Coachella Party Scene: Where to Go When You’re in the Desert

Forget the music — how about the parties?

Last Updated: April 18, 2011 @ 9:33 AM

Long lines, gross bathrooms and dusty heat or pool parties?

Consider skipping surprise Grammy winners Arcade Fire, Kanye and the Kings of Leon at Coachella this weekend in favor of bashes spreading out across the 909 this weekend, Sundance style.

Major marketers like G by Guess, HTC, and Belvedere are hosting “summer” themed bashes for trend setters at the earliest point in the marketing season. Here’s a round up of the best:

Oasis Beach Club at House of Hype
Friday night through Sunday
Location: Bermuda Dunes

The Skinny: More like a Vegas resort than a house party, there will be a satellite lounge of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas within the grounds. The team who creates Seth MacFarlane’s L.A. rat-pack blowouts (Night Vision Entertainment) produces this event that marries what would have been two separate events until a last-minute merger late last weekend. Inside the 8 acres are a private lake, STK Catering, and even the Oxygen channel promoting its socialite-life reality show “The World According to Paris.”

Who to Expect: Lindsay Lohan, Zac Efron, Ryan Phillippe, Emma Roberts, Busy Phillips and more.

Perks: A place to charge your phone and a chance to lay your hands on a pre-release Playbook, the 4G tablet from BlackBerry. Need earplugs, bottle openers, water guns, flip-flops, or even fanny pack? Stop by the G by Guess Lounge inside. (Photo from last year above.)

Performances by: Apl.de.ap of the Black Eyed Peas, DJ Vice, EC Twins, Kid Sister and many more.

Partners: Gilt City, All Points Worldwide, and State Farm, appropriately providing safe shuttle transportation.

LaCoste LIVE with HTC Desert Pool Party
Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Location: Thermal

The Skinny: Celeb-heavy presence for crocodile fans.

Who to Expect: Lea Michele, Ashlee Simpson, party-friendly guys Adrian Grenier and Kellan Lutz, and a performance by quasi-Radiohead player Nigel Godrich.

Bonus: Music by Frodo (Elijah Wood), L.A. food trucks like “Grill ‘em All” and Don Chow Tacos pulling in, and Patron popsicles.

Partners: The Voice Project, which supports the peace movement in Uganda, smartphone maker HTC and ID PR.

A|X Armani Exchange and 944 Magazine’s 2nd Annual Neon Carnival — “The Airport Party”
11 p.m. Saturday
Location: Thermal

The Skinny: In its second year with these sponsors (and for several years before that with others) this event has earned a reputation as one of the most let-your-hair-down entertainment marketing events of the year. Talent, reps, media, fashion, and lifestyle influencers from NYC and L.A. come together in a neon carnival on a runway in the desert in the middle of the night.

What to Expect: Major carnival rides, games, lots of free food that people actually eat, and to see familiar faces that you otherwise wouldn’t realize were there until you saw the weekly gossip magazines.

Partners: 944 Magazine, Bolthouse Productions, Shadow PR and more.

Belve Music Lounge hosted by Belvedere Vodka
Noon to 6 p.m. Friday to Sunday
Location: A private estate in Bermuda Dunes

The Skinny: Cool down with shade in a sanctuary for celebs, media and VIPs. With an intimate guest list and discrete profile, this feels like the Hotel Bel-Air of Coachella weekend.

Music: 2011’s most popular style circuit soundtrackers Mia Moretti and Caitlin Moe, plus Chad Hugo of the N.E.R.D, Chuckie, Jesse Marco, Blaqstarr, and Christian TV among others over the three days.

Bonus: With shuttles to the concert and dedicated lounge space for on-camera interviews, organizers are going out of their way to make this a media friendly destination.

Partners: Complex Media, State Farm, Case-mate, Zico, BMF Media Group and Mission.

Diesel’s Poolside Brunch
Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday
Location: A private estate in Bermuda Dunes

The Skinny: Bloody Marys, homefries, a DJ set, and some bleary eyed people recovering from Friday and getting an early start on Saturday.

Partners who may be inviting you: Diesel, Belvedere, Naag.com or Brandlink.

The Trousdale Estate
Friday to Sunday

The Skinny: Flaunt Magazine’s 42-acre estate combines staples of summer fun by day (ATVs, Slip and Slide, and Stout burgers) with more highbrow options by night (Smashbox photo sessions for non-models) and a line up provided in part by Table Manners, an upstart DJ management firm.

Highlight: Saturday night’s satellite of LA’s new hush-hush, unpromoted nightspot Paul & Andre, with Paul Sevigny spinning.

How bad will traffic be? For about $1000 a person, you and three friends can jump on Jetsuite’s special deal: L.A. to Coachella in a four-passenger jet for $3,998 (round trip) via Greg Link’s Brandlink Communications.

If you absolutely must have a whiff of the main event at the Polo Fields, 5 Gum is producing Coachella’s live webcast.  All the concerts begin streaming live on youtube.com/coachella on Friday at noon and continue through Sunday night, concluding at 2 a.m. Monday.

All of these events are private and by invitation only, so you may want to confirm jet-parking in advance.

(Photo above from 2010 Guess party.)