SAN FRANCISCO—Music has a way of bringing people together. That’s the plan for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants’ new immersive concert series, Kimpton Off the Record.
“Having been involved in the music industry for most of my career, and as a lifelong music lover, I’m passionate about pairing the perfect sound to a specific space,” said Lauren Bucherie, director of music and brand activations, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. She’s responsible for the soundtrack to one’s hotel stay at the brand’s more than 60 hotels and 80-plus restaurants and bars.
“For this music series, we engaged with bands and musicians who embody the spirit and music style of each participating property,” she said. “Every band is hand-selected specifically for the concert’s location, and musical genres range from indie rock to country to R&B to synth pop.”
Kimpton strives to connect with guests on multiple levels from the moment they walk into the lobby, and a big component of that experience is the music programming.
“I work with each property team to create a custom soundtrack for each area of the hotel. From the elevator to the bar to the lobby, each sonic interaction is specifically designed to complement guests’ surroundings,” she said. “With more than 140 hotels and restaurants, each with their own identity, we’ve developed more than 140 different musical personalities, programmed to location, time of day and purpose. Music is a key factor in bringing each property to life and sheds light on the character of the city and the hotel’s local community.”
Kimpton Off the Record is not just about pumping up the vibe at the brand’s properties; there’s a corporate social responsibility (CSR) component to the programming, which is raising money for The Trevor Project, a nonprofit organization focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.
“Kimpton believes in the power of music to both connect people and encourage them to be their true, authentic selves,” she said. “We’re working with our longtime charity partner, The Trevor Project, as part of Off the Record as they share these same values. Since our inception, we’ve celebrated the LGBTQ+ community, both among employees and with our guests. We’ve worked with The Trevor Project for many years, providing resources to help the LGBTQ+ cause, and are thrilled to be able to do so with our Off the Record music program as well.”
This music program is a continuation of the brand’s Stay Human campaign. Bucherie shared a status update on that project: “Our first-of-its-kind social experiment—the three-month Room 301 activation at the Kimpton Everly Hotel—garnered incredible results that showcase the way we all crave authentic human connection,” she said. “We explored the similarities and divergences of the human experience by encouraging guests to reflect on themselves—and connect with future guests—through anonymous confessions and activities. Simply by occupying the same space, guests found a greater sense of connection and felt empowered to share personal stories with complete strangers. The findings we discovered through this experiment are helping our team create new programs that speak to what our guests are looking for in a hotel experience.”
Based on the success of Room 301, the brand launched the Kimpton Stay Human Project—a new series of more than 20 highly localized rooms across the country that each bring the concept of Stay Human to life in their own way.
For music buffs seeking to dive deeper into Kimpton’s music offerings, there’s an experiential online hub for that. “The goal is to give music lovers a one-stop shop for all things Off the Record and connect to the music beyond each concert,” she said. “The Kimpton Off the Record microsite offers access to win tickets to these intimate concerts, behind-the-scenes footage of the performances, Q&As with the artists and more.”