Absolut Symposium 2014

clubbing hub

Becoming “hotel designer” for five days, to create what every brand desires: a place of social creativity that generates experiences, sharing, and therefore memories, in a spontaneous way. Welcome to the Absolut Symposium.

If so many journals and blogs talked about it, it means it was worth it: decorating rooms and shared spaces of a 4 star hotel, creating exhibitions and installations, recording a mix tape on one hundred audiocassettes, finding exotic fruits and original musical instruments, producing night-by-night a daily newspaper and even renting a fun-fair carousel.

From 5 to 9 of November Bellissimo curated the creative direction and the production of contents through which Absolut reinterpreted the headquarter of #C2C14 at the AC Hotel around the idea of a “contemporary symposium”.

This year’s novelty, Absolut Symposium its a format created by the festival Club to Club and Absolut: transforming the hotel, the artists rooms, the daily activities and live sets in a creative clubbing hub, always active the 24 hours (and open to the public from 5 pm to 9 pm). An actual symposium, for hanging around, listening to music and share a drink, just like in ancient Greece

But how to really involve clubbers and journalists?
How to enrich the experience in a location already sprawling with fascination and musical proposals?


Together with Absolut Bellissimo, produced and realized the format as well as the installations and activities for the lobby, courtyard, guest rooms and two special suites.
A precision and detail rich work, from the daily preparations to the final dismantling, including a non stop supervision: a change of residence for the entire agency to be accurate.

A precision and detail rich work, from the daily preparations to the final dismantling, including a non stop supervision: a change of residence for the entire agency to be accurate.

 

The face of Absolut at the hotel entrance were the lobby boys, both a concierge and handyman at the guests disposal, in duty from 4 pm to 6 am. Strictly dressed in an elegant blue uniform.

In their bedrooms Absolut's guests will find a precious welcome kit, a “surprise box” with small objects, among them an authentic mix tape: a selection by Giorgio Valletta (co-founder of Club to Club), recorded on a branded audiocassette.

Every room was renamed according to the symposium’s tradition (from the Aulos room/The Flute Room to the Dionysos suite/The Dionysus Room), all customized with pre-spaceds on ceilings and mirrors as well as artworks realized ad hoc for every single room.

The activities at the headquarter animated the hotel, especially the lobby, were the installations designed by Bellissimo were located — from the art bar’s neon sign to the exhibit dedicated to Absolut’s history with art.

Bellissimo created a small newsstand, the Absolut Newsstand, with over fifty among the best international music magazines, and a photo totem for taking some amazing commemorative pictures (instantly printable and sharable on social networks).

At public disposal was a big blackboard, a record shop (in collaboration with Serendeepity) and a grand piano in total-blue (including the keyboard).

Under the giant branded billboard over the main entrance, even the ping pong and mini soccer table in the courtyard where customized for the event.

Under the giant branded billboard over the main entrance, even the table tennis and mini soccer table in the courtyard were customized for the event.

But the real surprise outside was the Absolut Carousel, a real fully functional carousel with horses and carriage, that arrived via truck in the heart of the night, capable of transporting to their childhood several of the guests (and ideal for the interview with the artists).

The Absolut Symposium prime offer were the special experiential” rooms staged inside two suites accessible to the public yet intimate and fascinating.
In the Andy Warhol Cocktail Room, dedicated at the new limited edition of Absolut, four guests at a time had the chance to experience an exceptional drink, prepared at the moment (and upon request) by a professional mixologist.

The Jam Room conceived by Bellissimo had over twenty musical instruments from all around the world, from the congas to the marimba, from the banjo and ukulele to a bag pipe.


An “kaleido-folk” selection for improvised musical sessions, that attracted musicians — including Chet Faker, protagonist of a memorable morning session at the tank drum.

 

After four evenings shared with the public from the AC Hotel, we believe that Absolut Symposium #C2C14 did it: it managed to become iconic and acclaimed by the media, managed to represent the avant-pop spirit of the festival and transmitted the values of Absolut, but most importantly it achievement goal of attracting hundred of guests.


For the occasion Bellissimo curated an exhibit of the “30 Best Cover Artworks of Electronic Music Albums (1974-2014)”, a fine selection curated by Ian Anderson (The Designers Republic), Luca Ballarini (Bellissimo), Sergio Ricciardone, Roberto Spallacci and Giorgio Valletta (Club To Club).

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Ian Anderson himself, acclaimed designer, was the protagonist of a crowded talk organized by Bellissimo inside the Symposium event calendar.

The Absolut Symposium had its own official information organ, the Absolut Daily, a four pages daily bulletin written every night to be printed in the morning after, with the news about the headquarter, the advances on the festival and the stories of the day before.

This was the media coverage of the Absolut Symposium (in Italian) Rolling Stone, Vogue, GQ, Wired, Vanity Fair, NSS, Soundwall, L’Officiel, i-D.
(Photos by Andrea Macchia)

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