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May 4, 2016: How the British Fashion Council Will Revamp Its Awards, AOL to Launch 360-Degree Studio for Live Video, How Las Vegas Spaces and Venues Are Going Green

1. HOW THE BRITISH FASHION COUNCIL WILL REVAMP ITS AWARDS: Often cited as London’s Met Gala, the British Fashion Council’s annual awards are slated to undergo a major makeover this year. In an effort to globalize the event, the council has renamed it the Fashion Awards, chosen the venue of Royal Albert Hall for a more upscale vibe, and has opened it up to the public. The New York Times: “If the Met Gala is often referred to as ‘the Oscars of the East Coast,’ the British Fashion Council is hoping its new-look event will be ‘the Met Gala meets the Academy Awards’ (in the words of Natalie Massenet, its chairwoman)—with a twist. Unlike either the Oscars or the Met, the council is adding a particularly contemporary dimension to its festivities: On Wednesday, tickets officially went on sale to the public. Of the approximately 3,000 seats that will be available in the Royal Albert Hall, the top two tiers, or 1,500 seats, will be available starting at £48 (about $70) to anyone who wants a peek beyond the red carpet. The plan is to have tables on the floor—which will cost £27,500 for 10 people and £33,000 for 12—reserved for invitation-only nominees and their brands (and interested parties), where dinner will be served. … And one reason London is often so beloved as a party venue is that its events have historically felt less polished, and less controlled, than big hoo-has like the Met Ball. People are allowed to get sloppier. Now all that is coming to an end.”

2. AOL TO LAUNCH 360-DEGREE STUDIO FOR LIVE VIDEO: AOL plans to increase its live video content and virtual reality productions with a new 360-degree, public-facing studio in downtown Manhattan. The digital media company announced during its NewFronts event on Tuesday that its current video production studio, AOL Build, will move from its headquarters to a 13,400-square-foot facility. Adweek: “The current facility already produces four hours of live programming a day and 75 live events a month. Past guests have included Oscar-winner Julianne Moore, Grammy-winner Elton John and best-selling author Nicholas Sparks. AOL already streams about 100 million hours of live programming a day across all of its global partnerships—distributed, owned or AOL-powered channels, CEO Tim Armstrong said at the company's NewFronts event Tuesday evening at South Street Seaport in New York. AOL demonstrated the possibilities of live video by surprising the small audience of press with a surprise conversation with actors Colin Farrell and Ariane Labed, co-stars of the film The Lobster.”

3. HOW LAS VEGAS SPACES AND VENUES ARE GOING GREEN: While the bright lights, gambling, and nonstop partying atmosphere of Sin City don't scream eco-friendly, Las Vegas seems to be getting greener. The Park—the city's first-ever green space—debuted last month, and recent technology, solar, and waste management initiatives from convention centers and hotels are just some ways the city has become more eco-friendly. The Guardian: "Featuring native Southwestern plants, recycled metal furniture and fountains built with locally sourced quartz, The Park, as it’s called, is designed to create a sustainable microcosm of the surrounding desert landscape and provide a leafy path away from the Strip’s tourist-choked sidewalks. It’s a bold move away from fabulist themes that ignore the local ecosystem. … The Strip has been trending green for a number of years, and though less visible than what’s happening at The Park, the measures that involve the multi-thousand room resorts have been the most impactful. Atop the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, MGM has installed the second-largest rooftop solar array in the US. At peak hours, the more than 20 acres of sun-catching glass can fulfill 20% of the conference building’s energy needs. Technology advancements are greening the industry too. In January 2016, Caesars adopted software that connects resort hotel room thermostats to the front-desk occupancy list, so that heating and air conditioning can shut off as soon as a guest checks out. Meanwhile, in Caesars’s large meeting halls, thermostats measure carbon dioxide levels to read whether a room is in use or not, and allow temperatures to drift when sensors detect no breathing. Innovations such as these have allowed Caesars to cut energy use by 21% since 2007."


ATLANTA:  Pick'n in Grant Park BBQ and Music Festival will take place Friday and Saturday.

CHICAGO:  Navy Pier's first-ever hotel, which will have 200 rooms and five floors, is slated to open in 2018. Crain's Chicago Business:

Sustainable food co-op Chicago Market will host two pop-up markets, on May 7 at the Belle Shore and May 21 at the Swedish American Museum.

LAS VEGAS:  Downtown Grand Las Vegas Hotel & Casino has announced a weekly residency with Vegas act Zowie Bowie, beginning May 13 at Citrus at the Grand Pool Deck.

Mixed-use community Tivoli Village will open phase two of its expansion in October. The expansion will involve 370,000 square feet of restaurants and retail space, including a 70,000-square-foot gallery from anchor tenant Restoration Hardware.

LOS ANGELES:  The Los Angeles L.G.B.T. Center's An Evening with Women benefit will take place May 21 at the Hollywood Palladium. Singer Macy Gray and comedian Fortune Feimster are slated to perform.

Hannah An is launching a new spring menu at her restaurant, the District by Hannah An. It will draw inspiration from her mother's seasonal traditional Vietnamese cooking, with a modern twist. Dishes will include Vietnamese herb bone marrow and oven-roasted oysters with Vietnamese herbs.

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Miami New Times will host its Best Of Miami release party June 16 at the Rusty Pelican. The ticketed event will celebrate the publication’s popular issue as well as include food and beverage, live music, and Olympic-style entertainment.

MONTREAL:  The 34th edition of the Just For Laughs Festival will take place July 13-31. The festival will feature a conversation with the cast of Veep and stand-up from comedian Hannibal Buress.

NEW YORK:  The second annual U.S. Aerial Championships will take place May 13-15 at Baruch Performing Arts Center.

The 22nd annual Taste of Tribeca fund-raiser will take place May 21 on Duane Street between Greenwich and Hudson streets. Featuring samples from more than 60 Tribeca restaurants, the event benefits art and enrichment programs at neighborhood public schools PS 150 and PS 234.

Stars in the Alley, a free outdoor concert featuring musical performances from more than 30 Broadway shows, will take place June 3 in the Theatre District's Shubert Alley. The event is produced by the Broadway League and sponsored by United Airlines.

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

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Over The Top Rental Linens has named Pat Mobley as linens sales manager in Orlando.

More than 66 million visitors came to Orlando in 2015, making it the most-visited destination in the country for the second year in a row.

Orlando World Center Marriott has appointed Ralph Scatena as general manager.

SAN FRANCISCO:  BottleRock Napa Valley, which takes place May 27-29, has partnered with the "Do It For The Love" foundation and OneHope Wine to auction off V.I.P. festival packages.

TORONTO:  The Pride Toronto festival will take place June 24-July 3. As part of the festival programming, Star Trek star George Takei will be in conversation at the Ryerson Theatre on June 26.

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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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