The XP Guide: February Events & Experiences
We may be embarking on the shortest month of the year (sorry Leap Day, you can only do so much), but February is jam-packed with events, experiences, and art, with Frieze LA entering its fifth year and Fashion Month kicking off stateside. But, really, it’s all about what’s going on in sports and music, from the Grammys to the Super Bowl. And yes, Taylor can in fact get from her concert in Tokyo to Las Vegas in time for the game. Phew.
Keep reading for experiential inspiration from the biggest happenings coming in February — and check out how XP Land XLISTERS are involved in everything from a reggae festival with strong Cali vibes to the much-anticipated Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Grammys: Feb. 4; Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles
The 2024 Grammys will have a record number of firsts. The awards are cutting back the number of nominees in each of their Big Four categories, from ten to eight. Female artists dominate the Album of the Year category, with the most nominations at once (seven nominees) since the 2019 expansion of the Big Four.
The predicted contenders for the night’s aforementioned largest prize are Taylor Swift’s Midnights, SZA’s SOS, and boygenius’ The Record. Nine-time Grammy winner Joni Mitchell will perform at the ceremony for the first time, and U2 will take the stage at the Las Vegas Sphere, marking the venue’s first-ever live broadcast performance.
Super Bowl LVIII: Feb. 11; Allegiant Stadium, Paradise, Nevada
This year’s Super Bowl will be a rematch between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers (their 2020 face-off ended with the Chiefs on top). Three-time Super Bowl winners the Chiefs are seeking back-to-back wins after their victory last year, while the 49ers haven’t won the title since 1995.
For some viewers — especially XP lovers — the main event occurs when, in a matter of minutes, the football field transforms into a concert venue for The Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show. This year’s performance will be headlined by Usher and is co–executive produced by Roc Nation (shout out XLISTER Desiree Perez) as well as directed by XLISTER Hamish Hamilton.
NBA All-Star Game: Feb.18; Gainsbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
The NBA will be coming to claim the collective sports world consciousness post-Super Bowl, as Western and Eastern Conference All-Star squads show off against each other on Feb.18 in Indianapolis. With his 20th nomination (so far), Western Conference All-Star Lebron James just became the most nominated player in history. Lebron is the West’s captain, while the East will be led by Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The celebrity game will take place on February 16, followed by the annual 3-point shoot-out, dunk contests, and All-Star skill contests on the 17th. Indianapolis is going all out with their hosting duties, setting up a full-sized NBA court — decked out in All-Star imagery — in their airport for fans to shoot on.
Savannah Bananas 2024 Tour: Starts Feb. 8; George M. Steinbrenner Field, Tampa Bay, Florida
Banana Ball — aka baseball tricked out with dancing, flaming bats and high jinks — kicks off its 2024 season on Feb 8 when the Savannah Bananas take on The Party Animals in Tampa Bay. Founder and XLISTER Jesse Cole has expanded the sport tremendously this year, as the 2024 tour will include games in six MLB stadiums for the first time.
The Bananas play three games in Tampa Bay before heading to Peoria, Arizona, for three more games later in the month. Tickets are going fast, with the team expected to play to about one million spectators this tour. They even had to add one thousand seats to their home stadium to keep up with demand.
Shaq’s Fun House, Gronk Beach, Guy’s Flavortown Tailgate 2024: Feb. 9-11; The Wynn Las Vegas and the Vegas Strip
XLISTERS Adam Richman and Joe Silberzweig of Medium Rare are back with their rambunctious rev-up to the Big Game, with Shaq’s Fun House, Gronk Beach, and Guy’s Flavortown Tailgate parties returning to the Super Bowl circuit. Shaq’s Fun House kicks off the weekend at The Wynn Las Vegas with a massive carnival, concert and circus wrapped into one. Shaquille O’Neal (you guessed it) leads the festivities.
Lil Wayne and Diplo are just some of the DJs lined up to perform. The following day, Rob Gronkowski will transform The Wynn into a beach oasis, with cabana service and a concert by Afrojack. To round out the weekend, celebrity chef Guy Fieri will drive into town and take over the Strip with a tailgate. Expect Flavortown to be full of country music performances, custom dishes, and frosted tips.
Cali Vibes Festival: Feb 16-18; Long Beach, California
The three-day reggae-centered festival comes back to Long Beach under the supervision of Goldenvoice president and XLISTER Paul Tollett. The festival celebrates California beach culture and reggae music at the Marina Green Park, overlooking the coastline of downtown Long Beach. Festival goers get access to multiple stages, a beach club lounge, a private lagoon and exclusive food and beverage pop-ups. Gwen Stefani headlines this year’s lineup, with other major performances by The Roots, Ice Cube, and Sublime.
Frieze LA: Feb. 29-March 3; Santa Monica Airport, Los Angeles
Frieze LA returns for its fifth year with over 95 global galleries presenting exhibitions, collaborations with non-profits and museums, and pop-ups from local Los Angeles restaurants. The art fair is dedicated to promoting contemporary art — particularly how LA culture inspires and builds up the local art scene. Frieze LA 2024 also marks the premiere of the first major exhibition by legendary (and mustachioed) filmmaker, actor and writer John Waters, who will present his “Pope of Trash” at the Academy Museum in Los Angeles.
New York Fashion Week: Feb. 9-13; New York City
Autumn/Winter 2024 collections will be presented across the city as NYFW launches into “Fashion Month,” aka February, for consumers of luxury brands and the creators behind them. Designers will be producing runway shows, lectures, live streams, digital activations, and underground parties to showcase their latest threads.
CDFA chairman and designer Thom Browne will be making his return to NYFW this year, after being absent from the showings for the past year. Another shift this season comes with Spring Studios no longer being the major host of the shows; instead, Chelsea’s Starrett-Lehigh Building will house many of the NYFW brands’ showcases. We’ll be keeping an eye out to see if Tiktok’s forecast of winter mob-wife mania is on the formal fashion forecast.
Space Explorers: The Infinite: Opens Feb. 3; Denver
You no longer have to be a billionaire (or Pete Davidson) to go to space. XLISTERS Felix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphael have designed the immersive VR experience Space Explorers: The Infinite to transport Stanley Marketplace visitors to the International Space Station. Using VR headsets, visitors can take a virtual walk through the ISS and engage with astronauts throughout the station.
To build this out-of-this-world experience, Felix & Paul partnered with NASA to create 3D cameras capable of existing in space, then shot all angles of the space station and 12 astronauts on six separate NASA missions. The footage collection alone took over three years, with enough 3D video that the visitor feels like they are truly in the space station as they walk around the 10,000 square foot open room.
The Old Man and the Sea: Feb.10; Memorial Hall, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Composer, co-founder of Brooklyn performing arts venue National Sawdust, and XLISTER Paola Prestini has two captivating operas coming to the stage this month. Prestini worked with XLISTER Beth Morrison of Beth Morrison Projects to produce both works. The Old Man and the Sea reimagines the Hemingway classic while weaving in the writer’s narrative as he worked on the story — and the years that followed.
Opera Evolved Pt 2. “Sensorium Ex:” Feb. 22; National Sawdust, Brooklyn
A bit farther East, the Metropolitan Opera and National Sawdust have come together to present a concert and panel discussion where audience members can experience excerpts from Prestini’s opera Sensorium Ex and listen to the conversation around the nuances of multidisciplinary work. The opera follows a non-verbal young boy and his relationship with his mother as they navigate communicating beyond traditional spoken language. Sensorium Ex is part of Prestini’s larger project, Sensorium, which explores what it means to have a voice and how that can be expressed beyond language.
Water for Elephants: Previews begin Feb. 24; Imperial Theater, New York City
Based on Sara Gruen’s bestselling novel Water for Elephants, the musical of the same name (which premiered in Vancouver in June 2023) is now coming to Broadway. Produced in collaboration with 7 Fingers — the circus collective led by founding director and XLISTER Shana Carroll — the show uses an ensemble cast skilled in awe-inspiring acrobatics, trapeze wizardry and other three-ring artistry to tell the story of a runaway who attempts to start a new life with the circus.
Previews begin February 24, with the musical officially opening March 21. While there’s nothing wrong with waiting a month to experience the finished product, the fun and lightness of a show in progress appeals to our experiential nature, as the creative team works to understand what resonates with audiences.
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