Everyone In The Pool: Is This The New Festival Model?
So the dust has settled on the Coachella Valley. The festival is over, but planning for next year has already begun in the once sleepy retirement and country club community of Palm Springs, where hotels are already ramping up their efforts to cater to the increasing demand for Vegas style all-day poolside bacchanals. One of the side effects of the massive two week Coachella Music Festival is how cracking Palm Springs gets. If there was an available hotel pool, then chances were good there was a pool party with top tier talent leading the bill.
One of the biggest pool parties was the LED Dayclub at the Hard Rock Hotel. Spanning both weekends, San Diego-based promoters LED partnered with the Hard Rock to welcome the likes of Dirty South, Disclosure, David Guetta, Skrillex, Brazzabelle, Martin Garrix, Tiesto, and Showtek to the decks overlooking the pool, where sun-soaked, almost naked party people were cooling off (or firing up?) before they made their march to the Coachella gates later in the evening.
On Saturday, Tiesto played a mix of popular progressive house and bass music jams while a splash war ensued and oversized inflatable beach balls volleyed incessantly in the air. As a resident DJ of Hakkasan in Las Vegas, he knew how to handle this particular crowd and turned his attention towards more vocal and top ten tracks. This was not the venue for experimentation, at least not musical experimentation. That’s not why people were here. The guys and girls were hot, and hookups were one flirtatious conversation away. It did provide a break from the festival grind, though, and as long as Coachella is welcomed back to the valley year after year, the burgeoning nearby city of Palm Springs will continue its reassessment of what exactly it wants to be.
Many of the older hotel pools in the area were not built with the popularity of dayclubs in mind, but Coachella has produced a significant shift in thinking about how hotels in Palm Springs are designed. With an influx in party hungry hordes, The Hard Rock has begun a Crowdfunding campaign to raise $1.5 million from individual investors interested in exclusive access to an updated facility. According to the LA Times, the money would “bring new acts to the hotel, make improvements to its Rock Spa and maybe add a nightclub.” With the Palm Springs hotels competing for guests during Coachella, we are seeing the repetition of a parallel festival model perfected in Miami during Miami Music Week and in Las Vegas during EDC. With the profusion of high quality hotels, and an invasion of EDM generation hoteliers, promoters like LED may be pioneering the evolution of how the Coachella Music Festival is experienced.