By Jenny Berg Posted January 5, 2012, 10:00 AM EST
CHICAGO Dubbed “A Starry New Year's Eve,” the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago's 600-guest holiday party had no shortage of, well, rock. With so many other parties happening around town, the Hard Rock's differentiated itself with “the diverse mix of music and entertainment,” said Jamie Weil, owner of YL Communications, which assisted BMF Media Group with planning. “Most bashes just have your typical DJ that you can see in the same club on any normal weekend night, or a celebrity host. Our main source of entertainment was a quickly rising events band called the Gold Coast All Stars.”
The 11-piece cover band took over a stage in the Fender ballroom and was joined throughout the night by special guest performers. Acts included American Idol winner Lee Dewyze, drummer De'Mar Hamilton from the Plain White T's, Chris Culos of O.A.R., and Sam Hagshenas of Hey Champ. DJ Chris Masterson spun in the ballroom as well. After the midnight countdown, all the guest entertainers hopped back onstage to join the band in singing “With a Little Help from my Friends.”
Satellite areas helped acknowledge the liquor sponsors. DJ Timbuck2 and Team Bayside High spun in the so-called Bud Light Platinum Lounge, where planners aimed to create a “club-lounge-hip-hop-hop vibe,” Weil said. Platinum Events provided couches, ottomans, and low tables for bottle service areas. At an illuminated bar, bartenders doled out mixed drinks made with UV Vodka, another sponsor.
Outside the ballroom, mixologist Paul Sevigny manned the Disaronno bar. Specialty cocktails included the Disarossa, made with blood oranges and Prosecco, and the Italian American, which contained apple cider, maple syrup, and rosemary.