While the main body of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival lies on the Empire Polo Field, a connected, but far-flung grouping of parties act as a titillating extension of the main event. In order to get your party on in the most organized and extensive way possible this weekend, here’s a rundown of some of the best shindigs in the desert. If all goes well your dance card will be packed four days straight. Note: Locations are often kept secret until you RSVP, and getting an invite often depends on who you know — just like back home.
A/X Armani Exchange Neon Carnival
Neon-lighted carnival rides, saucy games, dancing and music define this premiere party, which is among the most anticipated of both Coachella weekends. Produced by Brent Bolthouse of Bolthouse Productions, the Saturday-night party allows guests to avoid lines by checking in ahead of time from L.A. or the desert.
“I’m so excited for the Armani Exchange Neon Carnival to have four new rides this year, as well as a giant LED wall behind the DJs,” says Bolthouse. “This is by far my favorite party we do all year.”
Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Desert Gold
By far the most raucous hotel parties to be found in the desert, the annual Desert Gold events draw hordes of barely dressed revelers. The parties continue daily from April 11 until the last day of the second weekend of the festival. Popular L.A. club Do Over promises to blow up the scene on Sunday. Also, not to be missed is Saturday’s Commune: Spin House Live.
Exclusive and decadent, this anticipated Friday night party features lots of Hennessy as well music by Zen Freeman and DJ Politik. With special guest host Nas.
Diesel + Edun Studio Africa House in Indio Valley
This weekend-long party takes place at a posh Indio ranch with a Friday night acoustic set by Baloji and special guest DJ Solange. In further celeb-spotting news, U2 frontman Bono is expected to attend.
Filter Yacht Club
The edgy music magazine hosts its 11th annual Coachella kick-off parties on successive Thursdays. Free-flowing booze, lots of food, surprise live performances and plenty of giveaways define this not-to-be missed soiree.
Guess After Dark
Located on the same 10-acre ranch property as the Mirage party, this Saturday night happening features a performance by Nervo as well as a photo booth, a fashion fortuneteller and a Patrón Igloo bar serving Patrón XO Cafe hot chocolate with XO Cafe marshmallows.
Guess hotel pool party
A fashionable weekend party at the Viceroy, the Guess party features peeks at exclusive eyewear as well as refreshing pressed juice cocktails and music by a variety of DJs.
The low-cost clothing retailer and Coachella sponsor is throwing its first Coachella party featuring a performance by Santigold. The party takes place Saturday on the lavish 40-acre Merv Griffin estate. Activities amid all the day-drinking include bocce ball, ping-pong and paddle boats.
Held at a private estate within walking distance of Empire Polo Field, the Lacoste Live! pool party takes place on Saturday and Sunday and will feature DJs Ana Calderon and Chris Holmes. Additional DJ performances are expected by Elijah Wood and Danny Masterson (aka DJ Mom Jeans).
Mirage Poolside Lounge at Volt Valley, featuring Bagatelle Beach
Located on a 10-acre desert ranch this sexy, weekend-long pool party will offer hot air balloon rides, a zip line and Patrón cocktails.
The Saguaro Desert Weekender
This colorful, revamped hotel is offering two full weekends of parties by its lovely, palm-shaded pool. Of particular note is Saturday’s bash featuring L.A.'s popular and eccentric Club Called Rhonda with performances by Peanut Butter Wolf, Classixx and House of House. Then on Sunday, independent L.A. record label Iamsound takes over with performances by Henry Holland and Nick Grimshaw.