U.S. Open Tennis Tournament
THE SCOOP: For a fortnight, sports fans flock to Queens to watch tennis' top players battle for Grand Slam bragging rights. Business entertaining abounds (hospitality suites go for $100,000 and up per year).
BEHIND THE SCENES: Last year drew a record-breaking 639,343 attendees to the USTA National Tennis Center. Always Entertaining and Overland Entertainment helped with the Arthur Ashe Kids' Day kickoff event.
THIS YEAR: At Flushing Meadows. August 26 to September 8
MTV Video Music Awards
THE SCOOP: Boy bands, hip-hop stars, Britney's navel--they all show up for MTV's big night, along with music executives, TV and film stars and hordes of screaming teenagers. And after the live broadcast, after-parties are thrown by record companies, performers and magazines.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Kathy Flynn, MTV's vice president of production events, runs the event, which has rotated between Radio City Music Hall and the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center. Last year's set-up at the Met took almost a week. Miller's Skytracker
Premiere Services supplied three quarters of a mile of red carpet for Lincoln Plaza, and Artfag's Doug Brant designed an outdoor set for performances, with construction by Atlantic Studios and Mountain Productions and lighting by Fourth Phase, Aerial Brilliance, Jem Studio Lighting and Paskal Lighting. Inside the Met, Keith Raywood designed the stage and Alan Branton designed the lights. Avery Fisher Hall hosted a pre-party for about 250 MTV marketing partners, but MTV skipped an official after-party, possibly due to the higher cost of using Lincoln Center instead of Radio City.
THIS YEAR: Radio City Music Hall. August 29 Read our coverage of last year's event...
New Yorkers for Children Fall Gala
THE SCOOP: Last year W magazine called it a “fledgling charity” with a “hot committee” (how about J. Shelby Bryan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Oscar de la Renta and Anna Wintour?). And NewYorkSocialDiary.com columnist David Patrick Columbia says it's “going to become a very important institutional charity in New York.”
BEHIND THE SCENES: Held the week after the September 11 attacks, last year's toned-down gala (read: no dancing) at Cipriani 42nd Street was still a star-studded and upbeat gathering of 700 with a performance by Placido Domingo. The press looked to the event as an example of post-September 11 benefit style.
THIS YEAR: No date has been set for 2002; look for it in September
West Indian Day Parade
THE SCOOP: Brooklyn's no Rio, but the West Indian Day parade has been called one of the largest carnival celebrations in all of North America. The Caribbean community puts on an enormous party on Eastern Parkway, and although getting exact attendance numbers for outdoor events is nearly impossible--every parade's organizers claim they put on the biggest--this one is ranked by many experts as the city's largest parade. One estimate is two million viewers.
BEHIND THE SCENES: The West Indian-American Day Carnival Association organizes the parade, which features steel drum bands and calypso music.
THIS YEAR: On Eastern Parkway. The start and end points have yet to be determined. September 2
Museum of the City of New York Director's Council Summer Party
THE SCOOP: Hosted by the museum's junior committee, this party is one of summer's biggest social events, and draws support from the city's young social set--think Samantha Boardman and lots of Rockefellers. Last year's cutesy (and oddly prescient) dress suggestion read, “Black, White, Ruby Red or Sapphire Blue.”
BEHIND THE SCENES: Mark Gilbertson, founding chairman of the Director's Council, hired Gracious Thyme for catering, Janet Gregg for decor, Ray Jarrell as DJ and steel drum band Global Village Artists for music.
THIS YEAR: At the museum. Originally slated for July 30, the event has been moved to September 4
The New York City Opera Opening Night Gala
THE SCOOP: The youngest opera house in New York since its inception in 1944, the New York City Opera still manages to put on a socially prominent fund-raiser--dubbed a “glittering affair” by W magazine--to mark the opening of its season.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Scheduled for the evening of September 11 last year, the gala for 700 would have honored Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and featured music by Peter Duchin. Ticket prices started at $750, with the price for a table of ten going as high as $10,000.
THIS YEAR: The season will open with Puccini's ”Il Trittico” at the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. September 10
San Gennaro Festival
THE SCOOP: A mish-mash of vendors and festivalgoers crowd the heart of Little Italy as Mulberry Street becomes a sea of red, white and green decorations. People play carnival games to win stuffed animals; eat fried dough, tons of cannoli and sausage sandwiches; and scramble for a coveted sidewalk table at one of Little Italy's numerous cafes for prime people-watching. The reason behind the festival is, of course, San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples. The Most Precious Blood Church acts as the national shrine to the saint and religious center for the feast.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Last year's feast was cancelled due to the September 11 attacks.
THIS YEAR: The feast returns to Mulberry Street September 12 to 22
UNAUSA and Business Council of the UN's Annual Dinner
THE SCOOP: The black-tie dinner, which attracts 2,000 attendees ranging from UN ambassadors to high-ranking business leaders and philanthropists, is a fund-raising event for the United Nations Association of the United States of America. Past recipients of the event's Global Leadership award--a recognition of outstanding leadership--include big shots Bill Gates and Ted Turner.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Last year the Sheraton New York catered and hosted the event, with d?cor by Philip Baloun Designs.
THIS YEAR: Kathleen Hearst, executive director of development at the UNAUSA & BCUN, will work again with Philip Baloun at the Sheraton in September or October
Bon Appetit's Wine and Spirits Focus
THE SCOOP: Known for wrangling in big-name chefs, this food-and-booze showcase packed 1,600 foodies and oenophiles into the Marriott Marquis last year, attracted major sponsors like Mercedes-Benz, Cuisinart, KitchenAid and All-Clad, and offered dishes from restaurants like Aquavit, Craft, Daniel and Payard Patisserie & Bistro. The event's silent auction has raised money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation for the past five years.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Bon Appetit special events director Caryl Chinn coordinates the event with M. Young Communications' Robert Cacciola.
THIS YEAR: C2Media.com will provide signage, and Cort Trade Show Furnishings will bring in set furniture at the Marriott Marquis. September 17
Read our coverage of last year's event...
Opening Night of the Metropolitan Opera Season
THE SCOOP: W magazine's Suzy has called it “a social event of the highest order” and “a prize opportunity to see and be seen in an opulent setting.” Prestigious and traditional, this can't-miss social gala has been a night for both the well-dressed and over-dressed to show off their proclivities.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Last year's toned-down event presented a pre-opening night benefit to aid victims of the September 11 attacks. Tansey Design Associates brought in the floral arrangements and Glorious Food did the catering.
THIS YEAR: At the Metropolitan Opera House, with flowers by Bill Tansey September 23
The New Yorker Festival
THE SCOOP: The weekly magazine for New York's erudite is hosting its third annual arts and literary celebration. Last year more than 50 events--ranging from fiction readings to a Bob Dylan tribute--were staged around the city at diverse venues all over town including the Harvard Club, the Knitting Factory, Mercury Lounge, Town Hall and the Friars Club.
BEHIND THE SCENES: The event is a New Yorker production; publicity is handled in-house.
THIS YEAR: Events take place throughout Manhattan. September 27 to 29
New York Is Book Country Festival
THE SCOOP: After beginning in 1979 as a one-day street fair on Fifth Avenue, the event has morphed into a five-day literary festival that draws 250,000 book lovers a year to kiosks on the street featuring authors and illustrators, entertainment and book-related exhibits and displays.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Although last year's festival was cancelled due to the September 11 attacks, perennial favorites like the Literary Brunch and Literary Tea (cosponsored by The New York Times) will be back this fall.
THIS YEAR: The book fair is on Fifth Avenue between 48th and 57th Streets, the brunch and tea are at the Waldorf=Astoria,and author talks, panels and storytelling events will be held in all five boroughs. September 25 to 29
New York Film Festival
THE SCOOP: While other film festivals are buyers' markets, the Film Society of Lincoln Center's New York Film Festival goes for an artier take, showing films to critics and upper crust audiences. The festival and its surrounding press provide a gauge of how new movies will fare with other audiences.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Screenings take place at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully and Avery Fisher halls and the Walter Reade Theater, and a black-tie gala kicks off the festival.
THIS YEAR: The 40th annual festival begins with screenings at Lincoln Center and a kickoff gala at Tavern on the Green. The festival runs from September 27 to October 13
Internet World Fall
THE SCOOP: Internet World's comprehensive conference used to be all about dot-coms, but now most of the 25,000 to 45,000 techies who attend come from mainstream Fortune 1,000 businesses. Among the show's prominent past keynote speakers: Bob Pittman of AOL Time Warner and Larry Ellison of Oracle.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Penton Media produces the event, now in its 10th year. The show shared space at the Javits Center last year with Streaming Media East, thanks to rescheduling issues raised by the September 11 attacks. But the combined event was such a success they're teaming up again this year.
THIS YEAR: At Javits. September 30 to October 4
Municipal Art Society Gala
THE SCOOP: Jacqueline Onassis helped restore an air of chic to this group's annual fund-raiser. Now big names in architecture, art and philanthropy help raise cash for urban planning and preservation work.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Held just three weeks after September 11, last year's toned-down gala had simple flowers from Robert Isabell, business dress and heavy security from GSS. Produced by George Trescher Associates, the benefit included cocktails in the Seagram Building and dinner across the street at the landmark Lever House.
THIS YEAR: Plans aren't set; probably in early October
Read our coverage of last year's event...
THE SCOOP: The College Music Journal's Marathon spreads itself all over town. The festival began 22 years ago as the CMJ New Music Report, an annual gathering of college music program directors, performers and students. Today 10,000 music industry pros and tens of thousands of performancegoers check out new acts over the course of a few days.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Last year's event showcased 1,000 acts from around the worlds in venues including Bowery Ballroom, CBGB's, Joe's Pub and Spa. The Hilton New York has hosted the marathon's conference for four years; last year featured 50 panels on the state of music.
THIS YEAR: The Marathon will take over approximately 60 venues in late October
MOUSE's Champions of Technology & Education Benefit
THE SCOOP: The Making Opportunities for Upgrading Schools and Education (MOUSE) benefit supports technology in public schools, and is considered one of the top networking events for New York's technology community(admittedly a smaller group these days). “It's a complete who's who of Silicon Alley and financial services companies,” says one Alley insider.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Last year JKS Events helped plan the event, which was held at the W New York - Union Square; In the Market donated flowers.
THIS YEAR: Plans aren't finalized, but it will be in October
The Whitney Museum's Fall Gala
THE SCOOP: This gala stands out among the throngs of benefits thanks to inspired themes based on museum exhibits--and having the Lauders on the board and past sponsors like AOL Time Warner and Hearst Magazines doesn't hurt. The event also eschews traditional (and sometimes boring) hotel venues in favor of constructing lavish installations in the museum itself.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Event planner Harriet Weintraub has produced the gala for years, overseeing the 2000 gala's '30s-style “Club Whitney” theme (inspired by that season's Edward Steichen exhibit), which included a tableau of models and a custom-made El Morocco-style dining room. Last year Alexander Calder's “Calder's Circus” sculptures were moved from the gallery into the lobby, David Beahm Designs interpreted the big top theme, and Bentley Meeker shined lighting gobos made from Calder drawings on the walls. Taste Caterers provided dinner, and Osteria del Circo did the dessert for the after-party, where saucy Sandra Bernhard sang and designer-cum-DJ Todd Oldham spun.
THIS YEAR: No date has been set. Last year it was in mid-October
Read our coverage of last year's event...
Carnegie Hall's Gala Opening Benefit Concert
THE SCOOP: Expect nothing else but great performances during the opening night kickoff of the Carnegie Hall season, held to raise funds for the organization.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Last year the Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall hosted the performances with a pre-party catered by Restaurant Associates. Later, guests gathered for an after-dinner event at the Waldorf=Astoria, with flowers arranged by Philip Baloun Designs.
THIS YEAR: The Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. October 2
Cannes Advertising Festival Screenings
THE SCOOP: The CEOs of major advertising agencies show up for screenings of the winners from the International Advertising Festival (also called the Cannes Lions Festival)--an event similar to the Cannes Film Festival--and the swanky black-tie cocktail reception that precedes it.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Last year's screenings were cancelled due to the September 11 attacks, but the event is generally held at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, with Restaurant Associates doing the catering and P.C. Rueckwald in charge of d?cor.
THIS YEAR: At Avery Fisher Hall. October 17
VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards
THE SCOOP: This event mixes egos from four industries--fashion, music, television and publishing--and spawns a celebrity-filled, edited-for-TV VH1 broadcast that delivers awards including “Most Stylish Video” and “Most Fashionable Artist.”
BEHIND THE SCENES: Todd Schwartz was VH1's executive in charge of production, and KCD produced the event's fashion show portion. Set designer Bruce Rodgers of Tribe Inc. (he did Madonna's last tour) worked directly with Vogue editor Anna Wintour to design the show's look, which included lots of L.E.D. screens and silver tressing. Attendees like Calvin Klein, Moby and Gwyneth Paltrow watched performers Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey and Argentinean troupe De La Guarda from pricey white plastic Philippe Starck chairs on the floor of the Hammerstein Ballroom. Winners and presenters (including Mick Jagger and Jim Carrey) appeared on a small stage in the middle of the audience. Meanwhile, Tentation catered an MTV Networks viewing party upstairs in Manhattan Center Studios' Grand Ballroom.
THIS YEAR: No date has been set; last year it was in October
Read our coverage of last year's event...
Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner
THE SCOOP: The political elite don white-tie duds for this big fund-raising dinner, which draws press coverage and major national players--both Al Gore and George Bush were there in 2000, and Veep Dick Cheney temporarily left his post-September 11 hiding spot to crack jokes in 2001. Sponsored by the New York Catholic Archdiocese, it benefits Catholic charities.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Helen Lowe, executive director of development at the New York Catholic Archdiocese, coordinates the dinner. The Waldorf=Astoria has hosted the event for 55 years.
THIS YEAR: Where else but the Waldorf? October 17
Casita Maria Fiesta Fund-raiser
THE SCOOP: This black-tie benefit draws an international, multiethnic crowd of about 400 guests to raise money for Casita Maria, a settlement house in the South Bronx that serves the Hispanic community. Past honorees include Iris Cantor, Malcolm Forbes, Agnes Gund, Audrey Hepburn, Tito Puente, Chita Rivera and two Oscars--de la Renta and De La Hoya. “Prince of chintz” and pricey decorator Mario Buatta served as M.C. last year.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Nixon Richman & Company coordinated last year's soiree at the Plaza. In lieu of traditional centerpieces, Philip Baloun Designs put out wrought iron French votive trees wrapped with vines and ambiance roses, holding 24 votive candles apiece.
THIS YEAR: Nixon Richman & Company return to the Plaza. October 22
Read our coverage of last year's event...
Fashion Group International's Night of Stars
THE SCOOP: One of the most stylish and star-studded events on the fashion world's calendar, Night of Stars is FGI's major fund-raiser and benefits its scholarship foundation. Entertainment bigwigs, fashion gurus and retail heavies in attendance include Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bette Midler, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tom Ford and Anna Wintour.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Celebrities and the fashion flock celebrated at Cipriani 42nd Street with d?cor by Craig and Company and production and staging by Jack Alexander. Elsa Klensch served as the event's host.
THIS YEAR: The bash returns to Cipriani 42nd Street with Craig and Company and Jack Alexander. October 24
THE SCOOP: Touted as the only nighttime parade in the country, the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade has grown from a small theatrical, house-to-house production to a major city event. The night of costumes and carefree celebration even earned a special Obie award (which lauds Off Broadway theater) in 1976.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Founded in 1973 by mask maker and puppeteer Ralph Lee, the parade is now run by the nonprofit Village Halloween Parade Inc. and directed by Jeanne Fleming.
THIS YEAR: No big surprise here--the parade snakes through the Village on Halloween, October 31
Events in January and February 2002
Events in March and April 2002
Events in May, June and July 2002
Events in November and December 2002