Coachella parties came roaring back to life last year. And despite some logistical issues caused by labor shortages and a two-year pandemic hiatus, it seemed there were more parties than ever!
The desert party schedule was packed with pool parties, gifting suites, brand takeovers, mini-festivals and after parties. There’s something for everyone, and this year is shaping up to be even bigger and better.
The Evolution of Coachella Parties
What began as informal gatherings, the parties have morphed into events that rival the Coachella festival itself.
In the early days of Coachella (2000s), a few hotels started booking DJs to entertain their guests at the pool. Party promoters from LA would host private parties for their friends at homes and estates throughout the Desert Cities before heading to the festival in the afternoon.
When the festival headliner ended around 1:00am, attendees wanted to keep the music going. After parties sprang up at empty lots around the festival.
Everything changed in 2009 when legendary event producer (and owner of the Bungalow) Brent Bolthouse decided to satisfy the demand of thousands of VIP festival attendees. Bolthouse brought massive fair-themed party to the inside of an airplane hangar just 10 minutes from the Polo Fields. Neon Carnival was born. The event continues to be one of the best Coachella parties of the weekend.
As social media and Instagram boomed in the 2010s, more and more influencers started attending Coachella. Brands realized the festival weekend as a marketing dream, and began to host day parties with the hopes of luring influencers. Revolve Festival launched 2015 and pioneered the “estate party.” Over the years it’s grown into the most exclusive and sought-after invites of the weekend.
The years just before the pandemic, more and more brands jumped into the scene, with seemingly endless budgets, all trying to outdo each other. In more recent years, nightlife groups from LA, Vegas and NYC started their own events.. Indio and La Quinta now see parties hosted by TAO Group, Zouk, Framework and H.Wood Group. These nightlife brands bring their years of experience, and in my opinion, have brought incredible music programming to the parties.
Today’s events are so extravagant that some people travel to Coachella valley just for events and skip the festival entirely. After all, there are several events each day of the weekend.
How the Parties Work
Most of the pre-parties start at around 11:00am and wrap up around 6:00pm. The after parties typically start at around midnight, and reach their peak at about 2:30am, but continue until sunrise.
Most parties are hosted by brands that are attempting to connect with the Coachella “crowd” or demographic… namely cool, affluent, tastemakers between 21 and 34. Big brands like join together to throw parties in hopes that their products will be featured on the social media posts of the influencers they invite.
The Coachella Valley is a surprisingly big place, and the parties are spread out from Palm Springs in the north, all the way down to Thermal in the south. During festival weekend, heavy traffic means a drive between Indio and Palm Springs can be over an hour! So plan accordingly, and if you plan on party hoping, I recommend picking one area per day. For example, Saturday in the Palm Springs area, and then Saturday and Sunday in La Quinta and Indio.
In no circumstances should you drive to any of these parties. There is no parking offered, and you will be turned away. Some of the events have shuttle services, but in most cases you will need to Uber.
Exclusive Coachella Parties
The best Coachella parties of course, are not open to the public, but are invite-only events. Such events are attended by A-List celebrities, big influencers and many of the musicians that perform at Coachella. Revolve Festival and Bootsy Bellows have been the hot ticket in the desert for the last few years (well actually, you can’t get a ticket, you need to be given a wristband by the event organizers).
But it seems that every year the party organizers try to out-do each other… the Republic Records party the Zenyara Estate in 2019 was unlike the Coachella valley has ever seen. Helicopters shuttled guests into compound, which was turned into a Vegas-like club during the day, and a swanky beach party at night.
Table and Bottle Service at the Coachella 2023 Parties
In the last few years bottle service has become increasingly popular; almost all of the most exclusive parties now offer full table service. This is the best way to experience the parties as you get guaranteed admission, and your table will be situated close to the action.
Over the years I’ve been to almost every single Coachella party, some are a hit, and some are a miss. Personally, I prefer the parties that are at private estates in La Quinta and Indio, so you’re only a short Uber ride away to Coachella. I tend to avoid the hotel parties and anything north of Rancho Mirage. Palm Springs is simply too far from Coachella. In my opinion, the best Coachella Parties for 2023 are:
- Revolve Festival
- Bootsy Bellows
- Neon Carnival
- TAO Desert Nights
- Zenyara x Framework
Tips for getting into Coachella 2023 parties:
- RSVP – The best Coachella events are RSVP only. You cannot simply show up and expect to get in.
- Be in the “industry.” It helps if you work in the music or entertainment industry. Use your contacts.
- Know one of the sponsors for an event. All of the events are sponsored by brands, and they pay good money to get their products in front of you. If you know someone that works for the sponsoring brand, reach out!
- Buy bottle service. Many of the events are becoming more and more like an LA or Vegas Club. Bottle and table service is available for VIP guests at some of the more exclusive events. Prices range from $500 – $2000 per person.
- It’s amazing how far a smile can go. If you’re nice to the event staff and security, and don’t come in a big group, you might have a shot of getting into one of the Coachella 2023 parties.
Still, the best party during the weekend is the Coachella Music and Arts Festival. There is no other place where you can enjoy such a wide range of music in such a beautiful setting. And if you’re looking for an after party, the Coachella campgrounds are a fun place to decompress after the festival.
Are you a brand that wants to sponsor an event? I will connect you with party organizers. Want to add your party to the list? Contact me here
Below is the list of every Coachella party happening this year. More will be added. Check back for updates.
TAO Desert Nights
Desert Gold @ Ace Hotel
Create and Cultivate
Palm Springs Day Club
Rhonda Queen of the Desert