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How W Hotels Plans to Reinvent Music Festivals With Its Wake Up Call Series

The brand announced the expansion of its music festival concept with stops in Los Angeles, Barcelona, and Bali this year.

By Michele Laufik June 19, 2018, 7:16 AM EDT

Photo: Ralf Tooten

Today, W Hotels announced the return and expansion of its music festival concept titled “Wake Up Call.”

The hotel brand’s first iteration of its music fest took place at the W Scottsdale in 2016, but this year’s bigger, multi-city series will span the globe, making stops at three hotels: W Hollywood (September 1 to 3), W Barcelona (September 21 to 23), and W Bali (October 4 to 6).

Instead of a large outdoor venue or campgrounds, the festival’s performances and activities will take place entirely inside the hotel properties for a more exclusive but still familial experience. “We’ve designed Wake Up Call to be an up-close experience from start to finish,” said Anthony Ingham, global brand leader of W Hotels Worldwide. “Each festival will host between 2,000 to 3,000 fans, pretty intimate compared to many other festivals, allowing our guests to soak in the iconic luxe settings while embracing the communal experience of enjoying live music.”

In addition to the musical performances, festivalgoers will also be able to enjoy workout sessions, spa packages, and exclusive room service menus.

Ingham explained that the W Hollywood was chosen as the kick-off locale because “Los Angeles is the festival capital of the U.S.” The brand plans to “blow out the festival experience at this inaugural stop on the tour and give our guests the chance to get closer to the music without the mud, tents, and traffic of a traditional festival experience.”

In addition to boasting warm weather climes, each of the chosen properties also features a Wet Deck designed for hosting outdoor entertainment, so fans can get a taste of the fresh-air festival experience but in a glam setting. Plus, the locations also include W Sound Suites, professional-grade recording studios that include writers’ rooms, recording booths, editing space, and equipment for talent and guests to use.

Festival tickets are being offered to members of Marriott International’s Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and Marriott Rewards loyalty programs; non-members simply need to join the program to gain access. Members can also bid on “Wake up Call Moments,” such as DJ master classes, in-suite after-parties with featured artists, and off-site excursions, as well as the V.I.P. package called “Wake Up Call: The Complete Set List.” It features roundtrip airfare to all three festivals, accommodations, access to all “Wake up Call Moments,” workout sessions, meet-and-greets, and more; bidding starts at 250,000 points.

Currently, the festival series’ lineup includes performances by Phantogram, Charli XCX, Chromeo, Betty Who, Léon and Dancing Pineapple Presents: Codeko, Papa Ya, Christofi, and Curt Reynolds at the W Hollywood; Martin Solveig, Gorgon City, Thomas Jack, and special guest Pete Tong at W Barcelona; and Angus & Julia Stone and Nightmares on Wax at W Bali, with more acts to be announced in the coming months.

Ingham said that the brand is working with both in-house and off-site production teams, as well as the internal marketing, programming, and operations teams from the W Hotels brand and Marriott International to create the global series. IMG Live, a division of Endeavor Global Marketing, will handle all aspects of the series, from production to talent management.

Plus, the hotel brand is already planning to host the music festival at its new W Dubai—The Palm in early 2019. The hotel is slated to open later this year.

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