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April 26, 2018: More Music Festivals Are Tapping Into Wellness, Germany Cancels Top Music Awards Over Anti-Semitic Controversy, Vice President Pence to Headline N.R.A. Convention

1. MORE MUSIC FESTIVALS ARE TAPPING INTO WELLNESS: The stereotype of most music festivals is that they’re events where attendees get wasted and do molly—and while that still may be true, more festivals this year are offering health and wellness options for guests. GQ: “Take the Okeechobee Festival in South Florida, which debuted in 2016. The 4-day shindig was designed to focus on equal parts music, art, and wellness. In terms of the latter, the lineup is wild with exploratory wellness programming ranging from cacao ceremonies to didgeridoo sound odysseys. Yogachobee hosts acro yoga, energy flow yoga, stillness meditation and improv dancing. At the festival’s Healing Sanctuary, attendees could unwind with energy healing, Thai massages, body work, and other restorative practices. There were mind-expanding workshops on learning astro travel and the power of creating rituals. This year, Okeechobee partnered with The Big Quiet to host a mass meditation from the MainStage. There was a lightly guided sound meditation, music performances, and a group song that was joined by headlining musicians like Arcade Fire and Local Natives. … That movement towards festival programming that doesn’t make attendees feel horrible has spread. At Governors Ball, you can skip the beer lines in favor of a juice bar or iced matcha station, and then head to the festival’s Sober Ball activation to meet other abstainers to party with all weekend. Tennessee's Bonnaroo has a Soberoo Community Camp so you can pitch your tent alongside like minded revelers. The festival is also building a new wellness barn this June to host even more healthful activities (like exercise meetups) than its normal yoga and race around the grounds.”

2. GERMANY CANCELS TOP MUSIC AWARDS OVER ANTI-SEMITIC CONTROVERSY: Germany’s Music Industry Association has discontinued its Echo Awards—the country’s top honors for music—amid backlash against a rap duo winning an award despite having anti-Semitic lyrics on their album. Billboard: “The decision to end the awards, which have been running since 1992, comes amid an intense backlash after rappers Kollegah and Farid Bang won the ECHO for hip-hop/urban album on April 12, despite the duo having a song with explicitly anti-Semitic lyrics. At the meeting, the executive board decided that the ECHO brand has been damaged to such an extent that it requires a complete overhaul and a fresh new start. The board began by acknowledging the ECHO’s years-long status as a top prize, as well as a key annual industry event featuring countless memorable moments and performances. In addition, the board noted that Germany—as the third largest music market in the world—will continue to need a creditable music award to honor the work of musicians across all genres and generations. However, the board also made it explicitly clear that this music award cannot be seen or used as a platform for anti-Semitism, misogyny, homophobia or the trivialization of violence, among other things. The board expressed its deepest regrets and apologies for the events surrounding this year’s ECHO Awards and also signaled its commitment to ensuring that such mistakes are not repeated in the future.”

3. VICE PRESIDENT PENCE TO HEADLINE N.R.A. CONVENTION: Vice President Mike Pence will keynote next month's N.R.A. Convention in Dallas. The Dallas Morning News: "The vice president will speak at the NRA Institute for Legislative Action leadership forum at the convention May 4 as part of a 'powerful lineup of pro-freedom speakers,' the association announced Tuesday. Other forum speakers include Gov. Greg Abbott, Sen. John Cornyn, Sen. Ted Cruz and NRA leaders. ... The 2018 convention, scheduled for May 3-6 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas, drew criticism from Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway in February. Caraway said it would be inappropriate for the NRA to hold its convention in Dallas after 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14. The convention is free to attend for all NRA members and their families. The annual meeting will include firearms displays and exhibits as well as meetings, luncheons and musical performances. Attendees will be allowed to carry firearms in the convention center and in the Omni Dallas Hotel in accordance with state law, the NRA's website states. Firearms will not be sold on site, but ammunition sales are permitted."


CHICAGO:  Chicago Youth Centers will host its annual benefit, the Believe in Kids Dinner, May 17 at the Ritz-Carlton. The event’s theme is “Igniting the Spark.”

Event marketing agency Mdg has promoted Chicago-based Leana Salamah and Atlanta-based Jacquelyn Wells into vice president roles.

LOS ANGELES:  The launch of Tyra Banks' new America's Next Top Model mobile video game will take place May 3 at Avalon Hollywood. The event, produced by Trueheart, will feature a pop-up beauty bar, entertainment by DJ Kid Fish, and a photo booth where guests can become characters in the game.  

The 24th Huading Awards will take place on June 19 at the Wiltern. 

Daniel Ben-Efraim has been named vice president of sales and marketing at Shutters on the Beach and Hotel Casa del Mar in Santa Monica.

The Golden Globes has introduced a number of minor rule changes, including one focused on the awards show’s limited series categories—inspired by the fact that previous winner Big Little Lies is no longer a limited series. The Hollywood Reporter:

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Miami Hacks Climate Change, the city’s inaugural climate change hackathon, will take place April 27-29 at EcoTech in Miami Gardens. 

NEW YORK:  GroundShift, a new political conference organized by people from more than 20 New York-based organizations, will take place May 25-27 at Camp Hilltop in the Catskill Mountains. The event will bring together 150 changemakers for workshops, facilitated conversations, and artistic programming. 

Midtown Chinese restaurant DaDong has opened a 150-seat outdoor terrace. 

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

SAN FRANCISCO:  The historic Hotel Spero has reopened after a $16 million-dollar renovation.

TORONTO:  Leaders & Icons, a new event series that aims to bring to together public figures to share insights from their professional careers, will take place May 10 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Former F.B.I. director James Comey will be the keynote speaker. 

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery’s Power Ball XX: Carousal, presented by Max Mara, will take place May 31. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Strathmore’s annual spring gala will take place May 12. The event will be headlined by cabaret and American Songbook artist Michael Feinstein. 

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

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