Coachella 2016 to Reign Over Festival Season Once More
Everyone expected to have their minds blown with Coachella’s annual lineup announcement! And it was nothing less than we hoped for. Rumors of an actual Guns N’ Roses reunion leaked just a few days before the festival’s official lineup and sent music fans everywhere scouring the Internet to find any inkling to corroborate the tale. Of course, the music gods smiled upon us all when the official announcement was made on Monday, bringing to light that another equally impressive reunion would share the desert stage; none other than dance floor kings LCD Soundsystem.
The electronic dance outfit’s most recent outing and “final” show at Madison Square Garden just a few years ago drew scalping records with tickets reaching prices of over $2,000 to see the great James Murphy lay down some beats. Rounding out the weekend’s headliners is EDM favorite Calvin Harris returning to Coachella to close out the festival. This talented young man had one of the most viewed sets in the festival’s history back in 2014 and is proof positive that Coachella’s support and spotlighting of the EDM genre is going nowhere fast. Beyond these three heavy hitting acts, the festival is chock full of supporting players that do more than fulfill your musical desires.
Also featured on the bill’s bold print will be Diplo, Jack Ü, Major Lazer, and Underworld and we can’t forget about English pop icon Ellie Goulding, Canadian art angel Grimes and arena lords Disclosure; it’s a little something for everyone. All this pent up musical angst is coming without even the mention of the festival’s dozens of colorful alternative acts. In 2015, hit makers in their own right like A$AP Rocky, Sufjan Stevens, Vince Staples, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and newcomer Courtney Barnett all topped “best of” lists with their recent album releases and have each earned a spot on the coveted lineup.
Other notable acts include beloved indie darlings Beach House, Rae Sremmurd, the oh so fabulous Shamir, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Chris Stapleton and electronic wizards CHVRCHES. Artists still riding their waves of success from 2015 like Halsey and Ice Cube (NWA reunion anyone?) are set to share the stage with the recent Brit Awards winner James Bay and the half English and fully rocking duo The Kills. As per usual, Coachella has managed to curate a lineup that doles out the darlings in each genre spanning the entirety of the record shop spectrum. Where else can you see your favorite band take the stage alongside a rookie who is sure to become a staple on your next summer playlist? Fans can also expect a slew of unannounced collaborations, surprise guests, and the hopeful Tupac hologram reprise.
The 17-year-old festival always manages to pull out an insanely unbelievable lineup and this year is no different. Expect some newsworthy headlines and unforgettable performances ahead. Aside from the action happening onstage, Coachella is just as equally concerned with creating a breathtaking atmosphere. The only competition for the crisp desert air and picturesque mountains are the awe inspiring art installations commissioned each year. Art plays an extremely important role in defining the Coachella experience because it’s what surrounds you as you walk through the polo fields and often become the backdrop for some of your fondest festival memories.
Who could forget 2014’s larger than life rolling Astronaut? And 2015’s transforming butterfly (courtesy of Poetic Kinetics)? These huge moving installations became just as much a part of the festival as any group on stage making art and the people who create it one of the most exciting parts of the weekend. Returning once again to amaze the crowds in 2016 is the Lucent Dossier Experience. The world-renowned performance collective takes their own original scores to another level by bringing in expert dancers, aerial artists and stunning fire shows together to create an other-worldly and spellbinding take on classic cirque stylings. Spellbinding and sexy, there is a reason the Lucent Dossier Experience keeps getting invited back.
Others like Los Angeles-based event producers the Do LaB focus more on making art both as interactive and wet as possible. Quoted by thousands of festival go-ers as their saving grace on the hottest desert days, the DoLaB are the masterminds behind Coachella’s wettest and wildest oasis, the Do Lab Stage. Mixing danceable lineups with refreshing mist and ice cold water gun battles, The Do LaB is the place to be to cool off without missing a beat. Finish stimulating your visuals with installations by world-renowned artists like The Date Farmers, R&R Studios, Robert Bose, Jimenez Lai and more. With an experienced art lineup like this one, your eyes will be having just as much fun as your ears.
Now that you’ve finally decided on your personal lineup choices for the weekend, you’re going to need some sustenance to keep you going strong throughout the fest. Make Wilma + Frieda’s Cafe your pre-fest stop for an amazing breakfast or brunch. Their Marionberry French toast or chef’s biscuits and gravy can please even the pickiest of eaters. World-renowned Chef Wolfgang Puck even has his hands in the Palm Desert culinary scene with his WP Kitchen + Bar. Opening at 11 a.m., this place serves up globally-influenced family-style fare making snagging some fresh gourmet lunch on your way to the Polo fields that much easier.
When dinner is calling your name, The Edge Steakhouse is the answer. Sitting 650 feet above the desert floor in the Ritz-Carlton, The Edge serves up the most remarkable prime steak, seafood and wine experiences in the Palm Springs valley. Or give the Ritz’s other top dining spot, State Fare Bar & Kitchen, a visit. The home of classic American cocktails and award-winning California wines, The State Fare Bar is the ideal place for a relaxed gathering and a light bite. Their innovative cocktail selection featuring fresh seasonal fruit juices and small batch spirits will keep you coming back for more.
Workshop Kitchen & Bar is another great option. A modern yet rustic spot for gourmet farm-to-table-style American eats, this Award-winning restaurant makes a night out and away from the crowds well worth it. If simplicity is something you crave The Barn Kitchen at Sparrows Lodge has got everything you need and more. Serving up simple breakfast, the kitchen is open until 6 p.m. and will cook up uncomplicated but savory sandwiches, salads and appetizers. The Ace Hotel also serves up some pretty tasty plates at their King’s Highway restaurant. Quirky decor and an eclectic menu make for a memorable sit-down experience. We suggest their lamb meatballs; You can thank us later. Feel free to sit back and relax at the stunningly beautiful SO⦁PA restaurant nestled inside the charming L’Horizon Hotel. Designed with an open flow of indoor and outdoor seating, their artisanal twist on American classics will taste all the more lovely while taken in near their fireplace.
Don’t want to miss your favorite band take the main stage? No problem. Coachella has become not only a top musical destination but a culinary one as well. Each year, the festival features highly buzzed about and new restaurants to keep attendees full and happy. With pop-ups and an à la carte option from some of Los Angeles’ favorite local eateries, there is something for everyone and it’s guaranteed to be good.
For a truly indulgent culinary outing invest in the Outstanding in the Field experience showcasing some of L.A.’s most exclusive restaurants. This sit-down on-site dinner will make any foodie’s mouth water while allowing them to still take in the concert because it takes place just feet away from the festival’s infamous outdoor tents.
For fresh seasonal cocktails check out The Amigo Room at The Ace Hotel. It’s the epitome of California cool serving up artisanal cocktails alongside the best craft beers in the United States. You can catch everything from DJs to comedians most nights and since Coachella will be taking place you can bet on some pretty spectacular parties here as well. Fond of whiskey? Bar Palm Springs is calling your name. With dozens of choices from the classic Bulleit Bourbon to more refined aged whiskeys, the options are endless. The handcrafted drinks paired with delicious small bites like their fan favorite Picnic Eggs (Sriracha and Wasabi) and IPA battered onion rings make Bar one of the best places to unwind after the festival.
Give Bootlegger Tiki a sip and discover Palm Spring’s newest watering hole. Offering rum-filled cocktails on an outdoor patio, you won’t find a more laid back summer evening than the ones offered up here. Travel just a bit farther out and take in the surreal Pioneertown favorites. Located near Joshua Tree, the legendary Pappy & Harriet’s has been a beloved spot for locals since opening back in 1982. This bar, apart from having an otherworldly feel, has also been a musical stomping ground for everyone from Robert Plant to Sean Lennon and Vampire Weekend. Stop by P & H’s for a trip down memory lane and make some new ones here yourself.
On the flip side, if late night debauchery is what you seek, Coachella has plenty of that to go around. Materializing in various pop-up unofficial parties throughout the weekend, venues like The Ace Hotel, The Parker, Hard Rock Hotel, The Saguaro, Sparrows Lodge, and Pappy & Harriet’s will play host to more than one after-hours extravaganza over the weekend. Various private estate parties from Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage,and Palm Springs should be on every night owls radar so bring a swimsuit. Possible pop-ups from the infamous members-only brand Soho House, Bootsy Bellows, Nylon Magazine, Interview Magazine, Pandora, Moschino and H&M are some of the hottest off-site events taking place so keep your ear to the ground and don’t miss out on these celebrity-filled happenings.
Coachella accommodations can make or break your weekend-long festival experience. There’s nothing like a soft bed after a day of dancing under the desert sun, making the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort a clear frontrunner. For relaxation at its finest, consider the JW Marriott Palm Desert your spa away from home. You enter through a palm-lined path through a lobby complete with a cascading waterfall and then to a spacious room with all the amenities. Or discover a desert oasis perched on a hillside with panoramic views of palm desert’s mountaintops and picturesque valley at the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage. The most luxurious option is also a short drive from Coachella, making it not only elegant but also convenient. Looking for something that puts you right in the middle of the action without having to completely rough it? Check out the on-site Safari Tents at Coachella! Set up shop in your own fully furnished private Shikar-style tent fully equipped with a private check-in, air conditioning, restrooms and showers, golf cart shuttles to and from all stages, breakfast and late night snacks and an on-site concierge; this is one hell of a way to do Indio.
Though farther out than the festival, Palm Springs is the center of the unofficial party action and Ace Hotel is ground zero. Known for its laid back vibe and cool kid attitude, the Ace is the perfect option for the Coachella fan that is wanting to get the most out of the welcoming surrounding desert. But then again no other hotel is synonymous with music history like the Hard Rock. With awesome extras like Fender guitar and amp deliveries to your room, personalized playlists, DJ equipment on loan, there is little you can’t do here. Or, let the Parker Palm Springs wow you with their effortlessly cool take on luxury. Choose from a suite, patio or estate rooms or stay in the Gene Autry Suite (yes the man himself took up residence here) and get the full Palm Springs experience.
If you are looking for intimacy try Sparrows Lodge. A true escape from the average, not one of the 20 rooms in this boutique hotel includes televisions or phones letting you slip away into seclusion. A restored 1950’s retreat, the renovated property still retains its old school charm and features a communal barn, outdoor fire pit, and vegetable garden; and don’t forget the rain showers and private patios.
The two-weekend musical pilgrimage is sure to help you find yourself, lose your friends, find some new ones and return home with more than just a few unbelievable stories. Say goodbye to your hometown and hello to paradise city for the quintessential music event of the year.