September 28, 2018: American Music Awards to Honor Aretha Franklin With Special Tribute, Miami's Ultra Music Festival Forced to Move After Losing Contract With Downtown Venue, N.F.L. Defends Against Lawsuit That Alleges Super Bowl Ticketing Violations

By Ian Zelaya September 28, 2018, 8:53 AM EDT

1. AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS TO HONOR ARETHA FRANKLIN WITH SPECIAL TRIBUTE: The American Music Awards will honor Aretha Franklin with a special tribute led by singer Gladys Knight. Hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross, the ceremony will be broadcast live on ABC from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on October 9. Los Angeles Times: “Soul and gospel legends Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Mary Mary, Donnie McClurkin, and CeCe Winans will lead the special performance when the show takes place on October 9, Dick Clark Productions and ABC announced Thursday. 'It’s a blessing to be a part of this moving musical tribute to honor our late queen and sister, Aretha,' Knight said in a statement. 'She was an icon and visionary, radiated light and love through all of her life’s work, and touched all of us through her incredible gift of music.' The tribute will honor Franklin’s gospel roots and iconic gospel album, 'Amazing Grace.' Former Tonight Show With Jay Leno band leader Rickey Minor will serve as the musical director. Sabrina Owens, Franklin’s niece and executor of her estate, thanked show producers for honoring the music titan during the broadcast. In addition to her 18 Grammy Awards, Franklin, who died in August at 76, accumulated six American Music Awards between 1976 and 1983. She hosted the show in 1976 and performed on the AMAs in 1983 and 1986. The show will include a bevy of other live performances. The previously announced musical acts include Mariah Carey; Benny Blanco with Halsey and Khalid; Cardi B with Bad Bunny and J Balvin; and Post Malone with Ty Dolla $ign and Carrie Underwood."

2. MIAMI'S ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL FORCED TO MOVE AFTER LOSING CONTRACT WITH DOWNTOWN VENUE: Ultra Music Festival, an E.D.M. festival and one of Miami's longest-running music festivals, has been kicked out of downtown Miami. The City of Miami Commission voted yesterday to deny a new agreement for the festival to stay at Bayfront Park for the next five years. Miami Herald: “Caught in the fray of a political grudge match between two commissioners and mixed public opinion, Ultra Music Festival’s future in downtown Miami was dealt a significant setback when commissioners rejected the contract. Downtown residents who oppose the festival left City Hall smiling and high-fiving each other as festival organizers quietly conferred outside the commission chambers. The vote could mean that Ultra won’t return to the park in 2019, which would be the first time in 18 years that Ultra is not on Miami’s waterfront. But organizers of the electronic dance music festival said afterward that they hope to salvage a concert at Bayfront Park in March. A contract could come back later if an agreement could be worked out, an option that seems unlikely to an organized group of residents who were elated with the vote. ... Ray Martinez, the former Miami Beach police chief who serves as Ultra’s head of security and spokesman, told the Miami Herald that despite the setback, the festival still wants to try to stay on Miami’s waterfront. 'We’re disappointed, obviously. We’re going to meet again with the city and hopefully be able to resolve the outstanding issues and the issues that the residents have, and be able to come back to the city with an acceptable agreement that they would be ready to vote on.' Martinez said the vote did not mark the end of Ultra in Bayfront Park."

3. N.F.L. DEFENDS AGAINST LAWSUIT THAT ALLEGES SUPER BOWL TICKETING VIOLATIONS: The N.F.L. defended itself Thursday before the Supreme Court against a lawsuit that alleges the league’s ticketing policies for the 2014 Super Bowl violated New Jersey’s consumer fraud law. Associated Press: “The case was spurred by a 2014 federal lawsuit filed by a New Jersey man who claimed he was forced to pay more than double the $800 face value for a ticket on the secondary market because of the N.F.L.’s policy of making just 1 percent of the tickets available to the public through a lottery. Josh Finkelman is seeking class-action status for himself and thousands of other fans in a case that could translate to millions of dollars in damages. His attorney, Bruce Nagel, argued Thursday that the N.F.L.’s policy violated the part of New Jersey law requiring events to make 95 percent of tickets available to the public, considered the strictest law of its kind in the country at the time. That portion of the law has since been repealed. … Attorneys for the N.F.L. countered that the lottery didn’t constitute a public sale, and thus didn’t trigger the consumer fraud law. Attorney Jonathan Pressment said it has been known for years—including by those in New Jersey who sought to attract the game—that the league’s signature event doesn’t release tickets to the public in the same way as music concerts or even other sporting events. Most tickets go to the league’s 32 teams plus sponsors and other insiders.”


AUSTIN:  Central Texas event production firms Brock and Company Events, Botanical No. 9 Floral & Design, and Caplan Miller Events have merged to create Tres Events, a full-service event production agency. 

CHICAGO:  The A.E.C. BuildTech Conference & Expo will take place April 30-May 2, 2019, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. Steve Jones, senior director of industry insights research at Dodge Data & Analytics, will be the keynote speaker. 

LOS ANGELES:  The Los Angeles Philharmonic will celebrate its 100th anniversary on Sunday with Celebrate LA!, an eight-mile street party connecting the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. The event route will feature 1,800 musicians, artists, and dancers performing at six hubs. The festival will end with a free concert at the Hollywood Bowl. 

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

NASHVILLE:  The 12th annual International Black Film Festival will take place October 5-7 at venues including the Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. 

NEW YORK:  The Strand Bookstore will host an event celebrating the release of BuzzFeed’s Tasty cookbook Tasty Ultimate: How to Cook Basically Anything on October 10. Tasty head of culinary Claire King will demo how Tasty’s videos are made. 

The fourth annual Werk It podcast festival and conference, which highlights women in podcasting, will take place November 13-14 at the Knockdown Center in Queens. Additional live events and podcast tapings will take place at venues throughout the city. The festival is hosted by W.N.Y.C. Studios. 

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

SAN FRANCISCO:  The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco will be illuminated in pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, and will invite guests and locals to support a local nonprofit Breast Cancer Emergency Fund by attending Pink Afternoon Tea and other programming from the hotel’s culinary team. 

YOUR NEWS: What are you doing? Tell us:

JOB BOARD: Post a job or find a job:

With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

BizBash Daily is the must-read digest of event industry news from

Feed the Sheet:


Advertise with BizBash:


Sign up for the BizBash Daily - stay current with the event industry.
Your email inquiry will be sent to 3 venue