays at Revive International Hair Salon. The evening includes champagne, desserts, and DJ entertainment.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Lauren Matthews, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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