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March 31, 2015: Music Festivals Ban Selfie Sticks, Virgin Atlantic Stunt Goes Awry, Photo Booth Company Finds Success With App

1. MUSIC FESTIVALS BAN SELFIE STICKS: Following the lead of museums and other cultural institutions, music festivals such as Coachella and Lollapalooza are banning attendees from bringing selfie sticks on their grounds. Associated Press: “Some concertgoers praised the decision, saying the sticks promote a culture of narcissism and detract from the festival experience. Others said they enjoy using them and lament there is so much negativity around them.”

2. VIRGIN ATLANTIC STUNT GOES AWRY: A water cannon salute to celebrate the inaugural flight from Atlanta to Manchester, England, failed when the cannon shot foam instead of water and the return flight had to be cancelled while the jet was cleaned. Daily Mail: “The water canon salute is the sort of flamboyant gesture for which Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic airline has become famous – and also marks something of a wider aviation tradition. But disaster struck when the fire tenders at Manchester Airport positioned themselves to spray a giant arch of water over the top of the transatlantic passenger jet - and someone mistakenly pressed the button marked ‘foam.’ So instead of pure water splaying down the aircraft, it was fire-suppressing foam which got into and clogged up the vital and sensitive jet engines and hi-tech turbine blades.”

3. PHOTO BOOTH COMPANY FINDS SUCCESS WITH APP: Phhhoto, a service that began as an iPad-based photo booth popular at events, has turned into a social network where users share the GIFs created through the platform. It has attracted more than one million registered users as well as seed funding to grow the business. TechCrunch: “For a long time, Phhhoto Pro has been a useful user acquisition tool — the company has around 300 corporate clients and has set up the Phhhoto Pro booth at more than 1,000 different events — but cofounder Champ Bennet explained to TechCrunch that the app has now overtaken the physical product in terms of user acquisition rate.”

4. N.F.L. PUNISHES TEAM FOR USING FAKE CROWD NOISE: The N.F.L. is punishing the Atlanta Falcons for playing fake noise during home games at the Georgia Dome in 2013 and 2014. USA Today: “The league's investigation into the crowd noise issue began last November, and revealed that team's former event marketing director, Roddy White, used an audio file with fake crowd noise to make it louder inside the Georgia Dome, which is a direct violation of a rule that prohibits artificial crowd noise. White is no longer with the Falcons.”


BOSTON:  The Revere Spring Carnival is running through April 19. The event features rides, carnival snacks, and a petting zoo.

CHICAGO:  Lyfe Kitchen, which offers vegan, paleo, and gluten-free menu options, will open its Streeterville location on Wednesday. The venue offers full-service catering.

HONOLULU:  The Royal Hawaiian, a Starwood Luxury Collection Resort, reopens its Mailani Tower in April.

LAS VEGAS:  Ludacris and Chrissy Teigen will host the Billboard Music Awards on May 17 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

LOS ANGELES:  Michael Newcombe is the new general manager at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. His experience includes stints at Four Seasons properties in London, Dublin, Sydney, and the United States, and his role also currently includes overseeing the 38 Four Seasons spas in the Americas.

The Los Angeles Ballet’s gala is May 7 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel Ballroom. The evening’s presenting sponsor is Oscar de la Renta.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The Sylvester Gala is slated for April 25 at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami, which is also sponsoring the event. The evening will include a performance from the singer Sara Bareilles.

NEW YORK:  The African Rainforest Conservancy's 24th annual Artists for Africa benefit is April 22 at the Tribeca Rooftop. The evening will kick off with a cocktail reception and silent auction including more than 20 pieces of art.

The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center announced plans to honor actor Nathan Lane with its annual Monte Cristo Award. The event will take place April 13 at the Edison Ballroom.

Forks, Corks & Cocktails, an event that will benefit the national L.G.B.T.Q. campaign We Are the Youth, is scheduled for May 1 at Life: the Place to Be, in Ardsley, New York. Björn and Company is producing the event.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

PHILADELPHIA:  The Westin Philadelphia finished a $10 million renovation that upgraded its 294 guest rooms. A renovation to the hotel’s main restaurant, Winthorpe & Valentine, and the Lobby Bar wrapped up late last year.

PHOENIX:  Muhammad Ali’s 21st anniversary of Celebrity Fight Night raised $7 million benefiting the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute. Singer Reba McEntire served as M.C. of the event, which took place Saturday at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

TORONTO:  The Toronto Dumpling & Sake Fest will take place on April 9 at Propeller Coffee. It will feature nine dumpling creations from local chefs.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The Washington Performing Arts Gala & Auction is scheduled for May 2 at the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC. The evening will celebrate the 40th anniversary and the proposed expansion of the Embassy Adoption Program, a cultural partnership that the organization coordinates between schoolchildren and about 50 embassies.

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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, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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