September 14, 2018: Hurricane Florence Forces Events to Examine Insurance Requirements, Conferences Relocate From Chicago Hotels to Support Workers Strike, Tel Aviv to Host Next Eurovision Song Contest

By Ian Zelaya September 14, 2018, 9:10 AM EDT

1. HURRICANE FLORENCE FORCES EVENTS TO EXAMINE INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS: As Hurricane Florence makes landfall in the Southeastern U.S., numerous events have been cancelled or postponed—including J. Cole's inaugural Dreamville Festival in Raleigh. The storm has revived a focus on event insurance requirements. Billboard: “Who pays for the lost revenue and costs of events that have to be canceled because of catastrophic weather? If event producers have event cancellation insurance, then typically their insurance provider will cover losses, and in some cases, lost profits if event producers can prove the event was going to make money. But in order to make a successful claim, it's important the policy was purchased and bound in advance of impending weather, explains Paul Bassman, president and chief executive for Ascend insurance brokerage, which provides insurance for the entertainment industry. 'Once a hurricane or storm has been named, a cancellation policy is going to exclude that storm,' explains Bassman. Storms and hurricanes are named by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's National Hurricane Center in Miami. 'As long as you purchase your insurance prior to the storm becoming a named storm, you'll have coverage under your cancellation policy for cancellation due to weather,' said Bassman, adding that those who wait too long could find themselves exposed to uninsured damages. 'You can't insure a house that's on fire and you can't insure a festival that's already on the path of a hurricane.' ... Hurricane Florence is expected to be a major event for insurance companies across the state and a number of concerts and events are facing cancellation. SPARKcon, a creativity and arts festival presented by the Raleigh Visual Arts Exchange, has been rescheduled, as has 4U, A Symphonic Celebration of Prince at the Red Hat Amphitheater, which had been scheduled for Thursday (Sept. 13). That concert is being moved to Oct. 8."

2. CONFERENCES RELOCATE FROM CHICAGO HOTELS TO SUPPORT WORKERS STRIKE: At least two groups have relocated their conferences from Chicago hotels to show solidarity with the downtown hotel workers strike. Chicago Tribune: “The Democratic Attorneys General Association, which was scheduled to host 200 people at the JW Marriott this week for its fall quarterly policy program, decided to move the event to show solidarity with workers who have been on strike for a week. The JW Marriott is one of 26 unionized hotels downtown where housekeepers, doormen, cooks, and other hotel employees have been protesting around-the-clock to demand year-round health insurance as they negotiate new contracts. The association moved its events to the offices of the law firm Edelson and the Kimpton Gray hotel, where workers are not on strike and one of the few places that could accommodate 200 people on short notice, Ulmer said. Marriott International did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium, which has more than 500 people registered, is also being moved from its original hotel venue to ‘stand with workers,’ organizer Howard Brown Health announced to participants this week. The conference, which takes place Saturday and Sunday, will now be held at Malcolm X College. Howard Brown declined to disclose the name of the hotel that had been set to host the symposium. The venue changes are an additional headache for hotels affected by the strike, which the union says is the broadest coordinated hotel strike Chicago has seen. Guests at some hotels have complained of long lines to check in, rooms not being cleaned, and noise from chanting protestors.”

3. TEL AVIV TO HOST NEXT EUROVISION SONG CONTEST: The Eurovision Song Contest has announced that Tel Aviv will host the 2019 competition, following political controversy around Israel hosting the event. Associated Press: “The Israeli government had initially insisted on holding the popular event in Jerusalem. But following a backlash over the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as its capital and a subsequent fear of boycotts it dropped the demand to host the world’s largest live music event. The Eurovision said it chose Tel Aviv, Israel’s cultural and commercial epicenter, over Jerusalem and the southern city of Eilat because of its ‘creative and compelling bid.’ … Israel won the Eurovision this year with a flashy pop tune called ‘Toy’ by the charismatic, previously unknown singer Netta Barzilai, who dazzled viewers with her feminist lyrics, unconventional appearance, and signature chicken dance. Her victory earned Israel the right to host next year’s contest. In Europe, capital cities have usually played host. But the city Israel considers its capital is not recognized as such by most of the international community. Hosting the competition in Jerusalem could have presented a predicament for the public broadcasters that make up the European Broadcasting Union, sparking criticism that they would be taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinian-led BDS campaign—which advocates boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against Israel—called for the Eurovision contest to be boycotted altogether if it is held in Israel.”


BOSTON:  The Boston Globe: “Union hotel workers Wednesday voted to authorize a strike at eight Marriott Hotels in Boston, with more than 1,000 workers, or 96 percent, in favor.”

LOS ANGELES:  The fifth annual Eastside Food Festival will take place October 21 at Mack Sennett Studios. The event will feature more than 35 local food and beverage vendors.

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The Association of Fundraising Professionals Fort Lauderdale/Broward Chapter’s 31st annual National Philanthropy Day Awards will take place November 1 at the Signature Grand in Davie.

NEW YORK:  Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden’s Autumn Moon Festival will take place September 22. The annual Asian culture festival will be held in the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden and will feature family-friendly activities, martial arts demonstrations, storytelling, Chinese calligraphy lessons, and more. 

Colin Cowie's F.O.O.D. Inc. (Food of Overwhelming Distinction) will host the Council of Protocol Executives' (COPE) 30th-anniversary celebration October 1 at the Glasshouses.

The 11th annual Bushwick Film Festival will take place October 10-14. The festival’s opening night event will take place at House of Yes, and more than 40 events, including short and feature film screenings, parties, and panels, will take place during the five-day festival. 

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

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Rockway Exhibits and Events has appointed Mickey Moe director of production. 

PHILADELPHIA:  Four Seasons’s next Four Seasons Pop Down will take place September 22-25 at four locations in the city. The second iteration of the pop-up series, designed to connect people to the brand and the city, will consist of giant floral installations created by Jeff Leatham. The installations will appear at 30th Street Amtrak Station, Passyunk Triangle, Comcast Center, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The National Conference Center has partnered with Shocktober, a haunted house and fund-raiser for the Arc of Loudoun—which serves children with disabilities and their families—to launch a weekend destination experience throughout October called Halls of Horror. The package will include transportation to and from Shocktober and a gift card to the venue’s Black Olive Bar & Grill, which will be transformed into a haunted hotel-theme bar. 

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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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