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August 3, 2015: L.A. Music Fest Under Scrutiny After Apparent Drug-Related Deaths, How State Fairs Are Evolving With Technology, Seattle Debuts Successful Tech-Backed Art Fair

1. L.A. MUSIC FESTIVAL UNDER SCRUTINY AFTER APPARENT DRUG-RELATED DEATHS: Two young women died this weekend following suspected drug overdoses at the Hard Summer music festival at the Los Angeles County fairgrounds. The two-day music festival attracted about 65,000 people a day. Los Angeles Times: “There has been much debate about whether public agencies should rent out space for raves given the drug problems. When raves were held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena, drug overdoses spiked so much that local emergency rooms were overwhelmed with severely ill attendees, and emergency room doctors urged that such concerts end there. Los Angeles police warned that raves invite widespread Ecstasy use. A Times investigation in 2013 found that at least 14 people who attended raves run by two major Los Angeles-based rave organizers, Insomniac Inc. and Go Ventures Inc., died from overdoses or in drug-related incidents since 2006. Since then, five more have died in drug-related incidents.”

2. HOW STATE FAIRS ARE EVOLVING WITH TECHNOLOGY: State fairs celebrate agriculture, education, and, lately, technology. At the Nebraska State Fair, a mobile app serves as an indispensable marketing tool and organizers improve the Wi-Fi access on the grounds each year. Scottsbluff Star Herald: “With the website and mobile app, [Events and Entertainment Director Chelsey] Jungck said, the State Fair has been able to stay in front of an increasing mobile audience. In 2012, 18 percent of the fair's website traffic was from a mobile or tablet device. In 2014, that increased to 49 percent. … However, she said, the fairgoer can see technology laced throughout the fairgrounds — from the screens in the barns, the closed-circuit televisions on the boardwalk and the use of Showorks with the livestock shows to the mobile app, website and interactive exhibits in Raising Nebraska.”

3. SEATTLE DEBUTS SUCCESSFUL TECH-BACKED ART FAIR: The first Seattle Art Fair, launched by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, drew lines of visitors and prominent collectors and galleries from across the country—as well as a slate of unofficial events that benefited the local art community. The New York Times: “With the backing of Vulcan, Mr. Allen’s investment company, the Seattle Art Fair was a well-funded if experimental initiative to bridge geographic and social divides. Spurred by Mr. Allen’s involvement, blue-chip galleries like Pace, Gagosian and David Zwirner signed up for booths. Organizers hoped it would entice people to travel to Seattle, in the midst of a significant economic and development boom. Seattleites wanted a light shone on their homegrown work, less heralded, perhaps, than that of nearby cities. Dealers wanted to harness the newfound wealth of the tech class, and curators hoped to highlight a connection between Pacific Northwest and Pacific Rim culture and artists.”


AUSTIN:  Entrepreneur Gary Hoover estimates he needs to raise as much as $8 million to open a local innovation museum. Austin Business Journal:

BOSTON:  Yotel, the hotel brand, plans to open an outpost in Boston’s Innovation District in 2017. The 11-story property will have multiple eateries and and indoor/outdoor roof deck; rooms will have the brand’s signature “SmartBeds,” which can transform from flatbreads to couches with the touch of a button. 

CHICAGO:  The Chicago Dancing Festival Gala will be held on August 28 at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The evening will include cocktails, a performance, and dinner on the museum’s terrace.

LAS VEGAS:  Executive chef Luciano Sautto will helm Salute Restaurant, slated for a fall opening in Las Vegas.

LOS ANGELES:  Los Angeles Times: "CineVegas makes its return to Las Vegas Aug. 13-15 after a six-year hiatus. The local film festival joins the 2015 Las Vegas Film Festival at Inspire Theater in downtown Las Vegas with three features and one short, all with directors and actors with connections to past CineVegas festivals.”

The Hilton Garden Inn Irvine/Orange County Airport is now open.

Local event listings from the new Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s International Business & Leadership Conference will take place August 11-14 at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa.

NEW YORK:  The South Street Seaport Museum has canceled Tuesday's concert "Dock Rocks—Party on the Piers,” citing logistical problems at the site. Tickets will be refunded and organizers are working to replace the concert with a concert fund-raiser to support the museum in October.

Local event listings from the new Masterplanner:

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Orlando City Soccer has revealed the new design of its $155 million stadium that would seat 25,500 fans. Orlando Sentinel:

SAN FRANCISCO:  Sabio on Main, a new small plates restaurant helmed by chef Francis X. Hogan, is slated to open in downtown Pleasanton later this month. SFGate:

TORONTO:  Spending on tourist attractions, hotels, and fast food spiked in Toronto and surrounding cities during the Pan Am Games last month. Toronto Star:

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Dupont Underground, a former trolley station being transformed into an arts and event space, announced a partnership with Embassy Row Hotel. The hotel will help with fund-raising efforts for the site, and the hotel will be able to use the underground for some of its events. Washington Business Journal:

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, Anna Sekula, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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