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December 19, 2017: Two Notable New York Music Venues Join Forces With Live Nation, Climate Change Is Affecting Winter Olympics Training, How Epcot Keeps Its Culinary Festivals Afloat

1. TWO NOTABLE NEW YORK MUSIC VENUES JOIN FORCES WITH LIVE NATION: New York music venues the Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge have formed a new partnership with Live Nation. The New York Times: “In a joint announcement, Live Nation and Michael Swier, the founder of those clubs, said they were creating a new promotion and booking company called Mercury East Presents. It will align the Bowery and the Mercury with Live Nation’s Irving Plaza, Gramercy Theater and Warsaw clubs, as well as its Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk, to share expertise and marketing. The deal reflects the rapid consolidation of a local market that until recently had been dominated by scrappy independents. In 2016, Live Nation acquired the Governors Ball festival, and early this year AEG, Live Nation’s rival, bought the Bowery Presents — a partnership that once included Mr. Swier and controls Terminal 5, the Music Hall of Williamsburg and a network of clubs along the East Coast. This year AEG also teamed with the owners of Barclays Center to purchase and renovate Webster Hall. Mr. Swier, who started his New York night-life career as a bartender in 1979 and has lately branched out to Los Angeles, acknowledged the new reality in an interview. ‘The way the landscape has changed these days, with consolidation, this is the counterbalance one would need to exist and compete with the formidable Bowery Presents-AEG alliance,’ Mr. Swier said. ‘Going it alone was not an option.’ In a statement, Michael Rapino, the chief executive of Live Nation, said the partnership would ‘allow Live Nation to bring New York’s residents and visitors more music and events than ever before.’”

2. CLIMATE CHANGE IS AFFECTING WINTER OLYMPICS TRAINING: Athletes training for February’s Winter Olympics in South Korea are running into a significant issue—the snow needed to practice is melting. Associated Press: “Another subtle but telltale indicator of climate change’s disruptive impact on winter sports: Many athletes — here 5,000 miles away from the Rockies and 3,500 miles from the Green Mountains of New England — had the letters “USA” emblazoned on their jackets. Americans once had little need to swap continents to guarantee offseason access to snow. But warming is forcing athletes to hunt farther from home for wintry conditions, particularly just months away from an Olympics. Last year, the aerials team stopped water training at its headquarters in Park City, Utah, in mid-October, then sat and waited a month for snow that came late to the mountain that hosted the Winter Games 15 years ago. The World Cup season began in China, and the Americans were forced to travel there not having set foot on snow in months. … The growing frequency of warm winters has, indeed, hurt the financial health of the industry, including ski resorts that form the backbone of the recreational side of the sport. A study commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the athletes’ group Protect Our Winters found that skier visits in New Hampshire were 17 percent lower and ski resort revenue was $54 million less in the “low-snow” winters of 2001-02 and 2006-07, as compared with higher snowfall winters of 2007-08 and 2008-09. The increased frequency of warm-weather race disruptions on the pro circuits also is causing alarm. Mild temperatures and lack of snow in Germany, Croatia and Michigan hit the 2015-16 season with multiple cancellations and venue changes. Last season began with events in Colorado and Alberta scrubbed because of lack of snow. This season’s early Alpine event in Beaver Creek, Colorado, was run on almost all man-made snow that turned glassy in the warming sunshine. Biathlon venues such as Ruhpolding in Germany and Ostersund, Sweden, commonly now make thousands of cubic yards of snow at the end of winter and store it through summer beneath tarps and wood chips for early-season races the next winter.”

3. HOW EPCOT KEEPS ITS CULINARY FESTIVALS AFLOAT: A main draw for many guests visiting Walt Disney World's Epcot theme park is its seasonal culinary festivals. As Epcot's culinary festivals continue to expand, the park relies on a new, giant culinary facility that was built to support those events. USA Today: "Through the years, the festival's planners expanded both the size and scope of the fall event and the number of days it was held. Focusing on produce and farm-to-table dishes, Epcot added food booths to its spring event, the Flower & Garden Festival. In January of this year, the park launched its newest annual event, the International Festival of the Arts, and included food booths to celebrate the culinary arts. Also in 2017, Epcot rebranded its end-of-the-year event as the International Festival of the Holidays and placed more of an emphasis on sweet and savory treats from around the world. With a festival calendar that now spans 266 days each year and the need to prepare a staggering amount of food and beverages to support the events, Epcot was faced with a serious case of too many cooks in the kitchen. Its solution? Build a new kitchen. A really big kitchen. In the late summer, the park opened a 12,000-square-foot culinary facility dedicated to the festivals. ... When the festivals are busy, the kitchen hums with as many as 90 people cooking and preparing the food and beverages. Another 30 staff members transport the items to the booths. For the food and wine event, which is Epcot's largest festival, the culinary team creates 150 items from scratch daily. Visitors gobble up as much as 4,000 servings per day of the more popular dishes. In addition to keeping festivalgoers well fed, the new kitchen also serves as a flavor lab. 'This is a food and beverage think tank,' says Rick DeCicco, Disney World's proprietor of festivals. A team of chefs convenes up to a year ahead of an event to look at feedback from past festivals and brainstorm new items. After developing a list of potential dishes, they'll prepare them and hold test tastings with employees. To develop the menus, the team also explores the latest culinary trends."


Tech entrepreneurs Leonora Valvo and Marie-Claire Andrews have launched a Women in Event Tech website, a new movement for women trailblazers in event technology. Valvo is the C.E.O. and founder of Swoogo and Andrews is the director of operations for Event Tech Tribe. 


LOS ANGELES:  Anime convention Anime Impulse will take place January 13-14 at Fairplex in Pomona.

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Housing Works’s third annual Design on a Dime fund-raising event will take place February 3-4 at the Moore Building in the Design District.  

MINNEAPOLIS:  Kelly Clarkson will headline game-day parties for Super Bowl LII ticketholders. Star Tribune:

NEW YORK:  The Museum of Modern Art will honor Oprah Winfrey with the David Rockefeller Award at a luncheon on March 6. 

The Madison Square Garden Company has named Andrew Lustgarten president. 

Business event management firm AlliedPRA, Inc. has named Mike Fiber chief operating officer. 

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

PHILADELPHIA:  Jack Daniel’s Pitch Distilled event will take place January 23 at South Restaurant in Philly. The event, which is sponsored by Wired Brand Lab, will present pitches from the top three finalists in a national competition for aspiring entrepreneurs.  

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Alexandria, Virginia-based NTP Events reported that the American Public Transportation Association Expo 2017, held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta from October 9-11, netted the show’s largest net square feet, paid net square feet, sponsor revenue, and onsite space selection contracts. The next APTA Expo is scheduled for October 12-14, 2020, at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.

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

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