(Please note: This list will be updated between now and the opening of the festival on Friday, April 10. All events are private, by invitation only, and are not affiliated or associated with the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.)
Did you keep your New Year’s fitness resolution? If so, you should be feeling festival-ready by now. It will be in the high 80s and low 90s at the festival this weekend.
Coachella marks the unofficial start of the summer wardrobe and bathing suit season.
Four years into the defining California music festival’s two-weekend format, those who put their party performances on (or above) par with the Polo Grounds sets from the likes of Drake, David Guetta, Jack White, Axwell & Ingrosso and Florence and the Machine still demand a first weekend footprint, April 10-12.
Leading the unofficial party brigade (and they are all unofficial) are a cadre of celebrity “hosts” and L.A. scene heavyweights.
Rachel Zoe, Haim, Alessandra Ambrosio and Skrillex are among those getting top billing in the shoulder economy operating in one of two places: Palm Springs or in lower orbit to the festival, which is 45 minutes to the east.
Exported from L.A., Soho House, Bootsy Bellows, 1OAK and Brent Bolthouse will be joined as usual by a slew of consumer apparel brands and fashion media companies drafting off of the festival.
Surf Air is running special service from LA to Bermuda Dunes, a freebie add on to the all-you-can fly service.
For the fashion industry’s part, brands are all trying to cash in on the bankable notion that beautiful people in idyllic California music festival scènes à faire will drive a season of spending by those looking in via social media from the outside. One clothing brand, SIWY, is even throwing a full runway show at the Parker on Friday, right before Haim DJ’s a separate party in the same space.
The party trends this year are fewer and more intimate activations, arriving more carefully choreographed than years past.
“People have figured out that they can carefully put together their event, get the press and activation they need out of it, and not spend $500,000 to buy alcohol for random people in the desert all weekend,” one veteran entertainment marketing executive told TheWrap, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The overheated Lacoste daytime party is gone. PopSugar takes over the Viceroy in Palm Springs, where Guess used to bring out sponsorship/appearance fee-level talent in years past.
Only two massive, horde-attracting epics will throttle into Vegas mode: one from the well traveled L.A. nightlife h.wood group, and the other an original pillar on the landscape, Bolthouse’s outdoor overnight Neon Carnival east of the festival.
These are the exception to the rule.
Coachella producers AEG have not been shy about contacting brands, publicists and even news media covering the space to protect their interests and separate the scene from the show. (Free advice: Attaching a “#Coachella” to your invites or promotions is stupid and potentially actionable.)
Pools, DJ’s, open bars, costume accessorizing (floral crowns, tattoos, braid stations) are now part of the shared template.
TheWrap has highlighted where people have made smart choices to differentiate and innovate, but note — this is not a comprehensive list.
Party pros, please send additional details, bookings, and invites to Mikey Glazer here.
Industry’s Top Choice: Soho Desert House
Where: La Quinta
When: Friday-Sunday, Various Programming Day and Night
Daytime brunches with live music and late-night parties in the delicate social twilight that are festive and fun without being overt or promotional.
There is nobody rolling in here with Sahara tent sweat stains. There might be Elon Musk casually hanging out behind a cap and glasses. Last year, A$AP Rocky performed at a brunch. Partners include BMW, Spotify, ShopBazaar and Coach.
Smart Move: Car service to and from the festival.
Trendsetter: Surf Air Flights to Bermuda Dunes/h3>
What: The all-you-can-fly private service is running special service from Hawthorne to Bermuda Dunes, only 15 minutes from the festival. They are sending out two flights on Friday and two on Saturday, with returns on Sunday and the comfortably cushioned Monday afternoon 5 p.m. final return.
Smart Move: Members of the $1350/month membership airline will get concierge service from execs (formerly of Quintessentially) to help with access to the hot parties, most of which follow below.
Where: Rented House in Indio
No carpet. No Photoshopped invite. No press release. No for-hire it-girls and their Instagram-for-rent feeds.
They rented a secluded mansion down a hidden drive close to the festival, the kind of place where the photographer (if any) is swimming in the pool. Guests are limited to only known faces of friends and family for what was an easy-sell sanctuary last year. These guys got the “$500,000 for randoms” memo.
Smart Move: No frills text invite says, “Fun, food, music and no hangovers.” Deal.
Humblebrag Invite: Jeremy Scott
Full Name: Moschino Late Night Hosted by Jeremy Scott
Where: Residence at the Desert Compound
When: Saturday, April 11, 11 p.m.-4 a.m.
Moschino’s creative director and Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show designer holds cachet as an “above it all” party.
In the past, it has gone ’til dawn and is the place where performing talent from other parties go after they’re done working, both because of the company and the proximity to the luxury resorts back in Palm Springs where most stay.
*Newly Added*Dorothy Performs at “Not a Pool Party” Kick Off
Where: Hard Rock Hotel, Palm Springs
When: Thursday, April 9, 9 p.m.
Smart Move by them: Be first.
Go see Dorothy.
They are actually taking general public RSVPs for the 9p-2a party that also has up and coming Elliphant and a pool, but urges you not to use it “because we are in a historic drought and that would be irresponsible.”
B-List Actresses/Fashion Influencers, Look Over Your Shoulder: TIN House
Where: Private residence near the festival
When: Friday-Sunday, Daytime
Who: International web celebs The Janoskians, Amanda Steele, Aaron Carpenter, and massive social media celebrities your teen relatives know.
Here’s what brothers Ryan and Chris Detert do.
They attract major social media celebrities and bunk them together in a basecamp house for an entire weekend, fostering a sandbox for digital collaboration and engagement with their massive audiences on behalf of brands.
Last year, the TIN house (short for “Influential House”) trended topics that met and exceeded actual #Coachella hashtags during the weekend.
Smart Move: Major mainstream brands like Fox’s upcoming “Scream Queens,” Mark Cuban’s Cyberdust, and the similarly privacy-themed VoiceByte app bought in to use their talent opt-in technology to get the message out on a CPM basis.
Mia Moretti Pool Party with MAC Cosmetics
Where: Ingleside Inn, Palm Springs
When: Friday, April 10, 2 p.m.
The high-profile DJ and fashion fixture is one of the busiest women surrounding the festival party circuit. Hip-hop violinist Caitlin Moe won’t be at her side at this event, but the two will set off to open for Katy Perry throughout Asia a week later.
Where: Sparrows Lodge, Palm Springs
When: Friday-Sunday afternoons, 12 p.m.-5 p.m.
Before boutique hotels were a choice, they were the 1950s norm in Palm Springs. The overtly unbranded-above-the-line group is popping up as a clubhouse retreat with spa services, healthy eats, hydration via an open bar from Absolut Elyx and non-festival food from one of my favorite NYC spots, Fat Radish.
Haim DJ’s H&M Loves Coachella – Sunset Cocktails
Where: Parker Palm Springs
When: Friday, April 10, 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
After bringing the top surprise of last year — Iggy Azalea and Major Lazer playing a tiny community center as a surprise Alexander Wang party — the official festival sponsor has shifted gears.
This is their one elite platform of the weekend, in the same space where Katy Perry showed up casually on opening Friday two years ago. They’re getting them while they’re fresh. Haim has an ongoing relationship with the brand.
Nylon Midnight Garden
Where: Private Residence, Bermuda Dunes
When: Friday, April 10. 9 p.m.-3 a.m.
Smart Move: “Floral crown stations”
Three hundred people will float through what is essentially the magazine’s house for the weekend; they just happen to have an airplane hangar in the backyard.
Before the Neon Carnival took over a runway, that party was inside a hangar. This is not that airport or that hangar.
Nylon likes the desert landing strip vibe though, because after sponsoring Bolthouse’s bash last year, they’re now throwing something with similar auspices: a hangar and a late night.
In recent months, the fashion glossy has been giving the defunct 944 magazine a run for its abdicated party crown.
At SXSW, Nylon did a Style event with Elliphant and Steven Tyler‘s daughter Chelsea on the bill. They also had a two-day party with dFm at the W with Cody Simpson. This followed Rita Ora’s cover party at h.wood’s new Blind Dragon in the old Chi Lin space just a month ago.
They’re also doing a “recovery brunch” on Sunday.
Bootsy Bellows Estate
Where: Rancho Mirage
When: Saturday, April 11, 2-6 p.m.
The invitation warns: “RSVP Not Confirmed If You Do Not Receive a Response.”
Ladies and gents, the closest you will get to the Las Vegas dayclub scene.
2 Chainz, Cody Simpson, William Lifestyle with sideman Brody Jenner and the over-mentioned Katy Perry’s perennial sideman Johnny Wujek all perform at this daytime megabash funded by two Fortune 500 companies that sponsor this instead of the actual festival: McDonalds and Chevrolet.
Last year, they got a lot of mileage (see what I did there) from pushing out a sighting of Leonardo DiCaprio chowing down on some fast food, a mismatched fuel for the barely-clad bathing suit scene. Get to know your doormen.
Smart Move: Mailing out wristbands in advance.
Rachel Zoe’s “Zoe Oasis” and Brunch
Official Name: The Zoe Report + Dolce Vita Present a Pool Party hosted by Rachel Zoe
Where: Private Estate in Little Tuscany
When: Saturday, April 11, 2 p.m.
Why didn’t they just call this “The Zoe-asis?”
The first fashion reality star hosts a series of events on the first Saturday with a widening concentric circle of guests as the day progresses. “Friends-only” brunch in the morning followed by an afternoon of music, shopping and a “digital den.”
Popsugar and ShopStyle Cabana Club
Where: Viceroy Hotel, Palm Springs
When: Friday night April 10-Sunday, April 12
The CFDA touches down on the festival scene for the first time, but no word on whether videos like this will surface of its President Diane von Furstenberg getting the full festival experience like Leonardo DiCaprio did last year.
The rest of the weekend they’ll be doing pool parties with all the fixins, starting with Alessandra Ambrosio hosting happy hour on Friday.
Where: Thermal Airport (Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport)
When: Saturday April 11, 10 p.m.-late
Read all about it here:
If A Headdress Isn’t Covering Your Ears, Then Keep Them Open For This
Kari Feinstein is moving in on the growing “get ready for the festival” gift suite by setting up at the Sunset Marquis on April 7th and 8th. She’s gifting $600 motorized roller skates, which should come in handy when the Uber surge is 8X, or worse: “No Cars Available.”
Also on this hunt: Debbie Durkin slinging free tattoos (c’mon, you need one for the concerts) and recovery trips for after the festival — glamping vacations. She sets up a suite and a cocktail party at the Avalon on Wednesday, April 8.
Interview Magazine hosts back-to-back pool parties at something called “The Desert Compound” with a laundry list of brand partners like Bang & Olufsen, Stella Artois, Wildfox, Birchbox, and DeLeon Tequila. These guys brought in a ton of brands and are also behind the Jeremy Scott party.
Festival regulars BMF (who just celebrated 10 years) return to the Ingleside Inn. Most of those great photos at the top of this story, including the one with Katy Perry, come from their 2014 event there. This year, they aim for Sunday morning (12 p.m.) with a Music Lounge Brunch & Pool Party in Palm Springs. Mudd and Op sponsor the Miles Hendrick DJ’d intensive care recovery station.
In Palm Springs, Disney is dipping a toe in to the scene offering bloggers “festival fairy” wings and a Tinker Bell Beauty and Fashion makeovers inside the Parker.
Pandora linked up with the guy who only says “yes,” Questlove, and model/DJ/Vanity Fair cover shoot live background music songsmith Samantha Duenas for their houseparty in Cathedral City on Saturday afternoon.
Refinery29 and AOK are throwing Pool Parties at the Saguaro in Palm Springs (Saturday and Sunday, 12p-6pm). ID-PR is handling the list.
LED Dayclub is doing live music events Thursday-Sunday of both weekends with big names like Chromeo, Flosstradamus, and actual Coachella performers Porter Robinson, and DJ Snake. Skrillex is the big draw next Saturday, April 18. Tickets are available to the general public.
Finally, it won’t just be “Thursdays and Saturdays” for the massive nightclub 1Oak on Sunset. They are doing back-to-back daytime events on Friday and Saturday at a house in La Quinta, one with hookup accelerator Tinder.
Party pros, please send additional details, bookings, and invites to Mikey Glazer here.