Photo by Thaddaeus McAdams (all other photos by the author)
Festival season is here fam. Coachella Weekend 1 a wrap, leaving sloppy seconds of Empire Polo Club's trampled grass for Weekend 2. We'll now be spending the foreseeable future forced to relive everyone's
*Coachella experience * on our TLs, either wanting to die of festival FOMO, or kill ourselves over its mainstream ubiquity.
While Coachella this year seemed to be all about the surprise guest performances—with Jack Ü, Calvin Harris, and Zedd bringing out Kanye, Rihanna, and Ke$ha respectively—we decided to attend the parties around the fest instead, where everyone's presence is a cameo.
After extensive research in the the Coachella party circuit, we identified an eccentric kingdom of creatures inhabiting their natural habitat of lakeside private estates—each with their own individual swag and personal connection to the festival. Here are the eight living species we met at Coachella parties (none of whom were wearing neck bandanas).
1. Healthy Drink Brand Reps
If you're already a thirsty-ass hoe like me, then being in scorching desert weather will leave you feeling like a tumbleweed. That's why healthy lifestyle brand reps like Ana and Madison from Guayaki Yerba Mate, who we met at waterfront campsite and "desert oasis" Vestal Village, are here to offer you their all natural beverages to keep you hydrated, caffeinated, and alive. That new Guayaki nitro on tap had me liiiiiiiit!
2. Spiritual Healing Gurus
Centering your mind and body is a crucial move before navigating through a mentally and physically taxing festival like Coachella. Fortunately, yoga instructor/DJ Gina Turner and meditation instructor/tarot card reader Tim of The Third Thing were at Shout P.R.'s The Oasis—an event inside Vestal Village—to offer their modern approach to new age practice: a traveling pop-up event concept called "DIVINE," designed to strengthen spirits to help survive fest life. Clearly, yoga is no excuse to look less put together—Gina just led Kundalini in some Chanel flip-flops.
3. Fashen Mamas
Festivals aren't just for the kids, they're for hip moms too. At two tastemaker brunches promoting wellness, we met Lavenda of Lavendra's Closet and Natalie Alcala and fashion editor at Racked and founder of FASHION MAMAS, whose Coachella looks rivaled the models. If I wanted anyone to be my rave mom, it would be these two.
4. Tatted Alt Male Models
Heavily tattooed alt male models have made their way into the windows of luxury retailer Barney's New York thanks to Hood By Air's life-size silicon replicas. We ran into one of them in the flesh, rapper Sunny Dee Sosa, at The Revolve Desert House, as well as Lana del Rey opposite Bradley Solieau, and some fine Brazilian men who were flown from São Paulo to hang out in the Spanish villa to look pretty getting organic hair treatments done from Laces while photographed by Vogue. #GOALS
5. Rihanna Music Video Stars
BBHMM was the song of 2015, and Spanish model/It-Girl Sita Abellan, who we spotted onstage at the invite-only warehouse rave CK Desert Sessions, was the music video's star. We could only fantasize about being Rih's criminal accomplice. Coachella takes us there.
6. Girl Power DJs
Coachella parties tend to cater to the female demographic, as evidenced by the many women's fashion brand activations and beauty bars located every two feet. So it's no surprise there's always a strong female DJ presence at them. We caught sets from Lucky Me's Eclair Fifi at CK Desert Sessions, Fool's Gold's Kittens at Galore x Missguided's F*cking Fab Pool Party, Soulection's SOSUPERSAM at Ace Hotel's Desert Gold, Kehlani DJ Noodles at Nylon's Brunch Me Baby One More Time, and everyone's favorite candy girl Honey at The Revolve Desert House—all playing the latest party music and putting on for the ladies.
7. EVERY EDM DJ I'VE EVER DATED
Just when I thought I could leave behind my EDM thot past, I had to run into Brodinski at CK Desert Sessions, A-Trak at Nylon's outdoor nighttime garden party, and Diplo playing basketball at The Weeknd's private party.
8. The Worst-Dressed Comedians Wearing Ironic Flower Crowns
Entertainment Weekly recently named next-gen comedian Brandon Wardell one of the "Worst Dressed" at MTV's Movie Awards to which he wore the same OVO sweat set Drake wears in Rihanna's music video for Work. He also decided to wear the same dirty sneakers, an N*SYNC concert tee, and an ironic flower crown to Coachella. Brandon cannot be controlled.
9. ZOO GANG
I thought that this was the crew that Fetty Wap keeps plugging, but actually it's a real goat whose name I forgot and a miniature horse named Tina—both of whom were thotting off around Vestal Village.
10. Extraterrestrial Internet Celebrities
This weekend, I hooked up with
Lil Mayo "The Most Savage Alien On Earth" who has over 500K followers on Instagram. I am rethinking all my life decisions.