Noisey

My Soul Melted at Coachella's Branded Parties

Once again, I conquered the elite, invite-only, corporate bacchanalia that happens around the big California festival.

by Jazper Abellera
Apr 23 2019, 4:14pm

Photo by Adam Bawany

Hello world! It’s me, Jazper—the retired Twitter celebrity formerly known as @BOYTWEETSWORLDX and Internet’s most-trusted, purple heart, party-crashing veteran—here to give you my annual report on all the wild crazy shit I got into this year. For the uninitiated, five years ago I first broke the story on Coachella parties—a weekend circuit of elite, invite-only, wined-dined-pampered-and-swagged-TF-out, brand-sponsored events—which I proclaimed a veritable “Influencer’s Paradise” existing outside Coachella proper. Since the fest has become an uncomfortable, soul-sucking money pit I can’t justify spending my money on going into my 30s—my first Coachella fest was 10 years ago—I’ve avoided mainstream Coachella altogether, and have been happily party-hopping for y’all every year since.

This year I didn’t die, THANK GOD, but still had to rely on my old tricks (safekept in my Away carry-on) and the power of divergent thinking to find the third door in, since, in our Capitalist consumer society, these brand spons would rather invite buzz celebs to boost their brand ethos than have a journalist live to tell the real life story FOR THE PEOPLE. Lucky for all of you… I CRASHED, I CONQUERED, I MELTED, and she’s still in one piece!

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Photo by Adam Bawany

If there’s one phrase to encapsulate this year’s Coachella parties for me, it’s the act of being “MELTED.” What is this silly colloquialism you ask? Let me enlighten you.

After the parties, I caught a 2003 clip from Treal TV with legendary Bay Area hyphy rapper Mac Dre defining “MELTED” as: (1) “beyond butter,” and (2) “comin’ way too clean.” I’ve come to adopt this term to describe the smooth but powerful flex that only an anointed, resilient, and savvy casanova masterfully adept at the art of finessing is capable of. Within the context of Coachella, “MELTED” expresses both the phenomena of: (1) the supernatural state that overcomes a thotiana like me when my physical being literally melts with the brand-activated magic desert festival energy, enabling me to manifest all that I need, and (2) the agonizing comedown once one returns to reality of their life back home.

As I sit at my cubicle in Hollywood on 0.0 hours of sleep, arms covered to the elbows in wristbands, I struggle to maintain the waking consciousness necessary to recap all the events I made it to on my most recent journey gallivanting through the desert. Making delirious small talk with co-workers in passing, each in various states of the vicious post-fest comedown, one phrase becomes our unifying battle cry, after which no other words need be spoken: “WE’RE MELTED!!!” (Thanks Patty in Marketing for the $13 pressed juice, the spoiled L.A. Influencer brat in me needs every sip of this ginger for my immunity and ego.)

Here’s what went down.

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Photo by Adam Bawany

NTWRK presents Juice WRLD x Suzuki Death Race For Love

Thursday night, e-tail app NTWRK hosted the only pre-fest jumpoff, a launch party for rapper Juice WRLD’s merch collab with Suzuki—a washed moto aesthetic we’ve seen many times regurgitated. For worse, Juice WRLD didn’t perform and neither was anyone allowed to take pics of him driving into the Palm Springs Air Museum in a vintage Delorean (lol), so I MELTED the function and threw the suicides up with my extraterrestrial bro Lil Mayo to relive our 2k17 stuntery.

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Rolling Stone x Dope Roots Harvest House of Cannabis

I started Friday off getting straight MELTED at a wake n’ bake weed brunch where I got high incinerating Tony Greenhand’s “smokeable art” creations—sculpting blunts into his signature stoner kitsch—including a palm tree and the now infamous Coachella ferris wheel that I’ll probably try to have sex in for next year’s piece.

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Photo by Adam Bawany

Galore x The Creme Shop Desert Beauty Oasis

Galore Mag always has the gays MELTED at Coachella, and having some Drag Race stars in the mix this year did just that, so much so that I didn’t have it in me to fully collect this hot gay rapper Tokeyo so we could enact his latest track “Boy Pussy.” But we can do that in ferris wheel next year. I’ll have my Media Coordinator work it into next year’s itinerary.

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Photo by Adam Bawany

CÎROC Summer House

Evan and Ashlee Simpson-Ross pulled up and MELTED Korakia Pensione to celebrate the limited edition release of CÎROC Summer Watermelon. They are my true #CoupleGoals. Also, #ThisCouldBeUsButYouPlayin.

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Photo by Adam Bawany

5th Annual Zoe Report ZoeAsis

No one can get a Coachella party MELTED in true “desert chic” style like Rachel Zoe, who hosted her annual ZoeAsis at the Parker, thoughtfully curating a fully immersive boutique brand experience for her guests, complete with aura color readings by Auragami (mine is red, magenta, and purple), D.I.Y. jewelry from Kendra Scott, a Sephora beauty bar, and photo experience to promote Rocketman, the upcoming Sir Elton John biopic. I left my fav hotel in Palm Springs covered in glitter, holding the heaviest swag bag of all time. Rachel Zoe is queen.

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Photo via Chrom

NYLON x Booksmart Midnight Garden

Friday night, I hit Nylon’s party for Olivia Wilde’s upcoming tween comedy Booksmart. Lowkey high off CANN CBD-infused social tonic, the “LaCroix of Cannabis,” I totally missed a rare performance from Jojo (yes, “LEAVE! GET OUT!” Jojo), too busy getting my teeth fully MELTED out in glitter by CHRŌM Toothpolish—becoming the rapper I was truly meant to be—amidst 92 other zany luxury activations available in the V.I.P. tent.

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Poppy x Google Midnight Bloom

Gunna performing “Drip Too Hard,” accompanied by Young Thug onstage, both MELTED up in slime green LEWKS, served as the perfect entrance song into Zenyara, a 40-acre Feng Shui lookin’ ass ultra modern luxury villa in Palm Springs that is something out of a dream—what Ja Rule wishes Fyre Fest could have been.

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Photos via the author

After clawing my way through the crowds of bottle service fuccboi fuckery, I broke onstage attempting to sneak a pic with Thugger. Shortly after, Virgil Abloh did a surprise closing DJ set for The Culture, during which I pulled a Travis Scott/Tory Lanez and climbed a lighting rig, hanging above the DJ booth moshing my balls off (still waiting for someone to send me this footage but everyone is MELTED).

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Photo by Adam Bawany

T-Mobile x Pandora Indio Invasion

Saturday, I woke up at a T-Mobile hot pink pool party in Cathedral City with Cuban papis feeding me all the ensalata de frutas sprinkled with Tajin, and accidentally got some in P-Thugg’s beard while two-stepping to Chromeo performing all their funky Bloghouse bangers.

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Photos via the authorPhoto by Adam Bawany

The 4th Annual REVOLVE Festival

Using my whole $50 Lyft credit (courtesy of ZoeAsis swag bag), I traveled an hour southeast to the historic Merv Griffin Estate in La Quinta for the much anticipated weekend-long REVOLVE Festival with a fatty lineup of hip-hop and R&B talent (2 Chainz, SZA, Rae Sremmurd, Offset, Tyga, Boogie Wit da Hoodie, Rich The Kid). With cops closing off the roads surrounding the event, I was forced to walk a mile by dirt road to the entrance, going against security’s orders for no one else to enter the premises, arriving with no a plug but with all the Godfidence. After doing an S.O.S. on Insty, and sending up my prayers, a magical angel appeared next to me with an extra REVOLVE wristband and I was all of a sudden part of the TDE crew carrying their sound equipment into Merv Griffin. This took me on a private back path leading directly up to the main stage where I immediately MELTED onstage with Brittany Sky’s hot slayzian thotterage.

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Photo by Adam Bawany

Framework x Wynn Nightlife Art Of The Wild

As night fell, I found myself back at Zenyara, living out my delusional fantasy of this luxury villa lifestyle being my new normal. Climbing on top of Rolls Royces as I hunted for trade in the basketball courts to no avail, I dove into the lagoon and swam the span of Zenyara, emerging from the water dripping, MELTED, to catch my zaddy DJ Idris Elba get boasty playing a romantic candle-lit deep house set, or what I like to call, MELTED coke head music.

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Photo via AEG Studios

Taking a short Lyft ride from Zenyara to the green-lit villa estate venue for Cash App, I was driven by Deonte, a Black entrepreneur who created his Tap Inn app in Nipsey Hussle’s Crenshaw co-working space Kulture Hub. In the spirit of Coachella, I MELTED my Neon Carnival wristie off my arm and blessed Deonte so he could continue the marathon.

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Photo by Adam Bawany

Cash App Dome

Outdoing their iconic debut party last year, Cash App erected a massive state-of-the-art projection-mapped dome in the middle of the Palm Springs for guests to go hyphy and hotbox in while Quavo performed a short set. Hearing Huncho change every Migos lyric about money to “Cash App” had me peak MELTED.

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Photo by Adam Bawany

With the most authentic brand concept that included a 360-gif booth complete with counterfeit money guns and an old school graffitied ATM machine, Cash App MELTED this year’s party scene.

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Photo by Adam Bawany

American Express Platinum House

After three straight days of nonstop MELTEDNESS, I got some desperately needed rejuvenation at AmEx’s Platinum House at the Avalon, where I got a cryo facial and acupuncture treatment in the Equinox Body Lab before wrapping up the 21st and last day of Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s meditation series “Manifesting Grace Through Gratitude” whilst sitting in my blissful solitude in the ethereal sound healing rooms curated by Away.

Despite the hedonistic perversity and orgiastic corporate-ness of it all, every year Coachella parties make my spirit climax, as no other gathering place fulfills my deepest desires to live in a free, conscious, and hyper-branded universe—an ephemeral paradise built to withstand the wild. For what has spanned my entire 20s, Coachella has always brought me further along my life journey from an entry level festival-goer, to a field ethnographer, to a creator. MELTED, I have been transformed, springing forth from the desert ashes like a phoenix flapping my wristband wings. I am the Coachella Party God Omnipotent.

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Photo by Adam Bawany

Adam Bawany is a photographer based in Seattle. You can see more of his work on Instagram.

Jazper Abellera is the Coachella messiah. Follow him to salvation. Or on Instagram.