September 13, 2017: Apple Unveils New iPhone and Campus, "Hand in Hand" Benefit Raises Over $14 Million in an Hour, NYC Pizza Event Called the Fyre Festival of Food

By Michele Laufik September 13, 2017, 8:15 AM EDT

1. APPLE UNVEILS NEW IPHONE AND CAMPUS: At its much-anticipated event in Cupertino, Calif. on Tuesday, Apple unveiled the new iPhone X with an edge-to-edge screen and no Home button. It will be priced at $999 and ship on November 3. The tech company’s announcement also included the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus (which feature the traditional design), a new Apple Watch, and upgraded Apple TV. But the biggest reveal may have been Apple Park, the company’s new $5 billion campus, which the media saw for the first time. The New York Times: “The press were penned off just out of range of the main building, at the Steve Jobs Theater, the 1,000-seat venue with a commanding view of the spaceship. A quick review: This place is just what you’d imagine an Apple-designed campus would look like. Think of the aesthetics of an Apple Store—lots of wood and glass, everything in muted tans and greys, all signage in white-on-black Apple Sans type—set on an otherwise barren landscape. It is, unsurprisingly, very pretty, but its beauty comes with a deliberate touch of fright. Nothing here is to human scale, and the overall impression is one of being overwhelmed by Apple’s sheer might.”

2. “HAND IN HAND” BENEFIT RAISES OVER $14 MILLION IN AN HOUR: The “Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief” telethon, which aired last night across all major networks, raised money for those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The special event included a star-studded phone bank with Jay Leno, Billy Crystal, Barbara Streisand, Jared Leto, Cher, Justin Bieber, and more, along with musical performances by Stevie Wonder, Usher, Blake Shelton, and others. The telethon raised over $14.5 million in an hour; the phone lines remained open throughout the night as well. Variety: “The telethon was originally put together to provide relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey, but was expanded to include those affected by Hurricane Irma as well. Proceeds from the event will be distributed to a range of charities aiding recovery efforts. The organizations include the United Way of Greater Houston, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, Feeding Texas and the Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief. 'Hand in Hand' was the brainchild of music manager and producer Scooter Braun’s SB Projects. Braun and Allison Kaye serve as executive producers along with Den of Thieves’ Jesse Ignjatovic and Evan Prager and Houston-based rapper Bernard ‘Bun B’ Freeman.”

3. NYC PIZZA EVENT CALLED THE FYRE FESTIVAL OF FOOD: Some attendees are demanding refunds after Saturday’s disastrous New York City Pizza Festival, which took place in a parking lot in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. The event was promoted as a “daylong celebration of the dough, cheese, tasty sauces, and delicious toppings,” but vendors reportedly only offered skimpy portions for the $75 ticket price. On Monday, prosecutors opened an investigation. Gothamist: “’It was like the people from Fyre Festival decided to throw a pizza party,’ quipped Connell Burke about the Pizza Festival, referencing the infamous luxury festival that promised supermodels and Ja Rule and instead delivered disaster relief tents and slices of cheese, and an indefinite stay on a Bahamian island. ‘It was my girlfriend's birthday so I got the VIP tickets, so I spent $150 total for the two tickets,’ Burke told Gothamist. ‘There's three pop-up tents to my left, one where they're taking cold pizzas out of delivery boxes and cutting them. Those pictures don't do it justice, because they look like they're normal-sized plates but they're actually cake-sized, like what you'd use for cake at a children's birthday party. They're small, tiny little slivers of pizza.’”


Bizly, a platform for booking and managing small meetings, announced the launch of its services to all prospective corporate customers, opening up the site following its closed access period.


COAST TO COAST:  Choice Hotels has teamed up with the American Red Cross and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to donate up to 1,250 free hotel nights to assist first responders, volunteers, and families displaced by recent natural disasters. Choice also assembled “comfort kits” with basic necessities, and members of the Choice Privileges loyalty program can use points to contribute to the American Red Cross.

AUSTIN:  The team behind Half Step and Seven Grand Whiskey Bar debuted Las Perlas, a bar dedicated to mezcal. Located in downtown Austin, Las Perlas features a comprehensive agave spirits program, along with a menu of handcrafted cocktails and Mexican cervezas.

COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND:  The Hotel at the University of Maryland opened September 8. The College Park, Maryland, property offers 297 guest rooms and 43,000 square feet of meeting space.

LAS VEGAS:  The performance lineup for the Emerge Impact & Music Conference, which will take place November 16-18, is curated by a panel of more than 25 industry experts, including recent additions: lead singer of rock band Spoon Britt Daniel and the Killers.

LOS ANGELES:  London-based speciality rose-gifting brand OnlyRoses has opened its first U.S. store in Beverly Hills.

The Carney Awards’ honorees include William H. Macy, Wendie Malick, William Fichtner, Richard Kind, and Xander Berkeley. ABC’s Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron will host the evening’s program October 29 at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica.

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

NEW YORK:  Full-service production company RWS Entertainment Group announced the appointment of Kevin Kreczko as senior director of business development, events and attractions.

On October 12, chef Charlie Palmer, along with chefs Matt Lambert and Dan Kluger, will host a “New Zealand Meets New York” dinner as part of the lineup for the 10th annual Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival. The dinner will take place at the Knick. Palmer will also host a “Meat-ing” of the Minds dinner on October 14 with chefs John Tesar and Joseph JJ Johnson.

The eighth annual Taste of the Seaport family food festival, presented by the Howard Hughes Corporation, will take place on October 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Seaport District on Front Street between Fulton Street and Peck Slip.

The LUNGevity Foundation’s 5th Annual Celebration of Hope Gala will take place November 2 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

The Brooklyn Museum’s Yes! Gala, a celebration of the past, present, and future of feminist art, will take place October 19.

The Outward Bound National Benefit Dinner will take place October 24 at Espace. The evening will include cocktails, a silent auction, a seated dinner, and speakers.

Loreley Restaurant & Biergarten kicks off its 45 Days of Oktoberfest celebration September 16 at noon with the Oktoberfest Party, featuring a free keg-tapping ceremony at 2 p.m. followed by a free pig roast at 4 p.m. Other events include Oktoberfest Hangover Brunch on September 17, Beer Tasting Dinner on October 4, Sausage Fest October 12-15, Pumpkin Keg nights October 19 and 26, Das Boot party October 21, Haunted Beer Garden on Halloween, weekly German beer tap takeovers, and more.

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

PHILADELPHIA:  URBN Food and Beverage’s Terrain Gardens is now accepting booking requests for events taking place from September 1, 2018 onward. The venue will offer a horticultural setting with ever-changing greenery for special occasions year-round for as many as 150 guests. The venue is situated on the Philadelphia Main Line.

SAN FRANCISCO:  Greg Schmidt has been named general manager of the 187-room AC Hotel San Francisco Airport/Oyster Point Waterfront, which is slated to open next month.

TAMPA:  The International BoatBuilders' Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) will go on as scheduled at the Tampa Convention Center September 19-21.

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, Rayna Katz, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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