Hotel lobbies have become hipster hangouts and alternative music venues. Properties like the Ace Hotel locations in New York, Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Los Angeles have performance spaces scattered within them. Nashville already has a few properties that feature live music in public spaces, such as the touring-musician favorite Hotel Indigo, and it’s about to add more of them. The Westin Nashville will open this fall with a 27th floor rooftop bar, with sound and lights designed and installed by the hotel’s AV partner, PSAV, that will be the crown jewel of the 450-room hip hostelry’s 20,000 square feet of flexible event space. A Virgin hotel is planned for Nashville, where 14,000 square feet of meeting space will be complemented by both a live-music venue and a recording studio. Austin, the “other” Music City, has live music-ready lobbies and other public areas in the new Hotel Van Zandt and SoCo Hotel properties there, as well as in the W Hotel, which is adjacent to the city’s flagship music venue, Austin City Limits Live.
In some cases, the sound rivals that of actual music venues. The Theatre At The Ace Hotel in Los Angeles features a d&b audiotechnik PA system and Midas Pro2 FOH console. And AV systems integrator Big House Sound installed an EAW KF series sound system mixed through a Midas M32 audio console in the Hotel Van Zandt’s fourth-floor lounge area. “Live music is now part of attracting the right people to the hotel,” said Zach Richards, Director of Installations for Big House Sound in Austin. “In fact, many of them might not even be staying there. It’s just about creating the right vibe.”