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Summer music festival-goers from the die-hard to the casual all know that Lollapalooza is happening in Chicago this weekend. Yet even hotel geeks will want to come out for Lollapalooza, thanks to the first-ever LollaShop, a pop-up shop where official Lollapalooza goods will be sold before the concerts begin. Yes, for the first time ever you don't actually have to have a ticket to Lollapalooza to buy the concert gear.
The LollaShop is currently open at 332 S. Michigan Ave (at E. Van Buren Street) and is selling festival t-shirts, hats, and even hipster fanny packs. It's also holding signings with festival performers as well as listening parties and performances in the Thompson Hotel Lounge. That's right. Thompson Hotels is offering a sneak peek into their new Chicago hotel which will officially be rebranded a Thompson in place of the old Sutton Place.
In the ever-expanding world of pop-up buildings – hotels, restaurants, museums – there’s a newcomer in the UK, Snoozebox, who is ushering in a new era of stylish pop-up hotels.
These hotels are aesthetically-chic and can pop-up in 48 hours at festivals and sporting events, with the added advantage of being right in the heart of the action. Right now, one can only find them in the UK but the capability is there to expand worldwide.
And here’s why. These hotels are decked out shipping containers, with a double bed and single bunk, full bathroom, air-con, flat-screen TV and free wireless (yes, you heard that right) in every room. Granted, the rooms are on the smallish size, but no expense has been spared in the amenities of these tidy, stylish portable hotels.
Plus they can go wherever the world needs additional fashionable accommodations. In other words you call them in when necessary, sort of like a superhero, really. We know that we start to panic when a nice hotel cannot be found at an event we’re attending.
Are these people so happy they have a hotel room to return to once the concert ends?
While the festival passes for the 2012 Coachella Music Festival don't go on sale until Friday, there is no doubt that if you want to attend, then you better start making your travel plans now.
Jaunted reports that flights to Palm Springs are still open and still, for the most part, doable averaging about high $300s for cross-country flights (the Virgin America flight from JFK to PSP at $709.20 excluded.) But after you've got your flight down, you need to start looking for a place to sleep. Unless you're cool with camping it or AirBnB-ing it. Which we are not.
This year, Coachella has decided to split the festival up into two weekends--April 13-15 and April 20-22 which means your chances of actually getting a ticket and a hotel room are a lot better. Jaunted has already noted that the first weekend of the festival is the more expensive one when it comes to airline prices. Does the same hold true for hotel rooms? Let's see.
At the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, the Fourth of July will turn into the First, Second and Third of July. The Arizona hotel will throw a three-day festival with concerts to mark the patriotic holiday.
The Fourth of July Freedom Fest will go down all weekend long with a 75-minute concert each night under the stars on the hotel's Lagoon Lawn. The concerts will also be shown on the big screen at the South Pool, in case you want to take a dip while you watch.
Sir Paul McCartney performing at the Hollywood Bowl in March. Doubt he stayed in a budget hotel there.
Last week, we couldn't believe it when we read that Jay-Z and Beyonce shacked up at in a room at the budget brand hotel, Premiere Inn for the Isle of Wight music festival. But that was like, totally true! And they weren't the only rich music stars spending the night in budgie accommodations.
We might balk at staying at a Premier Inn in the UK, given the state of UK's budget brands, but it's apparently all right with Beyonce and Jay-Z. News of the World reports that the famous duo stayed in a Premier Inn, whose rooms go as low as £29 a night, when Jay-Z performed at the Isle of Wight music festival over the weekend. AND they even reportedly skipped a specially-prepared meal, opting to eat at a nearby Pizza Hut instead. Jigga-what?
That said, we can't blame them for choosing Premier Inn. The brand not only has low rates but also modern amenities like king-sized beds, flat-screen TVs, black-out shades and WiFi, although that's not free.
Ok, yeah, this isn't working. We tried to make sense of this but we can't. Why Beyonce and Jay-Z would stay here is beyond us. Maybe News of the World has it wrong. Anyone else who can verify a B and Hova appearance at Premier Inn, let us know.
Gone are the days that South by Southwest was a sleepy music festival for music fans and journos. Thanks to the addition of the film and interactive portions, the 10-day event in Austin is now as big as the Internet! And you know what that means? (Cue Debbie Downer trumpet sounds.) Fewer hotel rooms.
In fact, those film and internet types have gone and taken all of the official SXSW hotel blocks for their dates—March 12–16—but there are still some rooms available for the music dates, March 16–20.
Is it festival time already? We’re thinking not, given the weather in Europe is leaving a lot to be desired this week. But that means it’s probably time to start fantasizing about music festivals. But not muddy, grubby, campy festivals; we're talking posh festivals that take place in a five star hotel. Is that cheating? Don’t care. We want to go to the Antalya SunSplash Festival in Turkey.
The festival itself is about fairly clubby music, with big name DJs like Norman Jay and Gilles Peterson (of Radio One fame). But what we’re really interested in is its location, Design Hotel Hillside SU – a sparkling white (in-room lighting is what makes the place trendy rather than boring) resort for Euro hipsters.
Music festivals – scruffy affairs where you sit on the floor, hopefully in the sun, and drink your own bodyweight, right?
Not any more, they’re not. Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons - chef Raymond Blanc’s uber-posh country pile just outside Oxford – is 25 years old this year, and it’s celebrating with a mini-music festival.
But it’s no ordinary music festival. Oh no. This is Le Festival aux Quat’Saisons: an uberposh, gastro music festival and although it’s going on for three days, you’re only meant to attend for one night (presumably your stomach would give way, as would your bank balance, if you stayed any longer).
Summer's here, Europe's calling, and it's music festival season. But the downside to festivals is all that grubby camping. Obviously the folks at the Dolder Grand outside of Zurich feel the same way, because they're offering up some decent digs for Dolder's very own Live at Sunset Festival from July 8-19 this year.
True, they're probably aiming for a different kind of clientele from the usual festy types – they've got Jamie Cullum (July 18th), Katie Melua (19th) and Simply Red (9th) on the festival books. But we're thinking the Cyndi Lauper gig on the 17th would make a pretty fine girly break.
There are two festival packages to choose from. The Live at Sunset Festival deal gives you a deluxe room, a three course dinner, breakfast and one gig, and costs from £293 ($443) per person. Money to burn? Book the Live at Sunset Superstar package and they'll give you all that, but stick you in a superior suite, and throw in a massage and a late checkout. But you'll have to fork out £812 ($1,230) each.
Still, who wouldn't want to pay £812 to see Mick Hucknall, right? To book, email email@example.com or call +41 44 456 60000.
Here’s a confession: we haven’t heard of Liverpool SoundCity music festival before, and we’ve had enough already of all the spurious tiny festivals cropping up in the UK and Europe to part us with our summer cash. So based on name and circumstance alone, we're not inclined to go.
However, we have heard of The Zutons, White Lies, Arctic Monkeys and Little Boots. And we’ve definitely heard of Babyshambles (with crackhead Pete Doherty as the lead singer.) So we’re swiftly packing away our skepticism.
If you're like us and are considering a night in Liverpool for the Liverpool SoundCity festival, it's taking place at 30 venues across the city from May 20-23 this year. The Zutons are the headliners, closing the festival with a performance at the rather splendid Victorian St George’s Hall. Not even the hometown legends, The Beatles got to play there.
Speaking of The Beatles, you can’t go to Liverpool without at least a nod to the fab four. You need to stay in the Hard Days Night hotel, which has a reassuring greatest hits album playing all day long. A deluxe double for two people is currently available on May 20 for £250.00 a night.
Despite the recent reports that signal music festivals might be dying, everyone's favorite Texan music fest--South by Southwest--is still very much on again this year. If you have the time to get to Austin (perhaps the downfall of our economy has freed you up a bit, eh?), hotel rooms are available but not quite affordable. We have a feeling Austin is trying to milk this event even harder in the wake of the economy's collapse.
We checked our hotel rates search engine for March 13-16--prime festival time and found the Hyatt Place Central Austin for $109 a night. This hotel is about five miles from downtown and it involves a freeway ride. But if you are a music geek who needs to upload or edit music, video, bootlegs, whatever, remember Hyatt Place has all the geeky tools you'll need to make that happen.