May 7, 2015: What Music Festivals Really Offer Fans, Sony Shifts Summer Show Strategy, Comedy Legends Will Perform as Holograms

1. WHAT MUSIC FESTIVALS REALLY OFFER FANS: The Brazilian-based music festival Rock in Rio makes its United States debut this weekend in Las Vegas with a lineup of big acts such as Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, and Metallica over its two weekends. But are music festivals good for music fans? Los Angeles Times: “Just what we need, another music festival to add to the collection. How many is too many? With all these massives dotting the season, it's a question worth asking. Is this the best way to experience music? Are listeners well served by this model? One word answer: Nope. With a few exceptions, festival fandom is a bummer. At base level, the least satisfying way to see your favorite act in most cases will be at a music festival. Although festivals serve a vital role as communal gathering places and cultural hubs, and they deliver one-stop shopping ease, the cost is a lot of people only halfway paying attention.”

2. SONY SHIFTS SUMMER SHOW STRATEGY: In a rethinking of its media strategy at major gaming conferences, Sony will skip its usual press briefing at Gamescom in Germany this summer in favor of an announcement at Paris Games Week in October. Gamasutra: “This is notable for developers because Sony claims to be feeling crunched by the shrinking gap between E3 in mid-June and Gamescom in early August; A company representative told GameSpot that ‘both PlayStation and the wider industry would benefit from a major news milestone later in the year.’”

3. COMEDY LEGENDS WILL PERFORM AS HOLOGRAMS: The National Comedy Center, a museum slated to open next year in Jamestown, New York, announced plans to revive dead comedy legends such as George Carlin and Bob Hope as holograms and have them perform classic sets from the stage. The New York Times: “[Chairman Tom] Benson said the club would feature 10 to 12 routines of about four to five minutes each, allowing visitors to see ‘classic gigs from the past, as if they were really taken back in time and seeing it from Madison Square Garden or a stage in Hollywood, not a theater in Jamestown, N.Y.’ The virtual comedians will be created by Hologram USA, the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based company that has also made or is working on similar representations of Buddy Holly, Liberace, Julian Assange and Jimmy Kimmel.”


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The Convention Industry Council announced new inductees into the CIC Hall of Leaders as well as Pacesetter Award recipients. The awardees will be recognized during IMEX America in Las Vegas on October 13. Hall of Leaders honorees are: Amy Spatrisano, former principal of MeetGreen; Larry Luteran, former senior vice president of group sales and industry relations at Hilton Worldwide; Jane E. Schuldt, founder and president of World Marketing Group; Patricia Farías Barlow, C.E.O. of the Puerto Vallarta Convention Center and FIDEES; and Craig Smith, retired as president of Freeman Audio Visual. Pacesetter recipients are Rafael Hernández, publisher and C.E.O. of Latin American Meetings; Kinga Soćko, Poland Convention Bureau; and Kate Patay, executive director of sales and Marketing at Creative Coverings.


BOSTON:  Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro will host Sparkle VIII, a fashion show and reception, on June 7. The event benefits Rosie’s Place, a sanctuary for poor and homeless women.

CHICAGO:  IRCE, the Internet Retailer Conference & Exposition, will hold its 11th annual event June 2-5 at the McCormick Place West Convention Center.

Owners of DineAmic Group, Lucas Stoioff and David Rekhson opened the steak house Prime & Provisions with a V.I.P. party on May 1 and public opening May 2.

The Music Institute of Chicago hosts its annual gala Monday at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago.

LAS VEGAS:  HD Expo, a hospitality-focused trade show and conference, is May 13-15 at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino. The event is produced by Emerald Expositions and presented by Hospitality Design magazine.

LOS ANGELES:  Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture and Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley are hosting the first Kids-to-Farms Dinner on Saturday at the Camarillo Ranch. Entertainment includes Latin guitarist and harpist Xocoyotzin Moraza and musician Todd Hannigan as well as a demonstration from champion dressage rider Monica Houweling.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Jewelry retailer Alex & Ani is hosting a shopping event called Charmed by Charity Soiree May 27 at its new store on Las Olas Boulevard, with a portion of proceeds benefitting the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s Florida chapter.

Fabio Viviani of Siena Tavern will serve as celebrity chef for the Orange Bowl Impact and Excellence Awards: A Taste of South Florida. Known as the Obies, the event takes place May 29 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. Proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish Southern Florida, Special Olympics Florida, and the Orange Bowl Leadership Academy.

NEW YORK:  Brooklyn Children’s Museum debuted its new 20,000-square-foot rooftop pavilion at its spring benefit on Wednesday.

Real estate broker and star of Bravo's Million Dollar Listing Ryan Serhant and Alison Bernstein of the Suburban Jungle realty group are starting a real estate trend series. “NYC, Should I Stay or Should I Go?” kicks off Wednesday at the residential building the Justin.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  Universal Orlando Resort will open a new attraction, Skull Island: Reign of Kong, in the summer of 2016. The attraction, based on the legend of King Kong, will be located in Universal's Islands of Adventure park.

SAN FRANCISCO:  Danielle Puceta, former Director of American Express Meetings and Events, is joining DoubleDutch as senior director of channel.

TORONTO:  Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will be the keynote speaker at the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Spirit of Hope Dinner, scheduled for May 28 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The Front Row, a fashion event at Bethesda Row shopping center, will take place May 28-30. The event will include a fashion show, a screening of the film Dior & I, and more.

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

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