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Universal's New Experiential Idea. How it May Change the Music Industry

People need to attach events to music to get the full experience. When you hear a certain song, it takes you back to that vivid memory. You remember who you were with, the location, what stage in life you were at; music helps associate some of our most fond memories.

(Sketches of Universal's plans to build experiential music. Construction begins in 2021 and is scheduled to finish in 2023 (Business Traveler)

Universal has announced a plan to build 3 "Music-based experiential hotel properties" in Orlando, Atlanta, & Biloxi (Mississippi). These music campuses will include a world-class concert venue, luxury hotels, restaurants, golf courses, and other engaging events. This is a Hard Rock Cafe on steroids. The beauty of this is the idea is there is no transportation needed. This will be a playground to blackout for the weekend, stumble to a world-class concert, stuff your face with food, gamble, and scramble to the airport to catch your flight home.

Sketches of the Biloxi Site

The Pyramid Hotel Group will handle the management of the hotels/staffing at these campuses. A smart move, as Pyramid has about 120 hotels between the United States and its properties in the Caribbean.

As of now, the plans are to build 3 properties. Each of the properties having their own musical, cultural feel. My guess would be Biloxi, MS would be more Jazz, soul, while Atlanta would be more modern, rap. The Biloxi property is estimated to cost $1.2 Billion to build, spanning over 266 acres, and the concert venue will have a capacity of 12,000+. Some of the hotel rooms will be suites, with walkout views to the concert venue. Specific plans for Atlanta and Orlando are still up in the air.

(Another sketch provided by Universal)

The other asset to be considered is the versatility to host different artists. These venues can cater weekends to different audiences. One weekend they could invite Paul Mccartney, targeting middle-aged fans, the other you can invite JB, the next Taylor Swift. This will draw unique fans, but also advertisers.

This can be a huge stimulus to the hotel industry once we get back to normal. As of right now, The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) estimates 40% of hotel employees are out of work, with 65% being laid off or seeing reduced work.

This will be an incredible opportunity for other brands to get exposure. Advertisements, virtual and augmented reality, endorsement, and engagement opportunities all are in play to supplement the consumer experience.

For the future, the tentative plans are to start off with these 3 locations and then expand around the globe. This has the potential to create thousands of jobs for its host cities. Kind of cool! Something to dream about while we're set to be locked down again this winter.



1) Attraction Magazine

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