For Whatever, USA 2.0, Bud Light took over the quiet town of Avalon on Catalina Island, California, throwing a two-day rager for some 1,000-plus contest winners from all across the United States who earned their invitations by proving that they were Up For Whatever.
Day One started painfully early, with a 7am flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. Despite the fact that we had 10 other winners on the flight, it was pretty chill at first, as most of us were still half asleep at this point. But once we arrived in LAX and hopped on the party bus that would take us to our ferry in San Pedro, it was a whole other story! The Bud Light started flowing almost immediately, and everyone was amped up for whatever the weekend had in store for them.
After getting checked in at the port, we boarded the ferry that would take us to Catalina Island, our home for the weekend. Once we got there, we dropped off our bags at the hotel, changed into our swim trunks, and immediately headed off to a pool party they were hosting, where there was plenty of food, Bud Light and a bevy of gorgeous bikini-clad women. Yes, suddenly that early wake-up call didn’t seem so bad anymore.
The festivities officially began Friday evening, with a crazy color-themed welcome parade and performances by Elliphant and T-Pain. People were having a blast, and the energy was contagious. Later that night, we went down the beach for a DJ show featuring Diplo and Jack Novak. It was pretty awesome, with a 42-foot LED dragon, electro hula hoopers, light shows and more. Eventually, we had to call it a night and get some rest for the next day’s activities.
Here’s the scoop: For Super Bowl weekend, Bud Light took over the beautiful Hotel Palomar in downtown Phoenix, and directly across the street in a previously vacant lot, Bud Light paved over and built the House of Whatever. You’ve seen the commercial, but what was it like?
The highlight of day one was something “off menu” from the Bud Light festivities.
While getting hassled by overly aggressive security guards at the entrance as we attempted to enter the House, a familiar voice chimed in from behind us. “Excuse me, fellas.” We turned around and it was none other than NFL Hall of Famer Warren Sapp. Little did we know, the next 48 hours were essentially the requiem of Sapp’s media career, as he was busted for assaulting two prostitutes at the very same hotel two days later. RIP, Warren.
The first-ever Bud Light House of Whatever got the party started with unique “Up For Whatever” experiences, an unpredictable party and epic concerts. Inside the House, DJs spun from the top of a beached yacht, food trucks lined the interior, and a massive social media tree served as the epicenter of a kinetic forest. Bullz-Eye was on location to partake in whatever.
Here is what it was like when the House was thrown open:
Friday’s activities included:
– An unexpected delivery from Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan, who gave partygoers a pep talk and arrived with plenty of Pizza Hut pizza.
– A variety of spontaneous activities, including Super Fry, where guests could have anything edible deep-fried for them by people dressed as super heroes; Brew U, which offered a ten-minute crash course on beer-making with Bud Light brewmasters; and the ultimate Pac-Man black-light arcade.
– Guests putting on animal masks as part of a party boat-themed concert with epic performances by Kongos and Nicki Minaj.
The best thing about the House of Whatever on night one, besides endless Bud Light, Warren Sapp’s inevitable demise, and meeting Riley from the Bud Light Pac Man Super Bowl commercial, were the bottomless quesadillas.
The festivities begin on Friday, January 30th. Bud Light’s House of Whatever main event is much more than a concert anchored by A-list talent; it’s a musical story full of “Up for Whatever” moments that is sure bring out the animal in all of us. In true “Up for Whatever” fashion, the full theme and artist line-up will not be pre-announced.
By day, Bud Light House of Whatever will offer continuous “Up for Whatever” activations, concerts and unexpected celebrity interactions. By night, for the main event, Bud Light House of Whatever becomes a house of house music with performances from some of the world’s most popular EDM DJs, including Steve Aoki. Additional performers and special guests will remain a surprise to those who are “Up for Whatever.”
Experience the ultimate Bud Light House of Whatever tailgate and concert. After the show, stay and watch the Super Bowl on the big screen in unique (and extremely comfortable) stadium seating that only Bud Light House of Whatever can provide.
So, how can you attend? As seen on Bud Light’s Instagram, Bud Light is inviting beer drinkers 21+ who are “Up for Whatever” to audition for the chance to take part in the experience.
Now through Monday, January 19, create a 15-second video demonstrating how you would live out a phrase presented on a Bud Light “Up For Whatever” bottle. Post it on Instagram and tag it @BudLight and #UpForWhatever for the chance to be invited to Bud Light House of Whatever for an incredible weekend featuring three days of parties, concerts and unique activities.
When I received my invitation to Whatever, USA, the first thought that went through my mind was, “How many children will be conceived as a result of this Bud Light promotion?” And then, “Would there be some inherent shame in that?”
I can tell you with absolute certainty that if you’re reading this 20 years from now, Google searching your true lineage, there is NOTHING you have to be embarrassed about. Bud Light wanted to create the ultimate party weekend and they absolutely nailed it.
At one point during the three days I spent in Whatever, USA, my body composition was roughly 87% Bud Light. But it wasn’t just the endless, literally endless, supply of Bud Light, or the fact that Bud Light was being foisted upon you at every turn, that made Whatever, USA so great. It was the onslaught of once-in-a-lifetime events piled on top of each other, sandwiched between meeting great people from all over the world with one common denominator: being #UpForWhatever.
Here’s some background: From roughly 204,000 video submissions, 1,000 #UpForWhatever winners were selected, given 48 hours to grab a friend, pack their bags and leave for Whatever, USA. In store for them were three days and two nights of activities, epic adventures and unexpected performances at Whatever, USA.
On the surface, you would think that bringing 2,000-plus strangers into a remote location and feeding them Bud Light products exclusively for three days couldn’t help but end badly. But it was the exact opposite. It was like everyone was cut from the same #UpForWhatever cloth.
If you’re “Up for Whatever,” what do you do when Bud Light offers to fly you to New York City to meet the Mayor of Whatever? You ask them what time you need to be at the airport.
Last week, Bullz-Eye attended a meet and greet (and grope) with Bud Light and the Mayor of Whatever, USA. Details were sparse, candor was high and the Bud Light flowed freely like the “salmon of Capistrano.”
The Bud Light “Up for Whatever” campaign is one of the coolest marketing campaigns in recent memory. Bud Light is building a town as we speak called “Whatever, USA” at an unannounced, unknown location. Purportedly, it’s an epic town created solely for three days of unexpected fun.
The Mayor was exactly who you would think he’d be. Easy to talk to, free wheeling, and he doesn’t get all weird if you get a little handsy. If a Mayor is a reflection of the people that comprise his city, then Whatever, USA will be a straight-up bro-down.
In this video, the Mayor talks about a few mayoral things, like when he answers his “dude phone” and when he answers his “mayor phone.”