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August 31, 2017: Book Festivals Are Becoming More Successful, a Pop-Up Shop Handed Out Climbing Gear 300 Feet Up a Cliff, Houston Music Venues Plan to Reopen After Harvey

1. BOOK FESTIVALS ARE BECOMING MORE SUCCESSFUL: The publishing industry might not be in the best state, but book festivals in cities across the country continue to have successful turnouts. Washington Post: “Even in battle-fatigued Washington, far more than 100,000 people are expected to attend the Library of Congress National Book Festival on Saturday. Under the leadership of first lady Laura Bush, the National Book Festival was born just three days before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It returned the next fall and then again and again, growing larger and more popular each time. But the awesome success of the National Book Festival and book festivals in general isn’t as surprising as the fact that they exist at all. These clamoring crowds of bookworms seem incongruous with the objects of their affection. After all, we enjoy plays, movies, concerts and dances—even paintings—in the close company of others, but books insist upon solitude. No other art demands so much time apart, alone, in silence. Coming upon someone with a book unawares, we know instinctively that something intimate is transpiring: Do Not Disturb. … Now, those of us who live for books worry about the decline of literacy, the ascension of emoji, the supremacy of video. Even the most discouraged cultural observer, though, would be heartened by the National Book Festival. The size of the crowd is exceeded only by the volume of its enthusiasm. From children clamoring to hug Captain Underpants to Capitol Hill Brahmins swooning over David McCullough, this is that rare moment when a literary event trounces the Super Bowl.”

2. A POP-UP SHOP HANDED OUT CLIMBING GEAR 300 FEET UP A CLIFF: Pop-up shops are a go-to for many brands promoting products, but recently a climbing gear company literally heightened the concept by handing out supplies to climbers 300 feet above the ground. The stunt took place at Eldorado Canyon in Boulder, Colorado. Adweek: “Enter the world’s most remote pop-up, dubbed Cliffside Shop and manned from sunrise to sunset by a fellow climber handing out hoodies, socks and other gear to anyone who needs it. The price may be free, but it does require you to climb 300 feet to a shop that juts out from the sheer face of the mountain. The two-day stunt, from Work in Progress for advanced materials company 37.5 Technology, took place earlier this month and provided jackets, fleece and other weather protection to about 70 climbers. Intended to make a big public splash for a little-known marketer, the shop also tried to take the concept of pop-ups to, um, new heights. ‘Because they’re a dime a dozen—they’ve become an ad trope—how do you really do something so extreme and unusual and fitting for the brand that it gets noticed,’ said Matt Talbot, WIP’s creative director. ‘We had to push it, and the client had to support it.’ The idea came from WIP as part of the agency’s pitch about six months ago to work with 37.5, which is found in brands like Carhhart, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Bahama and Bauer. It took roughly six weeks to fabricate the 6-by-10-foot shop, built around a cantilevered ledge. Once it was fully assembled, the store was pulled up on ropes by expert climbers and latched onto the mountain.”

3. HOUSTON MUSIC VENUES PLAN TO REOPEN AFTER HARVEY: Hurricane Harvey shut down most music venues in Houston, but many are planning to reopen this weekend after the rain subsides. Billboard: “In the lead up to and the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, dozens of venues around the city have gone dark, either because they sustained damage from the tropical storm once it swept in and dumped nearly 50 inches of rain across Southeast Texas, or because the roads to their doors were impassable in the aftermath of the storm. The good news is that many of the city's clubs were spared major flooding, with most going dark on the night before the storm made landfall on Saturday (Aug. 26) and staying shuttered all this week out of an abundance of caution and because many roads are still impassable. ‘The actual damage was minimal -- we have some water that got into the building and we're pulling up boards now and vacuuming and replacing some sections of the floor -- but it's nothing that would keep us from re-opening,’ says Gabe Leal, general manager of The Big Barn, which had to cancel or postpone shows on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday by local acts and push back a planned gig tonight (Aug. 30) by Marc Broussard and another on Thursday (Aug. 31) by Tab Benoit. Leal tells Billboard he hopes to have the lights back on by the weekend. Over at the White Oak Music Hall, organizers have teamed up with a number of bands to launch Houston. We Rock On -- Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund which aims to raise $50,000 for those affected by the storm by offering all door profits from a rescheduled Sylvan Esso show that was originally slated to take place on Thursday. In addition, Diplo has offered a kickstarting contribution to the fund and synth-soul outfit Twin Shadow are donating signed mix tapes and t-shirts as part of a fundraising auction.”


THE BAHAMAS:  Grand Hyatt Baha Mar has appointed Brent Martin executive chef. 

CHICAGO:  Thompson Chicago has appointed Bill Montagne as chef de cuisine. Montagne will lead the culinary team at the hotel’s onsite restaurant Nico Osteria. 

LAS VEGAS:  The Golden Gate Hotel & Casino will debut its completed expansion project on Friday. The renovation has nearly doubled the casino in size, added a new entryway on Freemont Street Experience, and has expanded its outdoor bar OneBar. 

LOS ANGELES:  Actress Stephanie Beatriz will host a Hollywood Hearts Houston benefit tonight at Kettle Black in Silver Lake. Money raised through alcohol sales and raffle tickets will be donated to the Greater Houston Community Foundation.

Long Beach Comic Con takes place this weekend at the Long Beach Convention Center. Produced by MAD Event Management, the annual convention features family-friendly entertainment, panels, and special guests from the comics, video game, toy, and film industries. 

The International Myeloma Foundation has announced the lineup for the I.M.F. 11th Annual Comedy Celebration, being held November 4 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre. Ray Romano will host, and performers will include Hannibal Buress, Marc Maron, Kumail Nanjiani, and Iliza Shlesinger.

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

NEW YORK:  The 25th annual Hamptons International Film Festival will take place October 5-9. The festival will open with the world premiere of Itzhak, a film chronicling the life of violinist Itzhak Perlman. The premiere screening will take place at Guild Hall in East Hampton.

The fifth annual Secaucus Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo will take place October 14-15 at Meadowlands Expo Center. 

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

PHILADELPHIA:  NeoCon Shows has appointed Madeleine Tuller sales director. Tuller will work on the development and strategic growth of trade shows including NeoCon East, which will take place November 15-16 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. 

TORONTO:  Amsterdam Brewery is slated to open a 300-seat brewpub in the former Against the Grain Tavern space. BlogTO:

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The Taste of Georgetown will be held September 24 in the waterfront area from Wisconsin Avenue to Thomas Jefferson Street. Benefitting the Georgetown Ministry Center, the free event includes dishes from dozens of restaurants, plus eating contests, lawn games, and the chance to pose in a flipbook powered by Infiniti, the event’s title sponsor.

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

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