Biltmore Hosting 2nd Annual ‘Concours d’Elegance’ of Classic Autos‏

July 24, 2014 on 8:43 am | In Southwest, Webbandstand | Comments Off

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowArizona Biltmore Hosting 2nd Annual Arizona Concours d’Elegance of Classic and Exotic Automobiles

Features ‘The Cars of Frank Lloyd Wright,’ a Dedicated Car Enthusiast as Well as the Famous Architect Behind the Biltmore’s Design

PHOENIX –  Following a successful and inspiring inaugural Arizona Concours d’Elegance held last year at the historic Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, the iconic grand dame of Phoenix will host the 2nd annual Arizona Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, January 11, 2015.

“With our warm and sunny winter weather in Phoenix, and our historic architecture dating from 1929 that perfectly complements and enhances the vintage experience of the Concours d’Elegance, everyone can look forward to a spectacular day of dazzling automobiles and reliving history,” said Arizona Biltmore General Manager Sheila Foley.

America’s most celebrated architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, was also a dedicated car enthusiast. In tribute to his influence on the landmark design of the legendary host hotel (Wright was the consulting architect of the Arizona Biltmore), the 2015 Arizona Concours d’Elegance will feature The Cars of Frank Lloyd Wright. Among the vehicles will be his 1937 AC 16/80 “Ace” roadster (pictured here, with Wright and wife Olgivanna wearing sporty fabric helmets and goggles, in a photo taken in 1948). Wright drove the Ace roadster during his winter stays in the Phoenix area.

In addition to The Cars of Frank Lloyd Wright, three other classes will be specially featured at next year’s event: Pre-1965 competition Ferraris; classic American luxury brand Pierce-Arrow; and the cars of Carrozzeria Ghia, the Italian design house that celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2015.

In 2015, 80 exceptional automobiles spanning the history of motoring will be on display at the Arizona Biltmore’s expansive central courtyard of verdant, manicured grass areas and colorful flower beds. Judges will pick winners in 17 different specialty classes – from antique and full classic to sports cars and exotics – as well as select the coveted Best of Show winner.

Well-known veteran Concours judge John Carlson will again serve as chief judge. Keith Martin, publisher of Sports Car Market and American Car Collector magazines, also will return as the event’s host and emcee.

The 2nd annual Arizona Concours d’Elegance will be a charity event as in 2014, with proceeds benefitting Make-A-Wish Arizona, the founding chapter of the national organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Concours d’Elegance tickets are $75. Tickets may be purchased at the event or in advance at

For car aficionados who attend the event, the Arizona Biltmore will be offering special room rates. For more information and reservations, call 800-950-0086 or 602-955-6600, or online at

Concours d’Elegance, a French phrase meaning a “competition of elegance,” dates back to 17th century Paris when the aristocracy would parade horse-drawn carriages in the parks during summer weekends and holidays. As carriages gave way to automobiles, the events evolved into competitions among owners of prestigious cars. The Arizona Concours d’Elegance is modeled after the great Concours of Pebble Beach in California and Villa d’Este in Italy.

About the Arizona Biltmore
The Arizona Biltmore has been an Arizona landmark since opening in 1929, when it was crowned the “Jewel of the Desert.” The legendary grand dame remains one of the most recognized resorts in the world for its distinctive Frank Lloyd Wright architectural style, luxurious facilities, and storied history as a playground of the rich and famous. Nestled on 39 acres at the foot of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, the legendary resort offers: 740 guest accommodations; a 22,000-square-foot spa offering an extensive menu of natural healing treatments and restorative therapies; a fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment; eight swimming pools including the spectacular Paradise Pool with its a 92-foot-long water slide; two 18-hole golf courses; and six restaurants and lounges, including signature Wright’s at the Biltmore serving classic favorites reinvented for today’s tastes, the stylish Wright Bar with patio fire pits and views of majestic Squaw Peak, popular Frank & Albert’s preparing Arizona comfort food, The Café casual bistro, and the poolside Cabana Club with a swim-up bar. The Arizona Biltmore is a Waldorf Astoria Resort®.

About Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts is a portfolio of more than 25 landmark destinations; each being a true reflection of their surroundings in the world’s most sought after locations. Unified by their inspirational environments and unparalleled guest service, Waldorf Astoria creates unique authentic moments through the delivery of True Waldorf Service. Personal concierges deliver unparalleled, bespoke service from the moment a guest books through check out. From signature culinary excellence, 12 world-class golf courses and 23 rejuvenating spas, Waldorf Astoria offers luxuriously appointed accommodations and unforgettable experiences. Waldorf Astoria is a part of Hilton Worldwide, a leading global hospitality company. Experience Waldorf Astoria by booking at  or Learn more about this expanding portfolio by visiting

A ‘Dark Shadows’ Festival at Sea

July 23, 2014 on 7:27 am | In Beachbooker, Caribbean, Cruise Boats, Festivals, France, French West Indies, Webbandstand | Comments Off

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowAre you old enough to remember “Dark Shadows,” the scary and mysterious daytime soap opera than ran from 1966 to 1971? Plenty of people do, and many remain devoted fans of the show that featured vampires, witches and werewolves.

And now there are theme cruises for “Dark Shadows” fans. Scott Kertes, president and owner of Hartford Holidays Travel in Garden City, N.Y., is the booking agent for “Dark Shadows Festival at Sea,” which he organizes in partnership with the host, Arie Boris, editor-in-chief of magazine. Hartford Holidays has a division called Special Events at Sea (SEAS) that organizes theme cruises.

“The show’s following is very cult-like … it’s akin to ‘Star Trek’ albeit on a bit smaller scale,” Kertes said. “The project is based on the original TV show, not the new [2012] movie. Interestingly, the movie, starring Johnny Depp, kind of tanked. And among the original TV show fans it’s pretty much frowned upon. The cast members who join us for the cruise are the cast members from the original TV show, and, unbeknown to me, they still have huge fan followings.”

Last year, they attracted 120 people to the first “Dark Shadows” theme cruise over Halloween on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas out of New York. The second such cruise is scheduled for Jan. 10-17, 2015, round-trip from San Juan on Jewel of the Seas.

“We fully expect to exceed last year’s numbers on this one,” Kertes said. “I continue to be surprised as to how many avid fans this show and its cast members has! We’ve upped the number of original cast members traveling with us from three on the first cruise to five on this upcoming cruise.”

The cast members joining the trip will be Kathryn Leigh Scott, who portrayed both “Josette” and “Maggie Evans,” and Lara Parker, who played “Angelique.” Other original stars attending are Jerry Lacy, who played “Reverend Trask”; Kathleen Cody, who was “Hallie Stokes”; and Marie Wallace, “Eve.”

The highlight of the cruise, Kertes said, is a full day in Martinique, where “Barnabas Collins,” the main character (a vampire!) of the “Dark Shadows” story, met “Angelique”. Collins was played by Jonathan Frid, who died in 2012.

The theme cruise will include screenings, a costume party with the stars, Q&A sessions, autographs, a special “Dark Shadows Origins in Martinique” presentation, performances by the stars, a bus tour of Martinique and more.

The cruise also will visit St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Lucia and Grenada. Fares start at $818 for an inside stateroom and range up to $1,749 for a suite.

Now You Can Watch ‘Adventure Time’ at 40,000 Feet

July 23, 2014 on 7:18 am | In Airlines, Webbandstand | Comments Off

Cartoon Network has an integrated presence on the ground at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas that works pretty well, so why not try it in the air?

Southwest Airlines and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. announced today it will add Cartoon Network to the carrier’s inflight entertainment portal, which streams free live television programming to passengers’ Wi-Fi-equipped personal electronic devices.

Content from Cartoon Network’s programming such as Adventure Time, Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball, and Ben 10 Omniverse is now available for inflight viewing. Cartoon Network is the airline’s first complete child-centric programming being offered onboard all Southwest Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft, representing nearly 80 percent of the airline’s fleet.

The streaming TV service is provided by connectivity partner Global Eagle Entertainment Inc.

“The addition of Cartoon Network to our breadth of programming is a big win for Southwest and our Customers,” Kevin Krone, Southwest Airlines Chief Marketing Officer, said in a statement. “This partnership with Turner and GEE continues to drive customer value for our brand and even more choices for entertainment onboard.”

“We’re thrilled to partner with Southwest Airlines to offer some of our most popular programming from Cartoon Network to its passengers,” said Debbie Cooper, president of Turner Private Networks. “Being the first children’s network to be added to their TV lineup speaks volumes about the value of Cartoon Network and the importance of offering child-friendly content inflight as a viewing option for families during travel.”

Read more travel news at

Jetstreams for Travel Discounts

B.B. King Returns to Comerica Theatre‏

July 22, 2014 on 11:54 am | In Southwest, Webbandstand | Comments Off

Saturday, September 27

Comerica Theatre

Tickets On Sale This Monday, July 28th at 10am at

(Phoenix, AZ) July 22, 2014 ~ Legendary Blues performer B.B. King returns to Comerica Theatre for one night to remember on Saturday, September 27th.

Tickets will go on sale this Monday, July 28th at 10am. Tickets will be available at,, Ticketmaster Outlets and the box office. All tickets are subject to applicable service charges and fees. Dates and times are subject to change without notice.

Throughout the 1990′s as well as the 1980′s, 1970′s, 1960′s and 1950′s, there has been only one King of the Blues – Riley B. King, affectionately known as B.B. King. Since B.B. started recording in the late 1940′s, he has released over 60 albums many of them considered blues classics, like 1965′s definitive live blues album “Live At The Regal”, and 1976′s collaboration with Bobby “Blue” Bland, “Together For The First Time”.

Over the years, B.B. has had two number one R & B hits, 1951′s “Three O’Clock Blues”, and 1952′s “You Don’t Know Me”, and four number two R & B hits, 1953′s “Please Love Me”, and 1954′s “You Upset Me Baby”, 1960′s “Sweet Sixteen, Part I”, and 1966′s “Don’t Answer The Door, Part I”. B.B.’s most popular crossover hit, 1970′s “The Thrill Is Gone” went to #15 pop.

B.B. has mixed traditional blues, jazz, swing, mainstream pop and jump into a unique sound. His singing is richly melodic, both vocally and in the “singing” that comes from his guitar. In B.B’s words, “When I sing, I play in my mind; the minute I stop singing orally, I start to sing by playing Lucille”.

B.B. has influenced Eric Clapton, Mike Bloomfield, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, Freddie King, Jimi Hendrix, Otis Rush, Johnny Winter, Albert King and many others while being influenced by Charles Brown, Lowell Fulsom, Elmore James, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Jimmy Rushing, T-Bone Walker, Bukka White and others.

B.B. King has been nominated for 23 Grammy Awards through 2000. In 1970, King’s Indianola Mississippi Seeds won a Grammy Award for Best Album Cover, an art director’s award. 1969′s “The Thrill Is Gone” was installed in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.

Webbandstand for Concerts and Performing Arts

A Celebration Of Musical Taste In Flanders And Brussels

July 22, 2014 on 8:30 am | In Belgium, Festivals, Webbandstand | Comments Off

Every year, Flanders and Brussels is a hotbed of music festivals. Name the genre and you’ll probably find a concert, show or event celebrating it.

For a small region, they certainly have a great selection of tunes to cater for all tastes and fans. Look out for some of Europe’s top concerts such as Tomorrowland near Antwerp for “dance music” fans or the renowned Ghent Jazz festival. Spoilt for choice, we give a short guide to what visitors to the region can look forward to this year in Flanders and Brussels.

Suikerrock – 1 – 3 August 2014
The name Suikerrock (Sugar-Rock) refers to the city in which this festival takes place. Tienen is home to the biggest sugar refinery in Belgium and this festival is part of the European Talent Exchange Programme, which encourages artists to play at festivals, outside their own country. Look out for acts like Simple Minds, The Jacksons and Madness!

Heavy Metal

Ieperfest – 8 – 10 August 2014
Ieper (Ypres)
Ieperfest is a three day hardcore into its 22nd year. This concert offers a variety of bands from all over the world and a variety of genres such as: old school hardcore, metalcore, doom, emo, metal and many more. Big names include the Dead Kennedys and The Dickies.


Zeebrugge Beach – 9-10 August 2014
WECANDANCE is a daytime festival, now into its second year and this year’s Egyptian inspired setting will include four different stages. One of its attractions is its own Food Market and visitors can camp, with a festival after party taking place on the pier at Blankenberge beach. The festival attracts fashion forward stylish festival goers and guests are encouraged to dress up with the theme.

Tomorrowland – 18 – 20 July 2014 and 24 – 27 July 2014
De Schorre in Boom ( near Antwerp)
This is probably one of the biggest music festivals in the world. Tomorrowland started as a small music festival in Flanders and has grown to a world leading dance festival. Already sold out, the festival has already added a second weekend to this fast selling popular festival. Last year they added the tomorrowworld to their list and this year is their 10th anniversary.

Laundry Day – 6 September 2014
Nieuw Zuid, Antwerp
Laundry day is a dance music festival held in Antwerp at Nieuw Zuid. It started in 1998 as a street gathering and has grown into one of the biggest dance festivals of Belgium attracting over 60,000 participants. With 13 stages, 150 DJ’s and plenty of new and emerging talent, Laundry Day closes the Belgium festival summer.
Jazz Pukkelpop – 14 – 16 August 2014
Kiewit, Hasselt
Translated, Pukkelpop refers to teenage acne but in reality, appeals to a wider age range than teenagers! Acts include Ed Sheeran, Calvin Harris, Clean Bandit, OutKast and many more.

Rimpelrock – 9 August 2014
On the other end of the scale, the attraction of Rimplerock ( Wrinklerock!) was staged to attract older rock fans. After many years of going strong, this year the format will change to encourage families to attend also.


Jazz Middelheim – 14 – 17 August 2014
Antwerp, Park den Brandt
This annual jazz festival is held in the Middelheim Park in Antwerp. This year the Jazz Middelheim is celebrating its 45th year. With the sad demise of Toots Thielemans, the festival faces a line up without him. In tribute therefore, the festival focuses on his music with the assistance of his friends and contemporaries.

World music

Antilliaanse Festival – 8 – 9 August 2014
Hoogstraten, De Blauwbossen
Antilliaanse feesten is a music festival in Antwerp that puts the focus on Latin music. This year they celebrate their 32nd anniversary!

Afro Caribbean festival – August 2014
‘t Paelsteenveld, Bredene
This is a free Afro Caribbean festival bringing varied music on three different stages.
Festival Dranouter – 1 – 3 August 2014
Dranouter’s annual Folk music festival takes place over four days with a cast of over 50 artists performing live.

Other Genres

Brussels Summer Festival 2014 – 8 – 17 August 2014
Place des Palais, Mont des Arts, Magic Mirrors BSF / Paleizenplein, Kunstberg, Magic Mirrors BSF
A cultural festival taking place in various venues around the city, An annual summer event since 2002. Artists from all over the world perform on three different venues and this year include James Arthur, Texas, Level 42, Madness and a whole host of other talented acts.

Lokeren Festival 1 – 10 August 2014
Lokeren, Grote Kaai – Old Fish Market
Big name acts like Blink-182, Example, Motorhead, Jessie J as well as Fatboy Slim and Sean Paul make up the line up here. Close to Antwerp and Ghent, the festival lasts ten days and features an array of different and popular music genres. Located in between Antwerp and Ghent, this is a great location to see some fantastic bands.

Ghent Festival – 18 – 27 July 2014
Ghent – various locations
During this ten day festival, the city of Ghent literally grinds to a halt and gives in to a non-stop celebration of music, local food and drink and city revellers. Small stages appear in the most unlikely locations all over the city and part of the river which flows through its centre, is transformed and covered into a giant stage.  ( website in Dutch only)

Classical music
Festival Musiq’ 3 – 27 – 29 June 2014
Brussels, Flagey
Now into its fourth year, this year’s Festival Musiq takes fans on an historical musical tour from Gypsy, Classical and Balkan music. Visitors get to choose to view a selection of different concerts taking place at the same time.

Leuven Bells – July – August 2014
Leuven, various venues
For those interested in the peel of bells, Leuven treats its visitors to the sound of the city’s four big carillons. On Thursdays visitors are treated to a rendition of the M-bells from the rooftop terrace of the M-Museum. On Sundays of the Vanden Gheynbeiaard bells at the Abbey of Sint-Geertrui can be enjoyed from their gardens and on Saturdays the city’s enchanting Beguinage or Leuven’s Library garden provides a fabulous backdrop to enjoy the city’s bells. The four carillons of Leuven will be played every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday in July and August.

MAfestival – Flanders Festival Bruges – 1 – 10 August 2014
Founded in 1963, the MAFestival focuses on the historical practice of early music and is always renewing and extending the concept. For the ten days of the festival, the world’s most exciting performers appear in Bruges and as well as concerts, the festival also organises lectures and classes, a competition for young musicians and an exhibition that focuses on historical instruments and musical accessories.

Laus Polyphoniae 2014 ”CLAUDIO” – 22 – 31 August
Various historic locations in Antwerp
Claudio Monteverdi is famous for his transformation of the Franco-Flemish polyphony and introduced the world to an expressive Italian baroque style. His combination of old and new is a great perspective to dedicate this series of concerts to. Between 22nd and 30th of August, concert goers are treated to the oeuvre of Marenzio, Ingegneri, Gombert, de Wert, Caccini and Willaert, played by different musicians at various historical locations in Antwerp.

1000 Voices for peace 5-9 November 2014
Various locations in Flanders and the rest of Belgium.
Flanders Festival commemorates the Great War in its own way and uses the occasion to reflect on the future. With a great Oratorio for peace its intention is to bring people together from all over the world. People from countries who were fighting each other to the death a hundred years ago will be singing together for peace. On 9 November 2014, choirs from Belgium will be joined by choirs from the four corners of the world to sing the Oratorio for peace – a new composition by the great Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. A selection of Belgian top artists like Arno Hintjes, Sioen, Dirk Brossé and Jef Neve will give performances.

Night of the proms – Classic meets Pop 7, 8, 14 and 15 November 2014
Sportpaleis Antwerp
Twenty nine years ago this festival started as a college concert and has grown to attract more than 9,000,000 visitors in eight different countries. The festival combines classical music with pop music which is one of its big strengths.
The line-up is a closely guarded secret at the moment but keep an eye out for its announcement tweet!

Webbandstand for Concerts and Performing Arts

Top 10 Music Festivals in France this Summer

July 22, 2014 on 8:19 am | In Festivals, France, Paris, Webbandstand | Comments Off

Atout France, the France Tourism Development Agency, announces its top 10 summer music festivals in France roundup. Please see the festivals detailed below.

Côte d’Azur
Midi-Festival, Hyères, July 25 & 26
Located on the French Riviera, this indie-rock festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year welcoming highly-regarded artists such as Panda Bear, François & The Atlas Moutains and more.

Les Eurockéennes, Belfort, July 4-6
Located on a beautiful natural reserve, Les Eurockéennes offers three days of concerts covering a wide spectrum of music, from rock, pop, hip-hop, electro and more. This year, the festival welcomes international stars such as: The Pixies, Stromae, Franz Ferdinand, Foster the People and more.

Les Siestes Electroniques, Toulouse, June 26-29 and Paris, July 6, 13, 20 & 27
Founded in Toulouse, Les Siestes Electroniques showcases emerging electronic musicians at free open-air concerts in both Toulouse and Paris.

Nord-Pas de Calais
Mainsquare, Arras, July 3-6
An annual international music festival taking place at the Citadel, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Mainsquare attracts internationally renowned groups to its 2014 roster including: Jack Johnson, David Guetta, MGMT and Woodkid.

Beauregard Festival, Hérouville-St-Clair, July 3-6The 6th edition of the Beauregard Festival will turn the charming Château de Beauregard into a veritable concert venue welcoming 32 bands from a wide variety of genres. Highlights include concerts by The Pixies, Foster the People, Stromae, Blondie, Vanessa Paradis amongst many others.

The Peacock Society, July 11-14
Nestled in the lush greenery of Parc Floral is The Peacock Society, a fresh summer event for fans of the electronic music scene. Concert lovers can experience a vibrant music “playground,” where the infectious vibe and good beats take over the warehouses and pavilions of the garden.

Rock en Seine, August 22–24
This annual three-day music festival takes place in Paris’ Domaine National de Saint-Cloud. This year, the festival will welcome renowned acts such as: Arctic Monkeys, The Hives, Queens of the Stone Age, Lana del Ray as well as many up-and-coming artists.

Francofolies, La Rochelle, July 10-14
Dedicated to French language music and the French chanson tradition, Les Francofolies in the seaside city of La Rochelle showcases internationally renowned artists as well as rising stars of the French music scene.

Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
Marsatac Festival, Marseille, September 25 – 27
The largest music festival of its kind in Provence, Marsatac was originally dedicated to hip-hop music but has since branched out to encompass rock and electronic music.

Webbandstand for Concerts and Performing Arts

Louvre Museum New Room Opening

July 22, 2014 on 8:08 am | In France, Museums, Paris, Webbandstand | Comments Off

New Eighteenth-Century Decorative Arts Galleries

Collections without equal in the world and an “epoch of perfection” in French art.

On the first floor of the north wing and in a portion of the west wing of the Cour Carrée, an exceptional renovation project is entering its final phase: the complete redesign and reinstallation of the galleries dedicated to decorative art objects from the reign of Louis XIV and the eighteenth century. This project is the last part of the Department of Decorative Arts’ renovation work under the Grand Louvre plan.The Louvre’s extraordinarily large and comprehensive collection of eighteenth-century decorative arts is without equal in any other museum, illustrating the exceptional talents of France’s eighteenth- century artisans and artists in this field, whose work is admired around the world. In order to give this outstanding collection a presentation better allowing the public to appreciate its treasures, the galleries are undergoing a spectacular transformation. The new exhibition spaces are due to open to the public on June 6, 2014.

A unique collection

The eighteenth-century collections of the Department of Decorative Arts offer a broad perspective on interior decoration, featuring works, mainly of French origin, produced by leading manufactures or independent artisans along with others handled by fine art merchants, spanning the period from the reign of Louis XIV until the French Revolution. They include wooden paneling and painted wall decorations, tapestries and rugs, joinery and cabinetry, gilt-bronze mounts and objects, marble and hardstone sculptures and carvings, silver and gold pieces, jewelry, scientific instruments, European ceramics, and imported objects in lacquer and porcelain. The fact that the large majority of these pieces were originally commissioned for royal or princely residences makes them particularly remarkable, in comparison with those on view in other museums dedicated to decorative arts, in Europe and the United States.

It was only a good number of years after the Louvre’s founding that luxury arts and crafts under the reigns of Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI became a focus of its collections, through two key events. The first of these was in 1870, when historic furnishings and objects were rescued in the nick of time from the Tuileries Palace and the Château de Saint- Cloud, saving them from being engulfed by flames. The second occurred in 1901, when the Mobilier National, the French government agency whose duties include the conservation of heritage furnishings, made a permanent loan to the museum of a large number of masterpieces made by Parisian cabinet-makers and tapestry workshops that had originally graced the rooms of royal and imperial residences.

In the twentieth century, numerous riches were added to the collection through the generosity of leading connoisseurs and collectors, such as Isaac de Camondo and Basile de Schlichting, both of whom made major bequests to the museum, received in 1911 and 1914, respectively. During this same period, the museum also acquired a number of remarkable pieces from stately homes either torn down or altered in the nineteenth century.

A new exhibition design

The galleries on the first floor of the Cour Carrée’s north wing, whose existing installation had dated for the most part from the early 1960s, were closed in 2005 in order to be brought in compliance with current fire and safety regulations. Among other works, this involved the creation of staircases on either side of the Pavillon Marengo. In addition, the exhibition design in place until 2004 was still, save for a few more recent alterations, the one created by Pierre Verlet between 1962 and 1966.

Renovation work begin in the fall of 2011, after preliminary studies conducted by Daniel Alcouffe, the head of the department at the time. The architectural concept for the new galleries is the work of Michel Goutal, following an exhibition design by Jacques Garcia, in collaboration with curators in the Department of Decorative Arts under the direction of Marc Bascou, and with technical assistance provided by the Louvre’s Department of Project Planning and Management.

Visitors will thus discover a new 2,183 sq.m exhibition space, consisting of 35 galleries, with more than 2,000 pieces on display. The galleries are grouped into three main chronological and stylistic sequences:

- 1660–1725: personal reign of Louis XIV and the Regency
- 1725–1755: height of the Rococo style
- 1755–1790: return to classicism and the reign of Louis XVI

Exemplary Grand Siècle pieces will be presented in the historic Council of State chambers, while the north wing of the Cour Carrée will be given over to a suite of period rooms, allowing visitors to view objects in context, paired with galleries featuring themed display cases, presenting the department’s collections of ceramics, jewelry, and works in silver and gold, while also allowing visitors to fully appreciate some of the era’s greatest masterpieces.
The new structure of the galleries, following a chronological organization for the most part, aims to underscore both the history of techniques and the history of styles. The presentation also highlights the period’s most celebrated palatial residences as well as the leading figures of the time, including artisans, artists and their patrons. Through royal or princely abodes either not having survived or now serving different purposes (Saint-Cloud, Bellevue, Tuileries, Palais-Bourbon, etc.), Parisian “hôtels particuliers” (private mansions built by the aristocracy, such as Le Bas de Montargis, Dangé and de Chevreuse), not to mention the elite’s country homes (Voré, d’Abondant), visitors are invited to explore a wide panoply of places and atmospheres that contributed to the blossoming of French decorative arts in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, thus creating a fitting historical backdrop for the presentation.

Visitors will thus encounter members of the royal family (Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI, the prince de Condé, the comte d’Artois, Mesdames de France (the king’s daughters), Marie-Antoinette), but also the king’s mistresses (Madame de Pompadour and Madame du Barry), nobles of the royal court such as the duc de Chevreuse and the marquis de Sourches, and wealthy financiers such as Claude Le Bas de Montargis, the keeper of the royal treasure, and the tax collector François-Balthazar Dangé.

The collection naturally includes pieces by the period’s greatest creative geniuses in the decorative arts, some of whom enjoyed prestige across Europe during their lifetime to an extent difficult to appreciate today: the cabinet- makers André-Charles Boulle, Charles Cressent, Bernard II van Risemburgh, Jean-François Oeben, Martin Carlin and Jean-Henri Riesener; the silver- and goldsmiths Thomas and François-Thomas Germain, Jacques Roëttiers and others of his family, and Robert-Joseph Auguste; and the painters and decorators Charles Lebrun, Jean-Baptiste Oudry and Charles-Antoine Coypel. The most celebrated of these were granted the royal privilege of free lodgings in the Galerie du Louvre alongside their workshops and became the first in a long line of renowned masters in the decorative arts, such as André-Charles Boulle or Tomas Germain. Truly laboratories of invention, their workshops served not only French kings and courtiers, but also their counterparts outside France, thus contributing to the dissemination of French culture and setting fashions for the other courts of Europe.

The visitor experience is also enriched through multi media equipment and information panels contextualizing the pieces on display, with historical and sociological references elucidating aspects such as the development of taste and the world of production, the universe of intermediaries and merchants, as well as the changing shape of commissions and uses.

Period rooms: Exploration of a French art of living

Within each sequence of galleries, particular attention is paid to the design of period rooms, making every effort to reinstall the decoration and furnishings in their original configuration. Other rooms bring together “recollections of interiors,” stylistically coherent groupings of furniture and objects within a recreated decorative setting.
This museological concept of period rooms, adopted from the nineteenth century by certain historical or decorative arts museums, meets the expectations of a broad audience, making this luxurious art of living immediately perceptible and easier to apprehend, in all its unequaled elegance and refinement, and restores the most magnificent inventions of decorators and master artisans to their natural environment.

The period rooms thus created provide the opportunity to reconstruct documented decorative groupings, accompanied by period furniture, such as the drawing rooms and library of the Hôtel de Villemaré, the Grand Salon of the Château d’Abondant and the ceremonial bedchamber at the Hôtel de Chevreuse.

In collaboration with other departments at the museum, the galleries will also feature ancient or modern paintings and sculptures, pastels and engravings, either on a permanent basis or in the form of a rotating presentation. For instance, the famed portrait of Louis XIV by Hyacinthe Rigaud will be displayed in one of the Council of State chambers, where one of the world’s most beautiful groupings of Boulle furniture pieces will also be on view.
In addition, the new exhibition design allows for the installation of major painted decorations, such as the panels by d’Oudry from the Château de Voré or the ceiling frescos from the Palazzo Pisani in Venice, attributed to Giovanni Scajario (1726–179 ). The Pavillon Marengo will house an extraordinary cupola painted by Antoine-François Callet (1 741–1823) for the Hôtel de Bourbon-Condé.

A project funded entirely through the museum’s own resources

This renovation project, with a budget of €26 million, is entirely funded through the museum’s own resources as part of the Louvre Atlanta project and is made possible by the generous support of its main sponsors: Montres Breguet; the members of the Cercle Cressent chaired by Mrs. François Pinault; the American Friends of the Louvre and their Cressent Circle; the Société des Amis du Louvre; MGM China, Pansy Ho, Yan Pei-Ming and a number of Hong Kong patrons; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and their major patrons Cynthia Fry Gunn and John A. Gunn; and with additional support provided by Kinoshita Group.
Jacques Garcia has graciously shared his skills and expertise by contributing the exhibition design for the new galleries.

Get a Free Oyster Card in London

July 22, 2014 on 8:05 am | In London, Rail Tours, United Kingdom, Webbandstand | Comments Off

Enjoy transport around London for Free!

Get a free 15£ Oyster card when you buy a BritRail Pass or train ticket. This offer is exclusive to the first 50 orders using the coupon code :


One free Oyster card will be included for each traveler with a BritRail Pass or train ticket.

The Oyster card provides access to London’s transport services including London Underground, buses, trams, Docklands Light Railway, London Overland Services and some National Rail services in the London area. The Oyster Card is reusable and allows you to simply add credit when you run out.

This promotion is only valid while quantities last. The offer is only applicable on online orders that require shipping, thereby excluding e-tickets. This offer is only available for shipments to Canada or the United States.

Yummy Tummy News From Wales Foodies Rule!

July 21, 2014 on 12:12 pm | In Dine Drink, Festivals, London, United Kingdom, Wales, Webbandstand | Comments Off

The Welsh, with their decades-old tradition of being locavores, have done it again. Wales is fast becoming Europe’s ‘go to’ venue for fabulous food festivals, expert cooking lessons and food and wine trails.  is your ultimate trip planning source, but here is a sampling of what is on offer.

Food festivals abound, especially in the autumn, which is one of the most beautiful times of the year to visit Wales and experience not just delicious food, but magnificent scenery and millennia of history and mythology.

20th-21st September

Abergavenny Food Festival –


The Woodstock of Food Festivals and one of the biggest events on the UK foodie calendar, offers a menu of local produce, international delicacies, celebrity chefs, master classes, and tastings.

27th – 28th September

Mold Food and Drink Festival –


This event showcases outstanding local produce and celebrity chef expertise with live music to create a fabulous foodie weekend for the whole family.

11th -12th October

Anglesey Oyster & Shellfish Festival –


It started as an informal event where locals would gather to eat oysters and get merry, but now attracts thousands of visitors each year.

25th – 26th October

Gwledd Conwy Feast –


The medieval town of Conwy is transformed with a weekend festival that boasts the largest celebration of music, art and food of Wales. The quayside, the castle and the medieval streets burst with flavors, sounds and sights.

Cooking Schools

Some of Wales’ finest cooking schools are located near Food Festival venues. Many are located within farm and/or vineyard complexes and offer stunning scenery, comfortable accommodation and local delicacies from their own farm shops.

Cookery School at Bodnant Welsh Food –

Enjoy stunning views of the Conwy Estuary as you hone your culinary skills. The school offers a wide range of courses. Bodnant Welsh Food Centre is located at Furnace Farm, in the stunning surroundings of the Conwy Valley in North Wales. Originally built in the 18th century, the buildings have been lovingly restored to provide an excellent venue for their farm shop, tea room, restaurant, cookery school and farmhouse accommodation

Llanerch Vineyard –

Llanerch Vineyard, is located in the heart of the picturesque Glamorganshire countryside in south Wales, just 20 minutes from the capital city of Cardiff. Celebrity chef Angela Gray’s Cookery School is part of this splendid complex. Llanerch’s restaurant, bistro, vineyard hotel rooms and self-guided vineyard tours are popular with locals and vacationers alike.

The Culinary Cottage Cookery School –

Located near Abergavenny, in the beautiful Black Mountains, whatever your skill, whatever your taste, the Culinary Cottage Cookery School has something just for you. Years of travelling the globe, cooking for dignitaries, celebrities and royalty, including a private dinner party for HM The Queen, have equipped Chef Penny Lewis with extensive knowledge, expertise and a love of cooking that resonates in the delectable dishes she creates with her students.

The Chef’s Room Fish and Cookery School –

Located in the south eastern part of Wales, near the town and World Heritage site of Blaenavon, the school was a British Cookery Awards 2013 Winner; it was named the Best Cookery School in Wales.

The Rhug Estate and Shop

Rhug Farm Shop first opened in 2003; in December 2011 the new expanded shop opened in a purpose-built oak and cedar building that offers a wonderful shopping experience: the new deli offers over 70 varieties of cheese, homemade pies and cured meats, Rhug’s butcher sells the estate’s organically produced meats; takeaway options include home produced organic burgers. Michelin Star trained Executive Chef Chris Harrod heads “The Bison Grill” that produces all its meals from scratch using Rhug’s award winning meat.

Wine Trail Wales

Did you know?

The Romans and French monks are said to have introduced wine to Britain, but Lord Bute, a wealthy and enthusiastic Scottish industrialist, is credited with planting Wales’ first commercial vineyard at Castell Coch, north of Cardiff in 1875.

Welsh vineyards are a good place to get close to rare and unusual wildlife – walk with llamas through Glyndwr Vineyard in the Vale of Glamorgan or feed red kites at Jabajak Vineyard in Carmarthenshire.

Ancre Hill Estates is one of only two biodynamic vineyards in the UK and the only one to grow Albarino grapes, which are more commonly found in Galicia, Northern Spain.

Welsh wines are world-beaters – Ancre Hill Estates’ 2008 vintage was voted best sparkling wine in the world at the Bollicine del Mondo International Competition in Italy in 2012.

Glyndwr Vineyard wines have graced European State banquets and are served in the House of Lords’ restaurant. Parva was served at the European Summit meeting when Britain held the Presidency.

More than 20 different grape varieties are grown in vineyards across Wales.

The Clwydian Range Food Trail

Is a new way to discover the gastronomic delights of the scenic Clwydian Range, an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. The trail will take you through some of the most spectacular views in the Clwydian Range from Loggerheads through the picturesque market towns of Ruthin, Denbigh and beyond. Along the way you can explore award winning producers of delicious foods, handmade bread, pies and pastries, meat from traditional Welsh breeds, cheese, yogurt and cider

Food Trail South & Mid Wales

Day 1

Visit The Blaenafon Cheddar Company in Blaenavon, a World Heritage Site. Here you will find a selection of handmade Cheddar and goat’s cheese made with quality local ingredients – one of which is matured underground at the neighboring Big Pit Mining Museum. Take this opportunity to pop down to Big Pit. The underground tour takes you 300 feet underground with a real miner.

Your next stop is the Welsh Whisky Company, situated in the small village of Penderyn, within the Brecon Beacons National Park. It’s the only distillery left in Wales and one of the smallest in the world. Not only does it produce the finest quality single malt whisky but also a range of Welsh spirits such as Merlyn liqueur, Brecon Vodka and Brecon Gin. Visitors can experience the distilling, bottling process and the history of whisky making in Wales. And of course you’ll get to sample the spirits.

Approx. distance: 50 miles

Approx. travelling time: 1hr 10 mins

Overnight suggestion: Swansea

Food Trail South & Mid Wales (continued)

Day 2

Head to Swansea Market. You can try a range of Welsh delicacies including cockles from the tidal Penclawdd Sands and laverbread, edible seaweed. Fresh fish here is especially good, as are locally reared lamb and beef, Gower vegetables and local cheeses. Follow the aroma in the market to sample freshly baked Welsh cakes.

Head further west to Llandeilo. At Heavenly you can indulge in luxurious chocolates, ice cream and deserts. They have a reputation for creating unique ice cream flavors – all made using Welsh organic milk and cream. Three of these are made from ingredients grown at nearby Aberglasney Gardens.

Visit Aberglasney House and Gardens, just a short journey from Llandeilo. The Garden Lost in Time features a Cloister Garden, Pool Garden, Stream Garden, an 18th century Yew Tunnel and an award-winning ‘Ninfarium’, an indoor garden with exotic plants from around the world.

Approx. distance: 26 miles

Approx. travelling time: 40 mins

Overnight suggestion: Swansea / Llanelli

Day 3

Next stop: St Davids, the smallest city in Britain, in the heart of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Known more for its cathedral and stunning scenery, St Davids has rocketed on to the British culinary map and has become a top foodie destination, boasting more eateries per head of population than anywhere else in the UK.

You may want to wander around St Davids before going on to Caerfai Farm. It’s an organic dairy farm which uses various forms of alternative energy. You can buy delicacies in the farm shop but note it’s only open in the summer. If you’ve got time take a stroll to Caerfai Bay, it’s just a five minute walk.

Approx. distance: Swansea to St Davids via Pembertons: 78 miles / 65 miles from Llanelli

Approx. travelling time: 2 hours 15 min from Swansea / 2 hours from Llanelli

Overnight suggestion: St Davids, or Haverfordwest

Day 4

Visit Caws Cenarth Visitor Centre where you can learn about the organic cheese-making process. You may get to see Thelma cutting the delicate curd.

A few miles from New Quay you will find New Quay Honey Farm with a shop, tea-room and exhibition. They produce honey then use it to make mead, a sweet alcoholic drink made since the Middle Ages.

At nearby Aberaeron, Hive on the Quay specializes in locally caught fish, organic food and honey ice-cream. Fish on the Quay sells locally caught fish. It has been recognized in Rick Stein’s “Food Heroes Guide’. Allow time to take a stroll around Aberaeron. Many of its independent shops sell crafts and local produce.

Approx. distance: 65 miles from St Davids / 56 miles from Haverfordwest.

Approx. travelling time: 2 hours from St Davids / 1 hour 50 mins from Haverfordwest.

Air Supply Returns to The Orleans Showroom

July 21, 2014 on 7:38 am | In Gaming Resorts, Las Vegas, Webbandstand | Comments Off

Australian Soft Rock Duo Air Supply Returns to The Orleans Showroom August 29-31

Las Vegas—Following a successful engagement earlier this year, Air Supply returns to the stage at The Orleans Showroom for three shows August 29, 30 and 31.

Englishman Graham Russell and Australian Russell Hitchcock met in 1975 while performing in the Australian production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Later that year, the duo formed Air Supply and released their first smash hit and self-titled debut album, reaching gold in Australia. After opening for Rod Stewart’s tour in the United States in the late ‘70s, Air Supply had an international breakthrough and signed a distribution deal with Arista Records in 1980.

Their album, “Lost in Love,” featured three U.S. Top 5 singles, including the title track, which was the fastest-selling single in the world; “Every Woman in the World”; and “All Out of Love.” Over the next three years, Air Supply produced hit after hit, including “Just Another Woman,” “The One That You Love,” “Here I Am,” “Sweet Dreams,” “Even The Nights Are Better” and “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All,” which reached #2 on the Billboard charts in 1983. They released “Mumbo Jumbo” in May 2010, and the single “Sanctuary” was released in December 2011.

With 30 albums and more than 15 hit singles, Air Supply is known as staple of early ‘80s radio and renowned around the world. In 2008, Air Supply was named #83 on Billboard’s top 100 musical acts of all time, making them the only Australian band on the list.

Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are available starting from $39.95 plus tax and fees. Tickets can be purchased at any Boyd Gaming Box Office, by calling 702.636.7075, or by visiting

About The Orleans Hotel and Casino
Located at 4500 W. Tropicana Ave., The Orleans includes more than a dozen restaurants, an 18-screen movie theater, 70-lane bowling center, 827-seat showroom featuring theater-style seating, and a 9,500-seat Orleans Arena. The property has a 135,000-square foot casino with 60 table games including Blackjack-21, Roulette, Baccarat, Craps and Pai Gow. Guests will also find more than 2,800 slot and video poker machines. Additionally, The Orleans includes a bingo parlor, keno lounge and race and sports book. More information on The Orleans Hotel and Casino can be found at , on Facebook (, and Twitter (@orleanscasino). The Orleans Hotel and Casino is a property of Boyd Gaming. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Boyd Gaming is a leading diversified owner and operator of 22 gaming entertainment properties located in Nevada, New Jersey, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Additional news and information on Boyd Gaming can be found at

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