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October 6, 2015: Budget Cuts for Rio 2016, Grading the 2015 Music Festivals, Why Firefly Organizers Aren't Worried About a New York Coachella

1. HOW RIO 2016 ORGANIZERS ARE AVOIDING OVERSPENDING: The team behind the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic games are making spending cutbacks of as much as 30 percent to avoid going over a $3.6 billion budget. The budget has been cut for the opening ceremony, and there will be fewer tents and structures at Olympic events. BBC: “Rio 2016 communications director Mario Andrada said the Brazilian public would not tolerate an overspend. ‘The days of lavish spending are over,’ said Andrada. ‘We need to be creative in the way we find these savings.’ Events across 50 Olympic and Paralympic sports featuring about 15,000 athletes will not be affected."

2. GRADING THE 2015 MUSIC FESTS: The Los Angeles Times ranked the big music festivals it covered this year, grading the live experiences by cost, star power, food, and "body tax." The Stagecoach Festival scored the highest, with an A, while FYF Fest fared the worst, earning a D and criticized for offering a layout that's challenging for attendees to navigate. "Last year's move to Exposition Park was saddled with logistical issues so severe, organizers sent an apology email to fans. A ‘new improved shortcut’ helped this summer, but the layout remained difficult and stage hopping almost impossible (we had the blisters to prove it). Standing on the hot asphalt in front of the main stage felt more like punishment than festival fun."

3. WHY FIREFLY ORGANIZERS AREN'T WORRIED ABOUT A NEW YORK COACHELLA: While a new New York City rock music festival from Coachella producers—tentatively titled Panorama—might launch the same weekend in June as Firefly, Red Frog Events, which organizes the Delaware music festival, isn’t too worried about competition. Festival organizers and music venue experts cite the difference of venues and location as the main reason. USA Today: “According to reports, Panorama would be held in Queens at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the site of the 1964 World’s Fair – an urban site where camping is not expected. That would be a major difference for festivalgoers who would theoretically commute to Panorama each day as opposed to Firefly’s offer of a long weekend of camping and music in The Woodlands, says Michael Johnson, assistant professor and head of the Music Technology Department at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. ‘It depends on what people want,” says Johnson. ... ‘Do they want a camping, live-on-site experience or do they want a single ticket each day in Queens kind of thing and see the three bands they care about?’”

4. AN ALL-GIRL BAND WANTS TO RELAUNCH LILITH FAIR: Pop-rock sister trio and Taylor Swift 1989 tour openers Haim revealed at the New Yorker Festival that they would like to bring back a Lilith Fair-style, all-female music festival for millennials. Their fantasy lineup includes Lorde, Florence and the Machine, and Swift. Vulture: "Speaking with music critic Kelefa Sanneh at the New Yorker Festival on Friday, the eldest Haim, Este, said, 'We talk about this all the time, how there aren’t enough female-represented bands and artists at festivals. You don’t see them. And it’s really sad for us. We came up with the idea basically of why can’t we just bring back a festival that’s just ladies. Not that we don’t love the boys. Love the men.'"


COAST TO COAST:  The Weeknd, One Direction, and Selena Gomez are slated to headline iHeart Radio’s Jingle Ball tour, which runs from December 1-19. The event will come to Dallas, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York.

BOSTON:  Pressed, which specializes in plant-based foods, will open a second location in the South End in 2016.

CHICAGO:  Stan’s Donuts will open its Lakeview location on October 10. The eatery will offer around 30 doughnut varieties each day.

LAS VEGAS:  Vegas Indoor Skydiving and haunted attraction Freakling Bros the Trilogy of Terror will celebrate National Face Your Fears Day on October 13 by giving guests the change to win free V.I.P. upgrades to both experiences throughout the rest of the month.

LOS ANGELES:  More than 400 guests attended the fourth annual Voices on Point gala on October 3 to support higher education opportunities for L.G.B.T.Q. students.

On October 1, the photo auction Photo15, held at Milk Studios to support the creation of the AIDS Monument in the City of West Hollywood, raised more than $300,000.

Local event listings from the new Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The Miami Broward Carnival, which celebrates Caribbean culture with live music, a parade, and colorful costumes, takes place on Sunday at the Miami Dade County Fair and Exposition.

NEW YORK:  The Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade will take place October 24. Along with the annual costume contest, the event will feature multiple animal adoption and rescue organizations in attendance.

Local event listings from the new Masterplanner:

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Walt Disney World has introduced a new season pass system, with higher prices and new benefits. Orlando Sentinel:

SAN FRANCISCO:  The 35th annual Fleet Week will run through October 12, with public events—including ship tours—kicking off on Thursday. Hoodline:

SF Beer Week's Gala Beer Bowl will kick off the annual beer event on January 22. The competition will pit brewers from north and south of Market Street against one another in a collaborative beer brewing contest.

TORONTO:  The 10th annual Toronto Chocolate Festival will take place October 17-November 8 at various locations in the city. Events during the 23-day festival include the Chocolate Ball: Cirque du Chocolat on October 22.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Chef Michael Schlow will open a third location of Italian concept Alta Strada at Mount Vernon Triangle. The restaurant will seat 150 inside and offer a sidewalk café that will seat 50. Washington City Paper:

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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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