Event Organisers Update September 2018 ISSUE 166

FAKE TRIPADVISOR REVIEWER JAILED The owner of an Italian marketing agency that wrote fake reviews for hotels and restaurants has been jailed for nine months …

VENUE “SHAMBLES” AT WREST PARK A Van Morrison concert at Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedfordshire has been widely condemned as a “shambles” Reportedly fans …

GREED IN UNI SECTOR REDUCING NOW The management of Bath University, who employed the greedy Dame Glynis Breakwell as a £470,000 a year Vice-Chancellor …

VENUE NEWS
o The 19-storey Lume Hotel has opened on Manchester’s Oxford Road, offering 12 …
o A clay pigeon shooter has been found dead during a shoot at Clandon Park House …
o Furious objections have been lodged over plans to demolish the current 906 …

TOP TUCKER Notting Hill restaurant Core has won the Harden’s Top Gastronomic award for this year. Core is the first venture of chef Clare Smyth, who formerly ran …

FREE SPEAKER FINDING OFFER Speaker website IWantASpeaker.com is looking to give a free speaker finding service to a few organisers who use outside guest …

WEIMAR ART Art in Germany between the wars is the subject of a free, long-running exhibition, “Magic Realism” at the Tate Modern. This includes around 70 artworks …

BIG GIRLS DON’T CRY To the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue for the West End debut of the Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons tribute Big Girls Don’t Cry, touring …

LUCKY Right at the end of Lucky, Harry Dean Stanton’s last, and for many the best, film role just before he died the actor turns to camera and gives a cheeky grin …

FAKE TRIPADVISOR REVIEWER JAILED

The owner of an Italian marketing agency that wrote fake reviews for hotels and restaurants has been jailed for nine months and ordered to pay costs of more than £8,000.

The agency, PromoSalento, tried to submit more than 1,000 fake positive reviews, illegal in Italy before they were caught and the owner jailed in what is the first conviction of its kind, though hopefully with more to follow.

TripAdvisor has sadly not been transparent enough to release the names of the hotels and restaurants which were happy to pay to mislead their public, yet. According to website Fakespot, which aims to weed out bogus reviews, up to one third of TripAdvisor reviews are fake, a claim contested by TripAdvisor.

VENUE “SHAMBLES” AT WREST PARK

A Van Morrison concert at Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedfordshire has been widely condemned as a “shambles” Reportedly fans who bought picnics had to eat them outside the gates after being prevented by security staff from taking them in (presumably to maximise catering profits), bars charging £6 for a can of beer and £30 for a bottle of wine ran dry anyway, there were one-hour queues for coffee and the 9,350 fans then had to queue for up to three hours to get out of the one exit.

The event was organised by GCE Live (Giles Cooper Entertainment) whose website states that the company “has been involved in some of the most memorable live experiences in the UK for almost three decades”.

GREED IN UNI SECTOR REDUCING NOW

The management of Bath University, who employed the greedy Dame Glynis Breakwell as a £470,000 a year Vice-Chancellor until she stood down last November have announced her replacement, at a lower salary of £266,000.

He is Professor Ian Wright, currently at Cambridge University and, unlike Breakwell, who also got a free house with household expenses paid and a free car, he is expected to provide his own accommodation and vehicle. It is also thought that, unlike Breakwell, he will not be able to sit on the University’s remuneration committee, which decides salaries and other benefits.

Other very well paid University Vice-Chancellors in 2015-2016 were Keith Burnett, Sheffield (£423,000), Bob Cryan, Huddersfield (£365,000), Louise Richardson, Oxford (£350,000), Paul O’Prey, Roehampton, (£342,000), Dominic Shellard, De Montford (£326,000), John Vinney, Bournemouth, (305,000), Anne Carlisle, Falmouth, (£298,000), and Joy Carter, Winchester, (£282,000), and these figures are likely to have increased since then.

VENUE NEWS

o The 19-storey Lume Hotel has opened on Manchester’s Oxford Road, offering 12 lower storeys (212 guest rooms) operated by Crowne Plaza Hotels and including a 120-seat restaurant, gym club lounge and seven meetings rooms for more than 200 delegates.

The upper 7 storeys, operated by Staybridge Suites, offer 116 studio and one-bedroom suites, as well as panoramic views over Manchester from the 18th floor terrace. (The Business Desk)

 

o A clay pigeon shooter has been found dead during a shoot at Clandon Park House, a Grade 1 listed National Trust property near Guildford, Surrey.

It is thought that he was cleaning his gun when it went off and shot him in the head.

Clandon Park House, a Palladian mansion, was gutted down to a shell in 2015 when a serious fire, thought to have been started in electrical circuitry in the basement, ripped through the building. Since then a salvage plan has been completed and there are now ambitious re-build plans in place.

 

o Furious objections have been lodged over plans to demolish the current 906 bedroom Holiday Inn London – Kensington Forum Hotel, part of Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) on Cromwell Road and replace it with a 50% bigger building comprising two towers and containing 749 bedrooms, 340 serviced apartments and 46 homes to buy or rent.

The current building, near Gloucester Road tube station is described as a “brutalist eyesore”, offers more than 20 meetings spaces and is said to be London’s fifth biggest hotel. A previous rejected plan by the owners, Queensgate Investment would have replaced the current hotel with a 2,000 room monster that would have been the biggest in the world. Since the Grenfell tragedy last year high rise buildings have been a particularly sensitive issue in Kensington borough

TOP TUCKER

Notting Hill restaurant Core has won the Harden’s Top Gastronomic award for this year.

Core is the first venture of chef Clare Smyth, who formerly ran the three Michelin star Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, and was shortlisted for the award with Aulis, Le Gavroche and The Ledbury. Prices at Core start at £65 for a three-course lunch selection from four starters, mains and desserts or £85 for the dinner. There is a five-course Small Tasting Menu for £95 and a 13-course Tasting Menu for £115

FREE SPEAKER FINDING OFFER

Speaker website IWantASpeaker.com is looking to give a free speaker finding service to a few organisers who use outside guest speakers and trainers, to help them test the system.

The website is designed to operate free of the hidden commissions applied by some agencies, often 20%+, and the reason many agencies don’t like organisers telling speakers how much they have paid for their services. The website, charging a fee of 5%, puts organisers in direct contact with suitable speakers or trainers whom organisers can select, see in action and then benefit from ready contracts and paperwork for the booking.

Contact Cindy at [email protected]talk21.com 01536 799900

WEIMAR ART

Art in Germany between the wars is the subject of a free, long-running exhibition, “Magic Realism” at the Tate Modern.

This includes around 70 artworks and some are very ugly and unsettling. “Suicide” by German painter George Grosz features two men who have killed themselves, one lying on a pavement after blowing his brains out and the other hanging from a lamp-post, while a naked prostitute looks on and leers from a nearby window. Continuing the grisly theme is Rudolph Schlicter’s “The Artist With Two Hanged Women” showing a kneeling man gazing up at two young women in long high-heeled leather boots hanging from a ceiling, this combination reportedly reflecting Schlicter’s two sexual obsessions. Continue reading

BIG GIRLS DON’T CRY

To the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue for the West End debut of the Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons tribute Big Girls Don’t Cry, touring around the UK for the tenth year.

This is a solid two hours of their songs, beautifully performed as a concert by the tribute group The East Coast Boys, who move, sing and sound like their heroes for Rag Doll, Sherry, Walk Like a Man, Bye Bye Baby, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore), Silence is Golden, Oh, What a Night, My Eyes Adored You, Will You Love Me Tomorrow and dozens more, most of the lovely harmonies enhanced by the strong, soaring and exciting falsetto of East Coast Boy Lee Matthews. Continue reading

LUCKY

Right at the end of Lucky, Harry Dean Stanton’s last, and for many the best, film role just before he died the actor turns to camera and gives a cheeky grin before striding off into the sunset. Did he know his time was soon coming?

Stanton, who died on September 15 last year, aged 91, was a character actor, singer and musician whose film career spanned more than sixty years. Some will remember him as one of the doomed crew of the spaceship Nostromo in Alien, 1970, and some as the spirited old lag in the fantasy prison movie The Green Mile in 1999. Others may recall Stanton’s more substantial role in Repo Man, 1984, as the repossession senior teaching the new rookie the ropes, or his starring role, also 1984 as the damaged amnesiac walking out of the desert to unite with his brother, son, and former wife in Paris, Texas. Continue reading