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‘Neon Carnival’ Returns April 11 (Exclusive)

Invites to Brent Bolthouse’s glowing desert oasis of carnival rides, games and dancing with Hollywood’s finest will start arriving to select inboxes Tuesday

Several thousand fickle young Hollywood geo-narcissists would proudly state that they would never go “all the way” to Venice/Silverlake/Downtown/the Valley on a Saturday night.

On April 11, they all hope to go to a concrete slab in Thermal, California.

That’s 151 miles east of Runyon Canyon, and as of publishing, there is no running water nor bathrooms there.

Neon Carnival, Brent Bolthouse’s annual, overnight, outdoor carnival/nightclub will pop up for it’s 9th edition at a private airport east of Indio, California on Saturday, April 11 The Party Report has learned.

Emile Hirsch, Lance Bass, and Mile Teller at Neon Carnival 2014. (Wireimage)

Emile Hirsch, Lance Bass, and Mile Teller at Neon Carnival 2014. (Wireimage)

Jared Leto, Clint Eastwood, Usher, Steven Tyler, Diddy, and artist Mr. Brainwash have provided the celebrity highlights over the years.

Names like those, or Kelly Osbourne humbly waiting in line to ride “The Zipper” around midnight, stand out even amongst the usual party suspects (Hilton sisters, Kellan Lutz, Lance Bass)   a heavy industry crowd (music managers, entertainment marketing execs, agents, publicists), and the willing-to- play-the-Uber-lottery Hollywood scenesters who fill up booths around the outdoor dance floor, ride carnival rides, play games for prizes, and party in the desert until very late on one Saturday night each April.

“(It’s) nice that people have that affiliation and feeling about a party,” Bolthouse (The Bungalow, Hollywood nightlife and hospitality 1989-present) told The Party Report in an exclusive interview last year.

Producer Randall Emmett,

Producer Randall Emmett, “Ray Donovan’s” Ambyr Childers, Zoe Kravitz, and DJ Ruckus at the Thermal Airport late last April. (Wireimage)

Zoe Kravitz has both a natural affinity and an official affiliation. Last year, she DJ’d. This year, she has another “dope” reason to be there.

It’s “Dope,” and I do not mean that familiar waft. Instead, I’m referencing “the dopest film at Sundance” this past January.

The urban comedy chronicling three geeks in Inglewood won big at the festival, and Open Road Films is promoting the June release at this event with a themed area.

Paper Magazine, Tequila Don Julio, PacSun, and Open Roads feature

Paper Magazine, Tequila Don Julio, PacSun, and Open Roads feature “Dope” are joining the carnival this year.

Now billed as “Paper Magazine presents Neon Carnival,”  the NYC-based culture mag (e.g. Michael Musto’s “The  12 Most Nightmarish Nightlife People in NYC History”) and Bolthouse are teaming up for what they hope is more than a one-night stand in the desert.

“I look forward to having them as a partner for years to come,” Bolthouse told TheWrap on Monday. PacSun is also new in the fold this year.

For “Dope” it feels like a natural fit for the colorful night of neon bumper cars, overheated light shows, and overheated people dancing to (increasingly rare) open format music. Based on the kaleidoscope of imagery in the surreal teaser Open Road debuted for “Dope” a few days ago, it feels like a match.

Carefully sidestepping any national touring talent that could conflict or rattle the totally unaffiliated and not-to-be-mentioned major music festival in Indio down the road earlier in the night,  Bolthouse is tapping into his bullpen of musical favorites: Ruckus, Politik, Jesse Marco, and Kayper will DJ.

Triple DJ AM Aoki Danny Masterson

The amazing lineup from 2008: Steve Aoki, the late DJ AM, and Danny Masterson. (Mikey Glazer)

It would be “transparent” of you to reach out to ringmasters Bolthouse and Jen Rosero, or producer Jeffrey Best to talk about new business, or wristband business at this point, but if you know one of the sponsors – Don Julio will be pouring at least as late as 2 a.m.  – you might get access to the late night party that produces a consistent stream of glossy photos that end up online and in weekly tabloids days after.

What started as a phone release party inside the hangar in 2007, now requires a blinking highway sign warning “Guest List Only” on the desert roads approaching the site.

Invites will begin going out on Tuesday, March 31, followed by two days of advance wristband pickup in Los Angeles on April 8 and 9, and two out east in the desert on April 10 and 11.

Neon Carnival Wristband Pickup

Daytime wristband pickup hours before the event last year. (Mikey Glazer)


Regardless, there will still be a line.

(Mikey Glazer)

(Mikey Glazer)


Line up your return transportation ahead of time. You do not want to be stuck bribing a post-shift security guy to drive you and your crew home in the back of his pickup…because that’s not dope at all.

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