January 25-31 agenda: Grammy Awards celebration

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The Independent Online

Week's selection: the biggest music awards ceremony of the year in Los Angeles, extreme winter sports in Aspen, Colorado and a Web 3.0 conference in California, the most prestigious Asian art prize in Hong Kong and the opening of a giant Abba exhibition in London, among other events.

Web 3.0 Conference
January 26-28
Santa Clara, California (USA)

Web 3.0 Conference explores the "emergence of a new era of technologies, collectively known as Web 3.0." The conference highlights the ways in which businesses and individuals can harness these new technologies and investigates the future of the connected world.



Asian Art Prize
January 27
Hong Kong

The sixth annual Asian Art Prize - the region's most prestigious - will be annouced at a dinner and gala auction. The first prize comes with a check for US$25,000 and the winner will be drawn from a field of 30, selected by a team of Asia's top art critics and most respected gallery curators The public can also vote for their favorite piece by logging on to event organizers the Sovereign Art Foundation's website.



January 27
London, UK

An interactive exhibition devoted to the Swedish pop group ABBA and backed by the band opens at Earls Court in London on January 27. ABBAWORLD includes 25 rooms of music, footage, images, and memorabilia from the personal collections of the band members. Among interactive activities: fans can get up on stage with 3D holograms of the band, take an ABBA quiz, join a sing-and-dance-along, and see themselves in an ABBA video. ABBAWORLD organizers say the exhibit will visit other major cities following its London residency. Founded in 1970, ABBA has sold nearly 370 million albums worldwide. Exhibit ends March 26.



International Comics Festival
January 28-31
Angoulême, France

The International Comics Festival in Angoulême is the largest event of its kind in Europe. The 37th edition, which begins January 28, will feature a Manga Building, an exhibition of Russian comics, and an International Encounters Forum. An annual highlight is the 24-hour Comic Strip Contest, in which contestants create 24-page comic books in the 24 hours before the festival begins. General entrance fees are €14 per day, or €30 for all four days.



Dubai Shopping Festival
January 28 - February 28
Dubai, UAE

Having developed into a "major retailing and entertainment extravaganza," according to its organizers, the festival is about more than just shopping: promotional events, also for kids, are held around the city, while Dubai presents itself in a "carnival atmosphere."


Extreme sports: Winter X Games

January 28-31
Aspen, Colorado (USA)

The Winter X Games, a 1997 offshoot from ESPN's 1995 version, moves into its 14th year. Offering free entry to the public and adding the Ski SuperPipe High Air and Snowmobile Knock Out events to its roster, the Games include the now-standard extreme-style snowboarding and skiing events. Defending SuperPipe snowboard champ Torah Bright has already stated her intention of completing a Double Cork trick, turning a full 900° in an off-axis spin. Meanwhile, last year's snowmobile gold medallist Joe Parsons has combined a breathtaking backwards-landed backflip and 180° spin in a bid to retain his title.



January 30-31
London, UK

Thousands of artists, vendors, manufacturers and makeup fans will be on site when the International Makeup Artist Trade Show opens its doors. The looks from movies, musicals and other spectacles will be recreated and some of the most in-demand makeup artists from around the world will compete against each other on stage. The same event is also staged in Los Angeles, Sydney, Toronto, and Vancouver over the course of the year.


Grammy Awards celebration
January 31
Los Angeles, USA

On January 31, the Recording Academy will award the best of music at the 52nd annual Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. Awards are given in 31 fields, including pop, rock, and classical, as well as in four "general" categories: Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist. This year's nominees include Beyoncé, The Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, Dave Matthews Band, and Taylor Swift, all of whom are set to perform at the event.