On the 19th floor of Journal Squared in Jersey City, one three-bedroom, two-bath apartment is not your typical year-long rental. Designed to sleep six and available for a three-night-max stay, the residence offers touring bands a cozy and creative space to call home on the road. Dubbed Basecamp, the partnership behind the project includes residential real estate and experiential marketing leaders, who together elevate the experience of brands, consumers, residents, and, of course, the bands in a seriously cool space.
Basecamp is the brainchild of The Participation Agency (the PA), an experiential and design agency, based in NYC. Established in 2011, Founders Ruthie Schulder and Jessica Resler wanted to infuse their work for brands with purpose, challenging every status quo from the traditional branding agency model to the brands’ activation metrics and championing brands as cultural benefactors. The PA, and specifically Basecamp, enables a truly synergistic relationship between art and advertising, benefitting the brands as well as the bands.
The Basecamp business model takes product placement to a philanthropic level, stocking the band’s crash pad for cross promotion. “We work with brands that are futurist, forward, and promote wellness,” said the PA’s Co-founder and Creative Director Jessica Resler. The band can replenish and refuel with healthful products from Califia Farms, Dirty Lemon, and Guayaki, to name a few, and the brand achieves an authentic presence on social media. It’s a win-win.
“Our special sauce is the relationship with [The KRE Group’s] Journal Squared,” added Ms. Resler. The partnership between the KRE Group and the PA is shining a spotlight on the Journal Square neighborhood and Basecamp also functions as a kind of amenity for building residents. Once a month, one of the bands that has bunked at Journal Squared performs a private residents-only show in the building’s common space. 80 people attended the most recent concert.
Even beyond the brands, the Basecamp apartment is decked out. The design and build-out are executed entirely in-house by the PA; “They are cool immersive creative spaces,” said Ms. Resler, adding that “they are very efficient, bring new and intentional design to a city, and any space could hold up in a design community.” Bands have access to the residence’s fully-equipped kitchen and washer/dryer, as well as all of Journal Squared’s amenity spaces, including the fitness center, swimming pool, and resident lounges.
The apartment includes a terrace with commanding views of NYC and Jersey City and just fun and funky details from the wallpaper and furniture to the artwork and installations. Bands truly appreciate settling into such a welcoming self-sufficient space which removes many of the on-the-road obstacles to creativity.
New Jersey is also home to the PA’s project called Outpost — similar in concept to Basecamp, but bands only stop-off in the space rather than stay the night. Down the shore in Asbury Park where music and the scene reign supreme, Outpost is perfectly located for bands to rest up while on tour. El Paso, Texas, is also an Outpost and the PA is hard at work on expanding the footprint of its projects, scaling the big idea: benefit more bands while granting brands and fans an intimate backstage pass.