Music acts are coming to Marriott hotels to attract millennials

Hotel lobbies are fast converting from a place to pick up and drop off a room key to a public living room, where guests hang out to enjoy snacks, drinks and listen to music.

Several small hotel brands, including Aloft, have turned their lobbies into small concert venues for local and lesser-known musical acts.

Marriott International, one of the world’s biggest hotel companies, is taking this idea a step further by partnering with Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company, to arrange performances in hotel lobbies by established and emerging musicians.

The partnership will kick off in London where English singer and songwriter Jessie J performs June 30 at the St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel.

The move is intended to target millennials who number more than 75 million in the U.S. and are expected to spend $226 million on travel this year, according to a Harris Poll survey.

Does that mean that your local hotel lobby might feature a set by Universal Music Group’s biggest clients, including Madonna, Sting, Mary J. Blige, Nicki Minaj and Jennifer Lopez?

Jennifer Utz, vice president of Buzz Marketing and Partnership, said the artists will be matched with the hotel venue so that more popular acts will play at large hotel conference centers while up-and-coming bands might play in an intimate lobby setting.

“It will run the gamut of artist,” she said. “We are working to match them with our various properties.”

The good news is that all hotel performances will be free to guests, and, when space allows, to the general public, Utz said.

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow me on Twitter at @hugomartin.

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