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Coachella 2012: Saturday's party mix of mags, rags and swag

April 22, 2012 |  8:35 pm

If the high heat and been-there, done-that factor diminished the energy on the polo field during the second weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, it didn’t slow down the party scene. Weekend 2 brought a brand new assortment of branded bashes to the desert, some from music and pop culture publications such as Rolling Stone, Spin and Vice magazines.

But does a music magazine automatically throw a better party than, say, a clothing company or automotive corporation? Not necessarily. Truth is, party-hopping during Coachella weekend can be extremely unpredictable, and when having to choose between two events at the same time, the only way to know for sure is to text a friend there and find out.

COACHELLA 2012 | Full coverage

Touted as an eclectic, somewhat artsy happening, Rolling Stone’s shindig was curated by creative collective FAM NYC but was rather staid and casual, at least during the day, with DJ sets and live music from up-and-comers. (We texted our pals on the fence to try the Jansport bash instead.) The party happened both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and Saturday’s saw a mix of sunbathers and music lovers noshing on burgers and playing games in the water and out, as music artists arrived to be gifted with products (Volkswagon merch and Havianas flip-flops) and interviewed in the “Rock Room,” including Ke$ha (who’s been making all the party rounds) in a giant floppy hat and poncho -- a requisite party look this weekend and last.

After dark, the RS parties reportedly turned more lively and clubby with Milk and NYC nightclub impresario Nur Khan joining forces for a hot spot called Electric Milk.

Fashion seemed to be on everyone’s mind at the Black Banditz/Vice “Bromance” bash near the festival grounds later that night. With well-prepared attendees obviously hoping to outdo each other, the party was a mass of wild, nonsensical  get-ups including weird disco metallics, loud printed bathing suits and high heels, face paint, woolly masks and desert nomad freak chic that was almost rave-like. The lasers and throbbing electro and hip-hop in the dance room added to the euphoria, as did the exhaustion and intoxication that spilled in from the polo grounds and the day’s festival offerings.

“Wow, this is like Echo Park in the desert,” one bemused lass in a flowered headband was overheard saying while angling for a drink at the overcrowded bar. “So many hipsters here!”

To which her squinty-eyed friend replied, laughing: “No, this isn’t real. It’s all just a hologram!”


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-- Lina Lecaro

Photo: Hipsters swirl around a tree strung with lights, part of the rave-like atmosphere at the Black Banditz / Vice "Bromance" party near the Coachella festival grounds on Saturday night during Weekend 2 of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Credit: Lina Lecaro