VitaminWater Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel | Party report + photo gallery

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

  • Ryan Bourque

    Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.

Ryan Bourque

Vitaminwater/Do312 Winter Escape at Hard Rock Hotel with Smith Westerns, Franki Chan, Windy City Soul Club and more.


The VitaminWater party on Friday night at the Hard Rock Hotel was billed as a “Winter Escape,” but by my unscientific estimate the majority of the crowd was more intrigued by the promise of a hosted bar from 9-11pm than by the chance to retreat from the weather (especially considering the line to get inside stretched around the corner, leaving dozens idling in the cold). With an R.S.V.P. on do312.com, guests were entitled to free booze during the two-hour window and free entry to a show featuring Smith Westerns, Franki Chan and a few other acts.

But VitaminWater and do312 underestimated the city’s capacity to drink—drinks besides VitaminWater, that is, of which there was plenty. The hosted beer and liquor ran dry around 10:30pm, leading to a half hour of crowds huddled around the auditorium’s two bars disappointed to hear those two sad words: “cash bar.” The show continued, but the copious amounts of acai + blueberry + pomegranate and other free flavors wasn’t quite enough to make up for the letdown.

Otherwise, the party was about what a VitaminWater shindig might be expected to look like—plenty of logo placement and pink lighting behind translucent glass, sometimes giving the feeling that the table next to you was actually a giant bottle of “Focus” water. The sizeable crowd of do312-ers filled up the Hard Rock’s handsome Fender Ballroom and milled about the nearby staircases and small V.I.P. area (which didn’t offer much of an advantage, at least in the alcohol department; its bar was dry before 11 as well). The show was hosted by RedEye’s Ernest Wilkins, who at one point told the crowd to go enjoy another free drink before being loudly corrected.

Admittedly, though, we are dwelling far too much on the drink situation—Winter Escape still provided a glammed-up night of indie rock and dance for no cover, a rarity in the city. DJ Franki Chan in particular needed little more than his turntable and his fedora to get the crowd dancing during his set. And Smith Westerns were the clear highlight of the night—the hometown indie up-and-comers were by my estimate the act that had lured the most attendees and had the crowd most excited, and lived up to their top billing. Next year, we just might recommend a bit more stocking up.


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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)

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