W Presents brings live music to hotel lobbies around the world

Everyone knows that whether you’re on vacation or just hanging out in your hometown, a hotel lobby is always a solid bet to end the evening with a nightcap. Now W Hotels makes it your destination—period—for overnight stays, wherever you are in the world.

Last March, Marriott-Bonvoy’s luxury hotel brand launched W Presents, a live electronic concert series, in North America. The multi-city event brought the world’s top EDM acts — including Channel Tres, DJ_Dave, Neil Frances and Aluna — to W Hotels in North America. Next stop? Asia.

In November, W Osaka in Japan became the first international venue to host W Presents, staging an unforgettable lobby takeover with performances by popular Japanese actors, models and DJs SHUZO and YAMATO, followed by Italian headliners Giolì & Assia, curated by LP Gobbi , global music director for W Hotels. “W Presents is about showcasing not only our passion for sound, but also about creating an innovative live electronic music platform for artists of all backgrounds,” says Gobbi. “We want this program to illustrate our collective commitment to inclusiveness and support of a wide range of musical talent. To date, through this showcase, we’ve been able to do so many great activations while working with artists who are breaking boundaries along the way.”

Osaka, often overlooked by neighboring Tokyo but becoming an increasingly popular destination for young adults, served as the perfect backdrop for the market’s inaugural event, as well as a showcase for the new W Osaka, opening in 2021. “I’m Excited” to see how people are going to dress,” Asia says before the show, getting ready in the hotel’s Extreme Wow Suite (the hotel’s luxury rendition of the presidential suite) overlooking the city. “There’s so much fashion here, it’s like everyone looks great here.” The Milan-based duo, especially for the event, shared that they never prepare a full set list, but rather reproduce the vibes of their environment. For tonight’s show, they took inspiration from the hotel’s Living Room, the spacious lobby with optimal seating and a sprawling bar, where they would later take the stage. “The lobby is really elegant, but great,” Gioli says. “Reminds me of a fashion week party – very crazy and very chic at the same time, vibe.”

The pair proved to be a perfect headliner for the evening, unleashing a two-hour set that included drums, live vocals and even a cover of Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’. A DJ and producer herself, Gobbi takes care of finding the right artists for each W Presents. “A huge part of my job as an artist is creating, digging and discovering new music and producers and building relationships with the artists I believe in and constantly meet along the way,” she says. “It allows us to keep our finger on the pulse of the songs you hear playing in our hotels and the artists we want to book to play in the hotel for moments like W Presents. While the city they perform in definitely has some impact, […] Most importantly, I’m looking for ways to ensure equitable opportunities for gender-expansive individuals and women in the music industry, so that definitely informs how we build lineups in our programs. I also love being able to support artists I believe in and give them opportunities to introduce them to W Hotels guests who are, after all, music fans.”

Part of Gobbi’s mission with the initiative is to strengthen and celebrate W Hotels’ legacy as a destination for travelers and music lovers alike. The second Asia Pacific expo was held in Shanghai in December with plans to expand into Latin America and other global markets. “[The showcase] redefines what it means to have an extraordinary travel experience,” says Gobi. “W Presents only further demonstrates the direction in which the future of both music and tourism is headed.”

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