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December 19, 2016: David Foster Denies Participation in Trump Inauguration, Millennials are Changing the Live Music Ticketing Industry By Going Mobile, Why a Chinese Film Awards Ceremony Draws a Hollywood A-List Crowd


1. DAVID FOSTER DENIES PARTICIPATION IN TRUMP INAUGURATION: Grammy-winning producer David Foster denied rumors that he’s helping curate President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration entertainment in January. People: “‘I was invited to participate and I politely declined,’ Foster told People in a statement. ‘I have no idea where this story came from.’ The New York Post‘s Page Six reported Friday night that Foster would be playing a pivotal role in organizing the Jan. 20 event. But Foster firmly denied the news. While Foster may not be involved, his longtime collaborator Andrea Bocelli has been tapped to participate. The Italian tenor will perform alongside America’s Got Talent star Jackie Evancho on Inauguration Day, People previously confirmed. Bocelli, 58, will sing at least one song with the 16-year-old star. It is unclear whether he will perform a solo. Evancho announced that she would sing the national anthem at Trump’s inauguration during a Wednesday appearance on the Today show. She rose to fame in 2010 when she came in second place on the competition series—even meeting President-elect Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate shortly after her win and posing for a photo with him.” http://bit.ly/2gO6C0N

2. MILLENNIALS ARE CHANGING THE LIVE MUSIC TICKETING INDUSTRY BY GOING MOBILE: Millennials are using mobile ticketing platforms to buy last-minute tickets to high-profile music events, including Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour. Forbes: “One could assume that Beyoncé’s fans would plan their months around these concerts, securing tickets and making travel and/or accommodation plans far in advance. Yet, data from mobile secondary ticket marketplace Gametime suggests that even diehard music fans are buying more of their tickets within a week or even a day of the event—not just for Beyoncé-level stadium shows, but for all concerts across the board. Gametime is on track to sell over 1 million concert tickets by the end of 2016. While this figure pales in comparison to Ticketmaster's monthly ticket processing rate of 75 million, it still provides a baseline for studying modern ticket purchasing habits, especially considering that millennials comprise around 75% of Gametime’s user base. Initially specializing in sports games, the mobile marketplace added music to its offerings almost exactly one year ago, in December 2015. At the time, they featured only five music markets with an average of 10 concerts each. Colin Evans, Chief Revenue Officer at Gametime, had told FORBES that music fans tended to be less spontaneous than sports fans in buying event tickets, and hence the company would take targeted steps to account for an extended purchasing timeline. Since then, not only has Gametime’s music vertical expanded into a total of 75 markets, but their assumptions about purchasing habits for concert tickets have also been largely debunked. 55% of Gametime music fans buy their tickets the week before a concert, while 30% of them buy tickets the day of the event.” http://bit.ly/2hQIHzH

3. WHY A CHINESE FILM AWARDS CEREMONY DRAWS A HOLLYWOOD A-LIST CROWD: The Huading Awards, a Chinese ceremony recognizing achievement in film, took place for the second time in Los Angeles last week and drew celebrities including Sylvester Stalone and Natalie Portman. The Hollywood Reporter: “That isn’t typical host banter, but the 2016 Huading Awards, held Thursday at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, was no typical awards show – at least by usual Hollywood standards. Although the ceremony was billed as the 21st edition, the Huading Awards was founded in 2007 by Tianxia Yingcai Cultural Media Company. China lacks a consensus prestige honor on par with the Oscars, and Huading is considered to be similar to the People’s Choice Awards, with winners ostensibly chosen by online audience vote. Of course, when it comes to the People’s Republic, these are the choices of 1.3 billion potential moviegoers—which explains why the likes of Natalie Portman, Mel Gibson and Hilary Swank showed up to accept their accolades. Portman gamely obliged Newham's instructions to take the stage and smile for the cameras. When he demanded that she tell the audience she loved them in Mandarin, the Jackie leading lady channeled the former First Lady in demurring with grace before managing a careful ‘Wo ai ni,’ to roars of approval. Gibson, also campaigning this awards season, was even more game to engage with the audience – after all, Hacksaw Ridge topped the Chinese box office last week. Explaining that he named his production company, Icon, after the Greek word for ‘image,’ he remarked, ‘It's amazing that an image can bring us all together.’” http://bit.ly/2i6c28B

* LOCAL NEWS *

BOSTON:  Chef Tracy Chang's first solo restaurant concept Pagu is slated to open January 3 in Cambridge's Central Square. The restaurant, which offers a menu influenced by Spanish and Japanese cuisine, will have moveable cherry wood top tables. an open kitchen Hestan suite, and a private dining room. The restaurant also partnered with hospitality software company Tock for reservations.

LOS ANGELES:  Reservations are now open for the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, for dates beginning June 1.

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The 20th edition of Art Palm Beach will take place January 18-22 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. The event will showcase painting, photography, sculpture, and more from more than 75 galleries from 15 countries.

NEW ORLEANS:  Marriott Content Studio premiered its six-part reality series, Hotel Countdown, on December 15. The first episode of the series—which goes behind the scenes on the design, interior decorating, planning, and more for a new Marriott property—focused on the opening of Moxy New Orleans, the first Moxy Hotel brand in the U.S.

NEW YORK:  Experiential marketing company W.C.M.G. has rebranded as Gradient Experiential. 

Improv Everywhere's 16th annual No Pants Subway Ride will take place January 8.

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

PHILADELPHIA:  Hunger relief organization Philabundance hosted its annual Haul Away Hunger event on December 16. The event had 75 Toyota Tundra trucks bring an estimated 330,000 pounds of food to Citizen's Bank Park to donate to the organization.

Soren West, C.E.O. of live events company Atomic, will depart from his position on January 1 after 21 years with the company. A new C.E.O. has not been named. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Events DC hosted the 18th annual Winter Wonderland youth holiday event on December 17 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The event, which was emceed by WPGC 95.5, featured holiday activities and entertainment for children in the Shaw neighborhood.

The Clarendon Ballroom has received threats after refusing to host a pro-Trump inauguration party called the DeploraBall. NBC Washington: http://bit.ly/2hBHk7L

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin and Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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