Earlier this month saw the first in the W Hotels collaboration with UK based underground music site Boiler Room. Do Not Disturb, an innovative series of unique live online music broadcasts from each hotel’s E-WOW suite (W’s take on the traditional presidential suite), will run in London, Paris and New York. Each broadcast will create a dynamic musical moment featuring an eclectic mix of emerging and established artists to be viewed by thousands of fans from around the world via http://www.boilerroom.tv/live and www.whotels.com/donotdisturb, where the performance will live on for those who are unable to catch the live show.
The series kicked off in London last week and featured performances and back-to-back DJ sets by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs vs Friendly Fires, Skream vs Disclosure, Jimmy Edgar vs. Machinedrum (JETS) and Jackmaster vs. Loefah.
In a room where the view across London went barely noticed, Moet champagne sat next to cans of Red Stripe at the pop-up bar. Girls with barely-there tops strode alongside groups of guys wearing T-Shirts emblazoned with the words “Ugly Mug”.
Once the crowd had adjusted to the surreal juxtapositions, the room quickly became a playground as the circular central seating area was swung around – a merry-go-round of models, singers, music-lovers and fashionistas. One girl turned to me as we started to spin: ‘Shit, I thought my vertigo was playing up!’
By this stage people were really making themselves at home, taking pleasure in all the W Hotel had to offer them, with some hitting the dancefloor in fluffy white bathrobes as others were squeezing into the Jacuzzi next door. Cara Delevingne, Zara Martin, Jade Williams, Clara Paget and Oscar Tuttiet, Jaime Winstone, Sascha Bailey, Freddy Page, Emily Deyn, Georgie Okell, Jack Penate, Tabitha Denholm and Tom Beard were all in attendance. But for all the opulent surroundings and celebrities, this night was all about the music. The highlight was hearing Jimmy Edgar and Machinedrum’s new collaboration, JETS, putting techno and ghetto house in the same room and smashing it. By the time Skream and Disclosure were halfway through their set a pillow fight had broken out. Far from being distracted, they simply blew the pile of feathers from their decks and launched into a new VIP mix of Jessie Ware’s Running.
Last week, W Paris – Opéra welcomed Cassius, dOP, Ivan Smagghe, Alan Braxe and DJ Deep for the next leg of Do Not Disturb. The series finale will land at W New York in the New Year, with the event set to be broadcast live from the suite’s outdoor terraces amidst sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline.
London and Paris were billed as the ultimate parties, and they hit the mark. These parties are a far cry from Boiler Room’s underground beginnings in 2010, but the success of these nights only further proved the versatility of their concept. The London party, in particular, will be a tough act to follow.
Words by James McGibney