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January 5, 2017: Why Online Start-Ups Are Focusing on the Wedding Industry, How the Latest Coachella Lineup Considers America's Current State, Grammys Parent Company Purchases Manhattan Mansion


1. WHY ONLINE START-UPS ARE FOCUSING ON THE WEDDING INDUSTRY: As wedding planning remains traditional in terms of searching for venues and services, online start-ups—including Lover.ly—are seeking to streamline the process and make a mark on the industry. The New York Times: "Although sectors like food delivery and personal finance have found much success by providing services online, the wedding industry and its vendors remain highly segmented. The field is crowded with small, local businesses that are predominantly low tech and survive on word-of-mouth recommendations. And the nature of wedding planning (typically) means few repeat customers. The overall industry, however, is large, with $58 billion in revenue in 2016 and projections of $63 billion by 2021, according to the market research company IBISWorld. Couples spent an average of $26,500 last year on their weddings, according to the Wedding Report, which analyzes the field. … Lover.ly is one of numerous start-ups using technology to try to make planning easier for the remaining 82 percent who do it themselves. These companies are moving beyond the traditional listing, inspiration and content services, which often have an overwhelming number of vendors, to offer personalized suggestions. And as texting and online chat become so integral to communication, those formats have been harnessed for wedding planning. But persuading wedding service professionals to adopt new platforms and technology can be challenging. Many are hesitant to invest the time and resources, and the industry remains stubbornly offline." http://nyti.ms/2hRzDcG

2. HOW THE LATEST COACHELLA LINEUP CONSIDERS AMERICA'S CURRENT STATE: The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has announced the lineup for its upcoming event in April, with headliners including Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar that some say reflects the current state of America. Los Angeles Times: "But there’s a prescience in its choice of headliners: Two radical, inventive black artists at the peak of their powers and influence, as well as an English rock band devoted to re-invention and melancholy. Private pain, public resilience and music that feels necessary and new: This is the Coachella lineup we all need right now. It may not feel like an especially progressive move to book Beyoncé—she was, after all, a consensus pick for 2016’s album of the year and a touring titan like few other contemporaries. Only Adele would have been as obvious a choice  for a pop-leaning headliner. But when a festival famous for its white guy rock headliners picks music’s most visible black woman to lead a new charge, that’s important. Beyoncé is the fest’s first female solo headliner since Björk in 2007, and its first woman-of-color solo headliner to date (M.I.A. was second on the bill in 2009, and Arcade Fire is co-fronted by the Haitian-Canadian Régine Chassagne). Women have played some of the fest’s most meaningful main-stage sets. (Sia’s video-misdirecting set was the toast of last year). Perhaps it’s telling that it took an artist of Beyoncé’s caliber to finally get a woman atop the bill again." http://lat.ms/2hRDeHo

3. GRAMMYS PARENT COMPANY PURCHASES MANHATTAN MANSION: The National Academy of Recording Arts, the parent company of the Grammys, has purchased a $13.5 million mansion in Manhattan. The music awards are expected to return to New York in 2018. New York Post: “It plans to hold the 60th annual Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden in 2018, sources said. It will be their first time back in New York since 2003. ‘The Grammys are coming back to New York. NARAS bought the mansion to establish themselves here and have a strong New York presence,’ a source said. Naras Properties bought the Italianate mansion for $1 million off its last asking price of $14.5 million. It first went on the market in 2001 for $8.9 million. The seller is Hamish Norton, a particle physicist and president of Star Bulk Carriers Corp. Julie Menin, the commissioner of media and entertainment who spearheaded talks to bring the Grammys back to the city, declined to comment. The mansion has such good acoustics that Carnegie Hall performers would play there before their big day.” http://nyp.st/2iNpJdO

* LOCAL NEWS *

CHICAGO:  The 10th annual Chicago Restaurant Week will take place January 27-February 9. More than 350 restaurants are slated to participate, including 66 new participants this year.

The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago, has appointed Peter Simoncelli as general manager.

LAS VEGAS:  Uber has partnered with Maverick Helicopters to give C.E.S. attendees helicopter rides over the Las Vegas Strip. The offer, available through Sunday, will allow attendees to book helicopter rides through the Uber app. Riders will be transported in an Uber to the UberChopper lounge located at Maverick Helicopters terminal, where the helicopters will take off.

The Las Vegas Monorail has partnered with tech innovator NXP Semiconductors to allow C.E.S. attendees to use registration badges as Monorail tickets.

LOS ANGELES:  For the first time, La Tavola Fine Linen Rental will host a sale for the public at its warehouse in La Mirada January 17-18.

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles

NASHVILLE:  Wendy Pearl, the Country Music Association's vice president of corporate communications, is leaving to start her private firm Wendy Pearl Public Relations, L.L.C.

NEW ORLEANS:  The National WWII Museum has announced plans for a $65 million eight-story hotel with 234 rooms and meeting space. The hotel is part of the museum's property expansion in the Warehouse District.

NEW YORK:  The seventh annual Governors Ball Music Festival, which takes place June 2-4 at Randall's Island Park, has announced its lineup. Headliners include Chance the Rapper, Phoenix, Childish Gambino, Rae Sremmurd, and Lorde.

The 92Y Harkness Dance Festival, taking place February 24-25, will feature three ballets from the New York Theatre Ballet's Legends & Visionaries series.

Jonas Mekas and Anthology Film Archives will host a benefit and auction for the Heaven and Earth Library & Cafe expansion project on March 2 at Capitale on Bowery.

Associated Luxury Hotels Inernational has named Marnie Hock as director of sales for the northeast U.S. region.

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Luke's Kitchen and Bar will open January 9 in Maitland. The 6,700-square-foot restaurant, from the owners of Luma on Park and Prato, will have seating for 220 people and serve classic American cuisine and cocktails.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment will have a change in leadership effective January 16. Jim Dean, president of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island, will become park president of SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica, and Discovery Cove. Stewart Clark, vice president of Discovery Cove, will become park president of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island. Donnie Mills, current park president in Orlando, will retire.

TORONTO:  The 16th annual Canada's Top Ten Film Festival will take place January 13-26 at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Events DC will host a community meeting tonight at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The convention and sports authority will provide redevelopment updates about the R.F.K. Stadium-Armory Campus.

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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.

BizBash Daily is the must-read digest of event industry news from BizBash.com.

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