And we leave it all behind
Can’t you see we need some time?
And we all sit around the fire
We feel a little warmer now
And we all sit around the fire
We feel so much better now
And we leave it all behind
The desert is calling! Here’s how to luxe it up at America’s most star-studded musical festival.
Ready, Jet Set
Traffic en route to Indio is a nightmare during Coachella, so the A-list takes to the sky. Arrive to ‘Chella in style via private jet, the preferred method of transportation for celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Beyonce, and Shay Mitchell, who have been known to Instagram their luxurious Coachella commute. Flying private might seem like a pipe dream, but this year, JetsuiteX is offering festival-goers seats on a semi-private plane from LA for as little as $400 round trip!
If you want to rub shoulders with the likes Karlie Kloss and Paris Hilton, a VIP wristband is not enough. Your golden ticket to Coachella’s ultra-exclusive backstage is an artist pass, which grants you access to the artist compound and all the perks that come with it, such as free cocktails, gourmet catering, and the two most important Coachella luxuries: clean bathrooms and air conditioning. You can typically only score an artist pass if you’re personally friends with a performer, but there is one way around that (read on).
Million Dollar Digs
Most festival-goers pitch a tent in the infamous Coachella campgrounds, but let’s face it, the rich and famous do not camp. Skip the grime and shack up in a glamorous Palm Springs mansion instead, especially one with a private pool to escape the heat. If you like the idea of camping but have a taste for luxury, you can book an on-site lavish Yurt that will set you back a cool $25,000 for two – but it comes with complimentary champagne, morning yoga, spa treatments, and most importantly, the highly-coveted artist pass mentioned above.
Dress to Kill
It’s no secret that Coachella is just as much about the fashion as it is the music, and last year we saw celebs rock some ridiculously over-the-top looks with lofty price tags (remember Rihanna’s $8,000 Gucci get-up?). When planning your outfits, keep in mind practicality and the merciless desert heat. You’ll definitely need comfy shoes, designer shades, and a light jacket for when the sun goes down. Some people like to get outfit inspo from Vanessa Hudgens, the reigning queen of Coachella fashion, but you can’t go wrong dressing head-to-toe in Free People and rocking a Marni fringe tote!
Wondering how celebrities maintain their perfect hair and opalescent glow in the sweltering Coachella heat? They all have killer beauty teams behind-the-scenes. You may not travel with your own dedicated hair and makeup artists, but you can still get your glam on at Coachella’s beauty bar. Located within the campgrounds, the beauty bar is a hair and makeup station offering everything from boho braids to funky festival makeup – all for free. Think of it as your own personal glam squad!
Eat Your Heart Out
Coachella has really upped its food game in recent years. Inside the festival you’ll find food trucks and pop up restaurants from California’s finest, where you can munch on Instagram-worthy snacks such as sushi burritos, lobster mac and cheese, waffle pops, boozy snow cones, and rosé popsicles. But for the ultimate dining experience, make a reservation for Outstanding in the Field, an indulgent four-course meal from celebrated chefs.
See and Be Seen
Branded parties are the place to be in Palm Springs when you’re not at Coachella – and some would say they’re even better than the festival itself! Hosted at swanky mansions, the most exclusive soirees are where you’ll find Victoria’s Secret models, influencers, and A-list celebs sippin’ on Moët from the open bar. The hottest parties this year are set to be Revolve Festival, FORAY Desert Oasis, and Bootsy Bellows Estate, if you’re lucky enough to get an invite – otherwise you’ll have to live vicariously through Instagram.
Everybody got their reason
Everybody got their way
We’re just catching and releasing
What builds up throughout the day
It gets into your body
And it flows right through your blood
We can tell each other secrets
And remember how to love
Picture this: it’s the final countdown to 2018, you are in a sea of 20,000 people, with lasers beaming all around you and an intangible energy pulsating through the crowd. 10…9…8…7. The countdown begins. 6…5…4. You wrap your arms around your friends as the adrenaline continues to build. 3…2…1. Fireworks explode on stage, streamers fall from the sky, and the DJ pauses just long enough for the crowd to echo in unison “Happy New Year!” before the bass drops.
There’s nothing quite like ringing in the new year at a music festival. Being outside in the fresh air, surrounded by a crowd of like-minded people, listening to music — the experience lights a spark inside you that will last all year long. This NYE, skip the club scene and start the new year with a bang at these festivals!
#1 SlowGlobe Music Festival in Lake Tahoe, California
Snowboard all day, then thaw out at the biggest NYE party on the west coast. Nestled among Northern California’s world-class ski resorts, this snowy 3-day fest is a winter wonderland, foodie haven and music festival all wrapped into one. Besides world-class music (there’s plenty of that), you will find big air snowboard demonstrations, fire dancers and an amazing selection of local food vendors offering everything from fresh seafood to decadent desserts. While you can expect sub-freezing temps, there’s something magical about the winter atmosphere, majestic mountain panoramas and lights reflecting off the falling snow – and there’s always spiked hot chocolate to warm you up.
Get the VIP treatment: Escape the crowds and book a private cabana with all your friends, where you can ring in the new year with a bottle of Dom Perignon.
#2 Countdown NYE in San Bernardino, California
Dance into the new year at the “it” festival of the LA area. The party happens at one of our fave festival venues, the NOS Events Center, which has a gorgeous lake perfect for staging your romantic midnight kiss – we even saw someone pop the question here last year. For 2 nights, prolific festival promoter Insomniac Events transforms the grounds into a LED-infused sonic playground, an immersive experience that goes beyond the music. There’s 3D art installations, photo booths, an ice skating rink, and three stages of unreal production to give you all the feels this NYE. The countdown is ON.
Get the VIP treatment: Upgrade to VIP tickets for access to exclusive viewing decks, gourmet food options, luxury bathrooms and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight.
#3 Decadence NYE in Denver, Colorado
For all that glitters, indulge in the mile high city’s most lavish new years celebration. Hosted inside the Colorado Convention Center – which is the size of a small city – this massive event is the epitome of glamour, with a lineup that seems to outdo itself every year. True to its name, Decadence comes to life with exquisite decor, over-the-top production and all the little touches that memories are made of. Take a ride on the on the carousel, jam out at the silent disco and sip on bubbly as the clock strikes 12. This year’s theme is “The City Beyond Tomorrow”, so we’re expecting a futuristic twist on America’s biggest NYE festival.
Get the VIP treatment: Elevate your experience to an ultra-posh VIP cabana, where you’ll have champagne, a personal server and the best view in the house.
If we love each other
We got to come together
Summer festival season may be over for now, but California has plenty of fall music festivals worth traveling for! Hop on a plane with your festie bestie, and get ready for cooler weather, laid-back vibes, and seriously killer lineups.
#1 KAABOO – Del Mar, CA
When: September 15 – 17
For three days in September, the upscale Del Mar Racetrack transforms into an immersive sonic playground for KAABOO, a music festival that replaces the normal grit and grime of festivals with posh experiences curated for an older, more refined audience. Think spa indulgences, contemporary art installations, Vegas-style pool cabanas, and gourmet food! KAABOO is also the place where you can catch rare acts you won’t find on other festival lineups. If you’ve ever wanted to see Pink, Tom Petty or the Red Hot Chili Peppers live, this year definitely won’t disappoint!
#2 Nocturnal Wonderland – San Bernardino, CA
When: September 15 – 16
Fall down the rabbit hole and enter a neon-lit, fully-themed world of Wonderland. The longest running festival from EDM powerhouse Insomniac Events (the same guys behind EDC Las Vegas), Nocturnal Wonderland is a nod to LA’s 1990s warehouse rave days, best described with two words: sensory overload. In addition to five Alice in Wonderland-themed stages of music, the 2-day camping festival features whimsical performers romping the festival grounds, kaleidoscopic decor, glow-in-the-dark environments and three-dimensional art installations.
#3 CRSSD Festival – San Diego, CA
When: September 30 – October 1st
It might be autumn, but CRSSD is all about hanging onto those tropical summer vibes. The bi-annual festival is set against the Pacific Ocean at San Diego’s Waterfront Park, creating a sun-kissed atmosphere where you can get your groove on at 3 different stages. Since its inception three years ago, CRSSD has become California’s shining beacon of the underground music scene. With an almost entirely deep house lineup including Cut Copy, Hot Since 82 and techno legend Richie Hawtin, you can expect nothing but chilled out beats while the sun sets over the San Diego harbor.
#4 Dirtybird Campout – Bradley, CA
When: October 6 – 8
When Dirtybird record label bossman DJ Claude VonStroke joins forces with The Do Lab, you know it’s going to be a good time. Not your usual festival scene, Dirtybird Campout is basically summer camp for adults, but with a really great soundtrack. When you’re not getting down to booty dancing deep house from all the usual Dirtybird suspects (including our fave Justin Martin!), you can fulfill your childhood nostalgia with games and activities you’d find at summer camp. There’s capture-the-flag, dodgeball, face-painting, guided nature hikes and archery, to name a few!
#5 Desert Daze – Joshua Tree, CA
When: October 12 – 15
There are festivals, then there’s Desert Daze. Designed to be a “profound experience” nestled in the otherworldly landscape of Joshua Tree National Park (about a 4-hour drive from LAX), this intimate 4-day festival takes place at the largest spiritual retreat center in western USA. Surrounded by captivating architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright, you can feel the palpable energy of an on-site magnetic field. Camp under the twinkling desert sky and get down to one of the funkiest line-ups we’ve ever seen, including old school rock legends Iggy Pop and Ty Segall!