Monday, August 28, 2017

Event Trends: LGBT Niche Shows Are Gaining Broader Audiences

Janet Elkins:
"I had a great time seeing many friends and colleagues during BizBash Live in Los Angeles.
I was really impressed with Anthony Bollotta's new LGBT entertainment programs.
Check it out."
Photo: Dangilo Bonilla with Ross Mathews, Straight Talk with Ross cast and Bollotta crew. 

EW: "Dangilo, the LGBT niche market is booming. Please tell us more."

Dangilo Bonilla, Bollotta Entertainment’s Operations Manager:
"Right you are! The market feels like it’s really starting to take off and we are at the epicenter of it here in San Diego. I started my entertainment career in the gay nightclub scene, hosting “Bear” and “Leather” genre parties, circuit events and all sorts of other themed events. I have had the opportunity of playing every role: an entertainer, promoter, booker, host, and emcee. Getting involved early, and in a big way, allowed me to build incredible relationships with both local and national talent. And now we are really pushing these events into the public sector, in front of major audiences! Some of our most recent successes that contribute to this big boom are: 
In May, we were on the production team for a Stand-up Comedy show benefiting Trans Family Support Services here in San Diego. The show, titled “Comedy Trumps Hate,” was hosted by yours truly, and featured LGBT headliners Ian Harvie (Amazon’s "Transparent”), and New York-based, transgender comic Jaye McBride, as well as musical improv duo, Jesse Suphan and Kat Brown from Finest City Improv, and LGBT ally and former “San Diego Funniest Person,” comic, Allison Gill.
In July, we were fortunate to work with San Diego Pride, booking several main stage headlining acts for their 2017 Pride Music Festival. Among these acts were transgender recording artist, activist and NYC nightlife legend, Dina Delicious, who served as emcee in addition to performing her crowd-pleasing hits, and New York/Fire Island-based transgender DJ, Lina Bradford, who spun a set featuring Pride anthems and retro favorites.  We also booked popular hip hop recording artist and LGBT ally, Tinashe, who attracted a crowd of more than 40,000 LGBT music-loving fans!
In addition to the festival bookings, we brought entertainment reporter, TV commentator and celeb podcaster, Ross Mathews, to San Diego this last year. His podcast “Straight Talk with Ross” is a big hit within the gay community… well, within all communities, and bringing him to San Diego for live podcast tapings… not once, but twice, is testament that the LGBT event market is booming!  The fact that his performances were sponsored in part by such venerable San Diego institutions as Sycuan Casino and the Hotel del Coronado shows we are headed in the right direction."

EW: "How do you explain this growth in the market?"

"I believe the growth comes from an overall development of a more open-minded society, and the strides for equality that have been made thus far. Not only in our country but throughout the world.  

For the San Diego market, one or two major powerhouses showing up and lending support in a big way sets the standard for others to follow suit. The Hotel del Coronado, which began participating in San Diego Pride events just a few years ago, engages our diverse LGBTQIA entertainers, featuring them on their floats to honor the hotel’s prestigious history.

Theirs was one of 246 parade contingents participating in San Diego Pride, which also included such major corporations as Alaska Airlines, Uber, and Bank of America along with local nonprofits, politicians, law enforcement and more! I think this participation is a direct link to the growth of the niche market and I truly believe this market will continue to grow and prosper as we continue to support and bring quality LGBTQIA entertainment to the table.”

Thank you for the interesting conversation, Dangilo.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Event Music: DJ Lee Dyson's Poolside Chill Summer Remixes

Astronomers are very excited about today's event. A total solar eclipse over the United States has not happened since 1979.
What makes today's eclipse even more special is that its path crosses the whole country and everyone has a chance to get at least a partial glimpse.
So grab your eye protection gear and "Chill".
DJ Lee Dyson sent us his 1-hour-17min, MixCloud charting list of Poolside remixes for this end-of-summer event.
Have a great late summer week!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Event Report: A Dream Come True for Our Sports Expert Brynne Peña, the UCLA Wasserman Football Center Ribbon Cutting and Reception.

Event Producer Brynne Peña was our obvious choice to produce this event:
The Ribbon Cutting and Opening Reception of UCLA's brand new Wasserman Football Center.
Brynne is happy to report.

Event Date: August 1, 2017

Location: Wasserman Football Center, UCLA, Westwood, CA.

The Task: Creating a branded, elegant event space for this very public, high profile occasion.

The stakes were high. The Opening Ceremony capped a two-year long construction project while it also served as an incentive and motivational moment for the generous supporters of the UCLA Athletics program.
The exclusive guest list included the who's who of donors and special guests and UCLA's top officials.

"We were honored to help with such an important event for UCLA.  As a sports fan I was so excited to get a behind the scenes tour of the facility and see all the advanced technology and architecture featured in the design.  Our goal was to enhance such elements and let them shine through our lighting treatment and other decorative touches.  Whenever I get to mix my love of sports and passion for events together I am one happy little producer."

Ribbon cutting by UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero, Head Football Coach Jim Mora and UCLA alumnus, former sport team owner and celebrity sports agent Casey Wasserman, the Football Center's namesake. Welcome Speech by Casey Wasserman.

Go Bruins!

While we are on the subject of sports: #LA2028 seems far away but time flies - and Brynne has already put producing Olympic events on her professional bucket list.
Keep us in mind!                      

Monday, August 7, 2017

Alisa Walsh Reports from New Orleans with EPTA

Event Pros Take Action returned to New Orleans for their annual work of restoring a family home in the Lower 9th Ward. Even 12 years after Katrina there is still a lot to do in the neighborhoods that were flooded in August 2005.

Alisa Walsh was happy to join the "Wolfpack" again. Besides working in home remodeling, she also volunteered for EPTA's Carnival for Covenant House.

Event Pros Take Action invited volunteers back to make a difference in 2017.
EPTA headed to New Orleans from July 15th to July 19th, 2017, working for the seventh year with local non-profit St. Bernard Project in rebuilding the community after Hurricane Katrina devastated the gulf 12 years ago. In addition, EPTA's Youth Project Initiative partnered with Liberty's Kitchen on a hospitality seminar program. At the end of the work week, EPTA hosted the third annual Cov Carnival for the homeless youth at Covenant House New Orleans.*

Alisa: "EPTA invites us to give back and build lasting relationships with other event pros. It's only my second year but it is my very favorite "networking event". It's not just networking. We work hard together for a very worthwhile cause and become true friends.


Covenant House New Orleans on Facebook:
Thank you Event Pros Take Action and all our generous sponsors for another wonderful year. Best Carnival yet - so much joy!

EPTA: "To wrap up our experience, we partnered with Covenant House New Orleans for the third time to create a carnival for troubled youth. Led by Matthew Gonzales, our team prepped cotton candy machines, a bounce house, mechanical bull, dunk tank and so much more. The kids and the incredibly dedicated compassionate staff enjoyed a day of fun in the sun (no rain this year!). We hope the energy of the day fuels the kids on their paths to success and that the memories of happiness will provide support when overcoming obstacles along the way in the future. #payitforward #notforprofit #giveback. "

Alisa: "Everyone loved the dunk tanks! All Covenant House staff volunteer to get wet and the residents have a lot of fun doing the dunking. I was part of the cotton candy team. Let me tell you, it is not so easy to make cotton candy. It involves a lot of sticky ingredients that get stickier in the humid climate. I was covered in sugar. I even had sugar in my hair but I got the hang of it and made lots of cotton candy treats. Everyone loved it and kept coming back. We ran out by the end of the event."

Alisa: "All of us volunteers applied our professional skills to make sure that the residents and clients of Covenant House had a few stress-free hours, just having fun. And I have to admit, we had a blast "working" there."

Join the Wolfpack.
Event Pros Take Action can't do it alone. Donations and volunteers are always needed and very welcome.

Support Covenant House:
Covenant House is a nationwide non-profit organization that shelters and assists homeless and trafficked youth.
Charity Navigator gives Covenant House a Top 4-Star rating. The NPO was founded in 1973 and discloses all financial records on GuideStar.

Photo Credits: many thanks to 
Cheryl Gerber for Covenant House New Orleans. 
Both Dana and Cheryl volunteered their services for the good cause.