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April 14, 2016: How Weddings are Becoming Social Media Events, Why Music Festivals Are Getting More Expensive, Paris Music Venue Announces Reopening After Terrorist Attacks

1. HOW WEDDINGS ARE BECOMING SOCIAL MEDIA EVENTS: Weddings are becoming much more of a social event on Instagram, thanks to wedding hashtags. Depending on how unique or original the hashtag is, more and more “digital wedding crashers” are purposely finding real-time photos of the event to follow along. The Wall Street Journal: “In a Sunday morning ritual, people are poring over strangers’ wedding photos on Instagram. Brides and grooms make it easy by choosing a distinctive hashtag, often using their names, the location and the date of the nuptials. Anyone can click on that hashtag and immediately see a gallery of photos that is much more intimate and detailed than a newspaper wedding announcement. It is the latest iteration  of the decades-old tradition of ogling over the union of others. Some wedding hashtag enthusiasts use it as a way to fantasize about the princess-perfect day, a digital tool of sorts to harvest ideas for their own place settings or bridal bouquets. But for most, it is simply a chance to be a fly on the wall at events that are increasingly—and meticulously—staged for social media.”

2. WHY MUSIC FESTIVALS ARE GETTING MORE EXPENSIVE: Coachella, which kicks off on Friday, marks the beginning of a long music festival season that many would-be festivalgoers may not be able to afford. With average ticket prices for Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo up from last year and V.I.P. packages offering installment payment plans, the question of whether ordinary fans are being priced out of popular festivals can't be ignored. USA Today: "Some music-business observers are alarmed at this trend. Marley Brant is a music biographer and author of a 2008 book on music festivals, Join Together: Forty Years of the Rock Music Festival. She says festivals reflect their time and society, and more often these days festivals are about corporate gain. 'Now, the promoters and organizers court sponsors and vendors," she says. "The sponsors and vendors want the attendees to be of a demographic that can help them reach their goal of making the most money. So the festivals charge a higher admission and attract patrons with more expendable income to buy their goods.' … Another reason why prices are rising, Brant says, is the 'out of control' cost of hiring the big-name acts, the names that draw the most important sponsors. In turn, she says, fans feed the cost increases."

3. PARIS MUSIC VENUE ANNOUNCES REOPENING AFTER TERRORIST ATTACKS: The Bataclan, the concert hall that was the site of last year's terrorist attacks in Paris, has announced it will reopen in November. The venue announced on its Facebook page that it will host a solo show from Libertines frontman Pete Doherty on the one-year anniversary of the attacks. Billboard: "The Facebook post also announced that the venue’s renovation process is underway. It noted that the exact date of reopening is not yet confirmed, so the Nov. 16 Doherty concert may not necessarily be its first show back. More events will be announced soon on the Bataclan’s official site."


BOSTON:  Berklee College of Music has launched the Berklee Popular Music Institute, a program that will allow students to perform at music festivals including Lollapalooza and Made in America.  

CHICAGO:  On June 30, the Gene Siskel Film Center will present Scarlett Johansson with the 2016 Renaissance Award. The ceremony will take place at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago.

The Professional Convention Management Association has appointed Peter O. Wigren as senior vice president of digital strategy and integrated media. 

LAS VEGAS:  Hospitality trade show HD Expo will take place May 4-6. Commune Hotels & Resorts C.E.O. Niki Leondakis will keynote the second day of the event at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino.

The Habit Burger Grill will open its second Nevada location this summer in southwest Las Vegas. The fast-casual restaurant will seat 58.

LOS ANGELES:  The inaugural Los Angeles Steve Irwin Gala Dinner will take place May 21 at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live. The event supports the late wildlife expert's conservation charity, Wildlife Warriors.

Local event listings from the new Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Residence Inn by Marriott Miami Beach South Beach will host a grand opening event tonight with bites from local restaurants and live music. The extended-stay property has one meeting space that seats 14 classroom-style, as well as a rooftop pool.

NEW YORK:  The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum will honor Vice President Joe Biden, former NASA astronaut Scott J. Kelly, and RXR Realty chairman and C.E.O. Scott Rechler at its 25th anniversary Salute to Freedom gala on May 26.

Northside Festival has added new speakers to its Northside Innovation program, which takes place June 9-10 at the Wythe Hotel's Fortune Venture Stage. The lineup includes PayPal president Dan Schulman and fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff.

Village Voice's sixth annual 4Knots Music Festival will take place July 9 at South Street Seaport.

The James Beard Foundation's annual Hamptons fund-raiser and tasting party, Chefs & Champagne, will take place July 23 at Wolffer Estate Vineyard in the Hamptons. Honoring chef John Besh, the event will feature culinary offerings from more than 40 chefs.

Local event listings from the new Masterplanner:

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, has opened a new interactive experience for children. Ritz Kids is housed in a building made to look like a traditional Florida frontier house, and offers a variety of experiences for kids to learn about Florida's history and biodiversity, including observing baby alligators and red-eared slider turtles.

TORONTO:  Unsound Toronto at the Luminato Festival will take place June 10-11. The music festival will focus on music and technology.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  American Psychiatric Association will host the inaugural APEX Awards on Monday at the Mayflower Hotel. The event will have an “orange-tie” theme and feature actors from the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. Journalist Cokie Roberts will serve as M.C.

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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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