RVIP Lounge & Karaoke Cabaret was founded in 2007 by now-married couple Kestrin Pantera and Jonathan Grubb who “wanted to go to South by Southwest and have the best party of the year” but didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a hotel room. So, they “tricked out an RV with a karaoke rig and cases of top-shelf liquor and parked outside other people’s parties” and became a huge success. TechCrunch is reporting that Kerstin and Jonathan have now quit their day jobs and are making the RVIP Lounge a full-time traveling gig with a gifted 27′ foot Winnebago RV from entrepreneur Tara Hunt of Buyosphere.
Born out of a desire to celebrate technology, independent film, and music through the combined forces of karaoke, carpooling, and spontaneous rockage, RVIP is as much an art project as it is transportation. Conceived and created by Kestrin Pantera and Jonathan Grubb, along with new team member and partner, Disney Imagineering CTO Scott Watson (who adds layers of technology, magic, & fun), RVIP takes online community and unites people in the flesh.
Whilst twittering location updates to friends & followers, the trio drives an RV, complete with a mobile karaoke lounge, to venues where people wait outside in long lines, and invite unwitting bystanders aboard to sing their hearts out. A by-product of RVIP’s mobile nature is a safe ride to parties, screenings, and events.
We first posted about RVIP Lounge in 2008 after experiencing the non-stop mobile party in person at SXSWi that year. RVIP Lounge will next be traveling to the TED Conference 2012 in Palm Springs, California from February 27 to March 3, 2012 and then to SXSW 2012 March 9 to 18, 2012 in Austin, Texas.
photos by Scott Beale