News Releases

Aloft Hotels and Universal Music Group Launch 'Project: Aloft Star' Tour
First-ever Project: Aloft Star Tour with Universal Music Group Celebrating Emerging Artists, with special perks for Marriott Rewards and SPG members
X Ambassadors To Mentor Finalists in Project: Aloft Star Artist Discovery Competition

BETHESDA, Md., June 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Aloft Hotels, Marriott International's brand for music lovers and music makers, and Universal Music Group & Brands (UMGB), the brand strategy division of Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today launched the 2018 edition of Aloft Hotels' artist discovery competition Project: Aloft Star, and unveiled the first-ever Project: Aloft Star Tour, a five-city tour celebrating UMG's emerging artists.

X Ambassadors Will Act as Mentors for the Three Finalists in the Americas Project: Aloft Star Competition

Starting today, musicians can enter for a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime prize that includes1:

  • An opportunity to record a single at the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood
  • Mentoring from UMG's executives which will include help selecting a song to record
  • 500,000 Rewards points2 redeemable for Marriott International hotel stays and other rewards

This year's Project: Aloft Star mentors, the X Ambassadors, will guide the three Project: Aloft Star finalists3 and help them prepare for their finale performance. "We were lucky to have so many wonderful mentors growing up," said Sam Harris of X Ambassadors. "We're thrilled to be working with Aloft Hotels to support emerging talent as this year's Project: Aloft Star Mentor."

The Project: Aloft Star contest and tour is part of Marriott International's first-of-its-kind global partnership with UMG, which has evolved to include a focus on developing emerging talent.

"Aloft Hotels has always been the brand for music makers and music lovers, but now through our collaboration with UMG, we're able to support emerging artists in a more meaningful way than ever before," said Toni Stoeckl, Global Brand Leader, Aloft Hotels; and Vice President, Distinctive Select Brands for Marriott International. "The opportunity to record a single with one of UMG's prestigious labels and receive dedicated mentoring from the best in the industry is very rare, and we're so glad to be able to bring this to emerging talent all over the world."

"Aloft Hotels is a terrific partner that shares our dedication to the artist community," said Mike Tunnicliffe, head of UMGB. "At UMG, everything we do starts with our commitment to fostering emerging talent. This year's Project: Aloft Star Tour not only promotes this competition but also provides our developing artists with an opportunity to reach new fans across the country. We're thrilled to expand our relationship with Marriott International, and we continue to work together to build progressive long-term campaigns together."

Project: Aloft Star Tour
To inspire emerging talent to enter this year's competition, Aloft Hotels is taking some of UMG's hottest breakthrough artists on the road, hitting some of the great music cities to host intimate music performances in the brand's signature W XYZ® bars. The free performances will kick off with Years & Years in Philadelphia on June 23, and will continue in four other locations, including Tank & the Bangas in New Orleans on August 9 and BANNΞRS in Denver on October 17. At each tour stop, fans will be able to collect an exclusive custom memento poster featuring art created by New York designer and illustrator Sophia Chang. The final tour stop will be held in Austin on November 1 where the Project: Aloft Star finalists will perform in front of a panel of industry judges that includes representatives from UMG and live music discovery platform Bandsintown, and a winner will be chosen.

Global Footprint
As a truly global hotel brand, concurrent competitions are also running with Aloft Hotels and UMG in the Middle East & Africa and Asia Pacific to find the next big music stars in these regions. As in the Americas, winners in these regions will have the opportunity to record a single with UMG and gain access to mentoring opportunities with UMG representatives. Each region will have their own local celebrity UMG mentors, including names such as Salim Merchant in India and Rachel Liang in Greater China. Aloft Hotels in Europe will also be launching an initiative under the Project: Aloft Star banner to support emerging artists later this year.

Loyalty Member Exclusive Moments
While the tour is open to everyone to join, the best way to experience it will be as a member of Marriott's award-winning loyalty programs Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and Marriott Rewards. Special member benefits will include an NYC preview concert and destination packages, all available for redemption with Starpoints and Marriott Rewards points through SPG Moments and Marriott Rewards Moments.

  • Skip the Line: All Marriott Rewards and SPG members will be able to skip the line to get first access to the tour events, ensuring no member misses out on seeing their favorite band or artist.
  • Artist Meet & Greets: All Marriott Rewards and SPG members will be able to attend members-only Meet & Greets with the artists following their performances.
  • Member Preview Concert: On June 14th SPG and Marriott Rewards members who redeemed the experience on either Moments platform will attend an intimate acoustic performance by BANNΞRS and VIP hang-out with X Ambassadors in New York City. The preview concert will give loyalty members a sneak peek at the programming expected during the Project: Aloft Star Tour, including festival-inspired food & tech-driven beverage concepts.
  • VIP Concert Packages featuring a two-night stay at one of the Aloft hotel stops on this year's tour, artist merch and VIP talent meet and greet will be available for members on the Marriott Rewards Moments and SPG Moments platforms. Loyalty members may also redeem their Starpoints or Marriott Rewards points to attend a VIP experience at the Project: Aloft Star finale in Austin.

Aloft – the Hotel For Music Makers and Music Lovers
Aloft Hotels has been an incubator for emerging musical talent for a decade. All Aloft Hotels around the world host regular live music evenings in their W XYZ® bars with local up-and-coming talent as part of the brand's Live At Aloft Hotels music program.

Aloft Hotels are in thriving music destinations, welcoming touring musicians with special discounted artist rates, the opportunity to use the W XYZ® bar as a performance space for free, and a musicians' guide featuring everything from where to dine late-night after a gig, the best nearby affordable recording studio, where to purchase guitar strings, and more to hit the right note for each stay.

UMG and Marriott International Partnership
Since UMG and Marriott International first started working together in 2015, the global partnership has grown to encompass Marriott's expanded portfolio and has come to life through concerts showcasing UMG's premiere talent at Marriott properties across the globe, most recently at an emerging female-led artist showcase at Aloft Austin Downtown during the 2018 South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals.

Project: Aloft Star Americas Contest Details

  • Starting June 12 until August 20, unsigned bands and artists across North America and in select countries in Latin America, are invited to upload up to two original songs (in video or audio format) along with a photo through for consideration by a panel of judges from UMG, Aloft Hotels and live music discovery platform Bandsintown.
  • The panel will select three finalists to progress to Phase II of the competition where the finalists will receive a mentoring session from X Ambassadors.
  • From September 17 through October 22, fans and music lovers are encouraged to vote for their favorite of the artists.
  • All three finalists will perform at the Project: Aloft Star finale at Aloft Austin Downtown on November 1. The winner will then be chosen from a combination of the public vote and the panel of judges' scores.

For full details about the competition in all four regions, to enter the competition, or to find out about the Project: Aloft Star tour and sign up for tickets, please visit

Entry Period: No purchase nec. 18+. Ends 8/20/18. For Rules visit

About Aloft Hotels
With more than 125 hotels now open in nearly 20 countries and territories around the world, Aloft Hotels, part of Marriott International, Inc., delivers a fresh approach to the traditional staid hotel landscape. For the 'always on' next generation of traveler, the Aloft brand offers a tech-forward, vibrant experience and a modern style that is different by design. Aloft is proud to participate in the industry's award-winning loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest®. Members can now link accounts with Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® at for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. For more information, please visit and follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About Marriott International, Inc.
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,500 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 127 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at, and for the latest company news, visit In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.

About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring the most comprehensive catalog of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. Universal Music Group is a Vivendi company. Find out more at:

1 In the Americas – prizes in Europe, Middle East & Africa and Asia Pacific will vary.
2 In August 2018, you will be able to combine your Marriott Rewards account with your SPG account, so you'll have one account with one member number, one profile, one log-in and one points balance, and you will be able to redeem points at any of our more than 6,500 hotels across 29 hotel brands.
3 In the Americas – Europe, Middle East & Africa and Asia Pacific will have different local mentors.

Tank & the Bangas performing at Aloft Austin Downtown during the 2018 South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals

Aloft Philadelphia Downtown, where the Project: Aloft Star Tour will kick off with Years & Years on June 23 (PRNewsfoto/Marriott International, Inc.)

SOURCE Marriott International, Inc.

For further information: Marriott International Media Contacts - Victoria Hart, Senior Global Director, Public Relations, Marriott International,, Michelle Abril, Senior Account Director, Ballantines PR,; UMGB Contact - Michael Kutach, Element Brand Group,