Coachella 2014: Parties bring Hollywood excess to the desert

Party people poolside at the Palm Springs Ace Hotel at a Coachella gone by.
(Jessica Gelt / Los Angeles Times)

As day one of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival heats up, so does the epic party scene.

While hundreds of thousands of people have swarmed the Empire Polo Field to gorge on their favorite bands, thousands of others -- mostly celebrities, musicians, industry types and the kind of polished VIP party people that seem to be on every Hollywood guest list -- descend on private homes with lavish pools to swig at open bars, raid swag lounges and ogle potential mates while clad in barely-there swimwear.

This is the Coachella party scene: alternately wild, sexy, fun, alarming and sometimes grotesque. When it comes to people watching, the opportunities are unparalleled.

PHOTOS: Day 1 of Coachella 2014


Here’s a brief rundown of Friday night parties, as well as those that last all weekend. On Saturday morning, check back here for a comprehensive guide to Saturday and Sunday’s events, which are plentiful.

To get into these parties you must be on a list, which can be tricky business, so stick close to social media in case an invite heads your way.


Details @ Midnight: This is one of Friday night’s biggest parties. It runs from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., but if you don’t get there early don’t plan on getting in -- even if you’re on the list. Along with a hugely flirtatious scene, expect DJ sets by The Knocks and Brendan Fallis and Hannah Bronfman. Anticipated celeb guests include Jared Leto, Selena Gomez, Calvin Harris, Kellan Lutz and Joe Jonas.

Flaunt and Siwy, Virgin Sacrifices: Party from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at this so-called “private ceremony,” where Coachella party virgins can sacrifice themselves on the altar of excess. The event is hosted by Ashley Benson, Riley Keough and Nolan Frank and features performances by adorable French songstress Soko, and the Wow.


LED Day Club at the Hard Rock Hotel: Get your Vegas on in Palm Springs as the new Hard Rock Hotel hosts a hot ‘n heavy, Sin City-style day club featuring sets by some of the world’s top DJs (over both Coachella weekends) including Tiesto, Dirty South, Skrillex, David Guetta, A-Trak, Disclosure (DJ set), Martin Garrix and Showtek. Whew!

COACHELLA 2014: On-the-go survival guide

Desert Gold at the Ace Hotel: Coachella sizzles at the tres trendy Ace Hotel in Palm Springs where the weekend revolves around the very best in Latin American music. Curated by Festival NRMAL, the lineup includes LAO and ZUTZUT, who are members of Mexico’s thriving underground electronic music scene and are signed to the independent Mexico City label NAAFI. On Sunday the Tijuana music festival All My Friends hosts, and Los Macuanos and beloved bassist Ezakiel will perform.

Saguaro Desert Weekender: Located at the very colorful, semi-new Saguaro Hotel in Palm Springs (just a few jive steps away from the always-hopping Ace Hotel) the annual Desert Weekender party features a chill poolside scene featuring Rhonda, DJ Harvey and more.


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