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February 1, 2017: South by Southwest Speaks Out Against Trump's Travel Ban, Live Nation and AEG Live are Dominating New York's Live Music Scene, Multiple High-Profile Artists May Boycott Grammys

1. SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST SPEAKS OUT AGAINST TRUMP'S TRAVEL BAN: South by Southwest has spoken out against President Trump's executive order banning refugees and citizens from Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. Billboard: "The annual music/film/tech confab, which begins March 10 in Austin, said in a statement late Sunday that it stands against discrimination and is looking into how the travel ban could affect participants of this year's event in Austin. The latest list of live performers currently does not include any artists traveling from the seven countries covered by the ban (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen). 'SXSW is alarmed by the Trump administration’s decision to ban citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.,' organizers said. 'We stand against discriminatory laws and unequivocally support civil rights for all persons everywhere. Participation by speakers, artists, and filmmakers from around the world is crucial to the creative mix of ideas that makes our event meaningful.' The conference added, 'We are working to understand how the ban will impact our participants and how we can use our voice to support those directly affected by this executive order.' Trump's executive order bans travel from seven Muslim-majority nations for 90 days and suspends all refugee admission for 120 days."

2. LIVE NATION AND AEG LIVE ARE DOMINATING NEW YORK'S LIVE MUSIC SCENE: The live music industry's biggest companies, Live Nation Entertainment and AEG Live, are both quickly taking ownership of New York's most iconic music venues. The New York Times: "Competition has been escalating between the industry’s two corporate giants, Live Nation Entertainment, the sector leader, and No. 2 AEG Live, which owns the Staples Center in Los Angeles and controls the Coachella festival. In the latest sign, AEG has acquired half of the Bowery Presents, the indie promoter behind New York clubs like Terminal 5 and the Music Hall of Williamsburg, the leaders of the partner companies said last week in their first public comments about the deal. … Their rivalry has quickly heightened in New York. Last year Live Nation bought the young company behind the Governors Ball, and AEG backed a new event, Panorama, put on by its division called Goldenvoice, the hipster-approved promoter behind Coachella. AEG’s talks for Bowery, meanwhile, were carried on for more than a year as perhaps the industry’s worst-kept secret. AEG has long played second fiddle to Live Nation in the concert world, booking fewer tours while concentrating on major real-estate assets like the L.A. Live complex, which houses the Staples Center, and O2 Arena in London. The company, which is controlled by the billionaire investor Philip F. Anschutz, does not disclose its finances, but executives have long said it is profitable; Live Nation posts repeated net losses. AEG’s future was briefly thrown into doubt in 2012 when Mr. Anschutz put AEG up for sale but then abruptly canceled the auction and replaced management."

3. MULTIPLE HIGH-PROFILE ARTISTS MAY BOYCOTT GRAMMYS: Artists including Frank Ocean, Drake, Kanye West, and Justin Bieber might be skipping out on this year's Grammys as a form of rebellion against the awards ceremony. The Atlantic: “Ocean’s decision to boycott signaled wider discontent with the Grammys, and it may have even started a chain reaction of pop-star protest. TMZ reports that Drake, Kanye West, and Justin Bieber may all also skip the awards show because it’s ‘irrelevant.’ While the news hasn’t been confirmed elsewhere, it would fit a general trend of artists rebelling against their industries’ gatekeepers in what might be the most effective way possible: by withholding their star power. West has a long and infamous history of sparring with the Grammys—even as he racked up 21 trophies from them over the years. The most famous example came in 2015 when West hopped onstage as Beck’s folksy Morning Phase won the Album of the Year prize over Beyonce’s self-titled tour de force. For him and many others, Beck’s win embodied the great Grammy hypocrisy: It profits from boundary-pushing popular black artists by having them at the ceremony, but tends to reserve its top awards for more musically conservative white artists. … The conversation over the Grammys hasn’t quite as explicitly centered on questions of representation and racial justice as, say, recent Academy Awards controversies have. And the show still has the power to generate memorable TV moments (see Kendrick Lamar at last year’s ceremony), honor vital young artists (Chance the Rapper’s nomination this time is historic), and attract an array of talent (Anderson .Paak, Maren Morris, Metallica, Adele, Daft Punk, The Weeknd, and A Tribe Called Quest are among the featured performers this year).”


COAST TO COAST:  Nominees have been announced for the 28th annual Glaad Media Awards, which will take place April 1 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles and May 6 at the New York Hilton Midtown. Glaad announced 115 nominees in 21 English-language categories and 41 nominees in 11 Spanish-language categories.

CHICAGO:  Vertigo Sky Lounge at the Dana Hotel will close this spring and be replaced by a concept from the Fifty/50 Restaurant Group. Eater:

Le Meridien Chicago—Oakbrook Center hotel has appointed Paul E. Cardona as general manager.

HOUSTON:  The National Center for Civil and Human Rights and ESPN's exhibit Breaking Barriers: Sports for Change is on display at the N.F.L. Experience by Genesis at Hall A of the George R. Brown Convention Center. The exhibit showcases athletes, including Muhammad Ali and Billie Jean King, who have used their celebrity status to stand up for social justice.

LONDON:  Hyatt Regency London—the Churchill has debuted its multimillion-pound renovation, which includes the addition of six new guest rooms and three new event spaces. Named the Blenheim, Marlborough, and Spencer Suites, the new rooms bring the total number of event spaces to 11, allowing for the hotel to host events for as many as 350.

LOS ANGELES:  Time Out L.A.'s inaugural Grilled Cheese Meltdown will take place February 12 at Majestic Halls. The event will offer grilled cheese tastings from restaurants including Catcher in the Rye, Grilled Cheese Truck, and Richeeze.

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

NASHVILLE:  Florida-based furniture and decor company So Cool Events has expanded with a new location in Nashville.

NEW YORK:  Women's Day magazine's 14th annual Red Dress Awards will take place February 7 in the Appel Room at 10 Columbus Circle. The event will be hosted by editor in chief Susan Spencer and actress Jane Lynch, and will include a performance by Melissa Etheridge.

Bailey House, an organization that works to provide people living with H.I.V. and AIDS comprehensive housing and care coordination, will host its gala and auction on March 9. The event will be hosted by actor Alan Cumming.

Nonprofit organization Wellness in the Schools will host its annual gala on April 24 at the Tribeca Rooftop.

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

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Renee Radabaugh, president and managing director of Paragon Events, has been named to the Board of Directors of the Association of Women in Events.

TORONTO:  Drake Hotel Properties is slated to open its new venue Drake Commissary in Junction Triangle this spring. The 8,000-square-foot creative culinary and production kitchen will include a bakery, bar, and larder.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The National Cherry Blossom Festival's Pink Tie Party will take place March 16 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The event will feature spring-inspired cuisine and cocktails from local restaurants including Rooster & Owl and Pow Pow.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts will celebrate its 30th anniversary with its annual black tie gala fund-raiser on April 21.

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

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