Music festivals are largely seen as the province of bro culture -- they don't seem to be about actually seeing live music, but instead about the communal experience of being at a festival: camping, guzzling beer, taking selfies in your flower crown, sneaking Molly past the security guards by stuffing it up your butt. W Hotels is attempting to create an upscale spin on this experience by taking the festival out of the desert and moving it somewhere with air conditioning, room service and a spa. This month, W launched their Wake Up Call series of hotel-bound music festivals, starting with a Labor Day weekend bash at the W Hollywood. I heard the words "room service" and was strapped into my first class seat quicker than Lady Gaga walking onstage to accept her Oscar for A Star is Born.
Saturday, September 1
7:00am: I wake up early because I am still on New York time and because I have a cardio class at 9:30 with "Ashley." I decide to order pancakes and book myself a facial instead, because I'm worth it.
10:00am: Having had two Bloody Marys and watched two episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, I feel ready to really start my day with a stroll down Hollywood Boulevard. A man in a pickup truck keeps driving up and down the street shouting "Jesus Loves You!" I pop into the Hustler store and consider a garter belt and the Pleaser boots Lady Gaga won't stop wearing, but end up leaving empty-handed.
11:45am: Back at the W, I pop into Delphine, the hotel restaurant and order a gorgeous kale and arugula salad with shrimp for lunch. My waiter tells the table next to me about his acting class and helps them take photos of their food for, no joke, 15 minutes.
1pm: I make my way to the W Hollywood Sound Suite, a fully outfitted studio the hotel keeps on hand for traveling artists, to chat with Global Brand Leader Anthony Ingham. He tells me that the festival was a natural extension of W's history of authentically being part of the music industry, finding emerging artists for their series of Living Room live performances and using W's distribution channels as a way for artists to get their music to consumers. The question, says Ingrham was "how do we create a music festival in a W hotel that takes all of the best bits of being in a festival -- the vibe, the access to emerging talent, different stages, different experiences, collective energy -- but do it in an environment where you don't have a dusty field and long lines for horrible toilets and have to sleep in a tent." I think about the trailer for of showers at Coachella, where I once saw a smear of poop next to a soap dispenser, and shudder.
3:00pm: I head down to the Bliss Spa for my Fabulous Facial(tm) and spend a near-orgasmic hour having various lotions and potions rubbed on my face. I finally reach climax when my facialist tells me I have "perfect skin."
6:00pm: I've signed up for a 6:30 Sunset Wimberride class with Jason Wimberly but end up inviting a cute boy from Grindr to my hotel room because a girl's gotta eat.
9:00pm: Having sated one hunger, I meet up with OUT Social Editor Ian Martella and head to In-N-Out (the W's room service menu is extensive but they don't offer Animal Style.)
10:55pm: It's time to finally check out the festival. On the W's rooftop Wet Deck, skinny blonde girls and muscley gay boys are heading into the Loft for Phantogram's headlining set. I've loved Phantogram since hearing "When I'm Small" on the pilot of the MTV's version of Skins (RIP) and they are even better live. I spend the next few hours dancing then head to bed.
Sunday, September 2
7:00am: Another room service breakfast, another episode of KUWTK.
9:00am: Back to Bliss for a pedicure and eyebrow wax. Clueless is playing on a TV in the spa as I get my toes done but the headphones don't work so I annoy my nail technicians by repeating the dialogue to myself.
5:00pm: I'm shaking in anticipation for our meet and great with Charli XCX because, if it's not clear from my Internet presencde, I am a rabid Charli stan. The meet and greet is half journalists and half Mariott rewards members who used their points to bid on the "moment," so the vibe is a little weird. Charli enters with a team of girls in Charli cosplay and she is tiny and beautiful in person, but very stiff during the assembly line meet and greet. Still queen of bops, though!
10:55pm: Back to the Loft for Charli's show, which opens with "Unlock it." Hearing this song live for the first time, I ascend to a higher, enlightened state of consciousness -- or maybe it's the weed cookie.
12:00am: After sweating out the complimentary bottle of Veuve Clicquot that came in my welcome gift bag on the dance floor, I head back to my room to get my beauty rest before flying home to New York. I congratulate myself on my commitment to thorough investigative journalism and sleep the deep, untroubled sleep of the just.