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Where to party out in the desert

April 13, 2012|Jessica Gelt
  • The crowd reacts during Benny Benassi's DJ set in the Sahara tent on the first day of the Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival in April 2010.
The crowd reacts during Benny Benassi's DJ set in the Sahara tent on… (Jay L. Clendenin, Los Angeles…)

Trying to keep up with the party scene at Coachella is like trying to keep track of Snoop Dogg's Twitter feed. He's got 7 million followers and more than 9,000 tweets and you've got, like, 10 million parties to go to in the next two weekends. You'll be hopping from pool to pool in your finest gold lame swimsuit from the moment you arrive in the heat of Indio on Friday until the Doggfather and Dr. Dre close down the main stage at the end of the festival on Sunday night 10 days later.

As if that isn't enough, this year there are four weekdays to loll around in the desert sun living it up. If you were smart, you booked a room for the week at one of two Coachella party palaces: the Ace or the brand-new Saguaro hotel. Both are throwing decadent (and sure-to-be-packed) poolside soirees on both weekends, with the former promising revelry through the entire week.

The following is a rundown of the party action in Coachella, with a caveat that every one of these parties requires an RSVP (that you can usually complete online), and a number of them aren't open to the public, although they are always full of the public anyway -- who evidently all have party producer Brent Bolthouse's cell number. Keep in mind that some party addresses are not given out until the last minute.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday, April 14, 2012 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 1 inches; 48 words Type of Material: Correction
Coachella parties: An article in the April 13 Calendar section about parties during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival said that Alexander Skarsgard and Nikki Reed would be hosting the Skyy Infusions Coconut Escape Pool Party on April 21. They are attending the party but not hosting.


Desert Gold: Roadside Attraction at the Ace Hotel

At the Ace Hotel you'll find the surface of the pool slicked with suntan lotion -- an oily indicator of the amount of nearly naked bodies in it -- and a line of sunglass-clad hipsters circling the place like thirsty hyenas in tiny neon shorts and nautically themed hats reminiscent of those worn by the Captain & Tennille. They will have come in droves for daily parties featuring top DJs, including the fellow who performs as Awesome Tapes From Africa and live world music, electronica and jazz. L.A.'s popular Do-Over party will host both Sundays, promising finger-lickin' BBQ and "sunny jams." During the week Devo frontman Mark Mothersbaugh will perform lounge muzak for your inner weirdo and "Portlandia's" Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein will host a night of improvisational comedy and music.

Day passes for these parties go for $25 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and $20 on weekdays. www.acehotel/desertgold


The Saguaro Desert Weekender

The Saguaro is a colorful new hotel in Palm Springs featuring a tasty Mexican wine bar and restaurant called Tinto and a cool-as-ice casual eatery called El Jefe. Weekends at Saguaro will feature poolside parties from 1 to 6 p.m. On Saturday, L.A.'s own Club Called Rhonda will host, and on Sunday, KCRW takes over with station DJs Jason Bentley and Garth Trinidad hosting.


Desert Daze at Dillon Roadhouse

This brand new 11-day music festival is like a mini-Coachella within Coachella. It was designed to bridge the two festival weekends with a rocking roster of bands including Coachella vets Moving Units, Dengue Fever and the Henry Clay People as well as art, food trucks and workshops. Best of all, the new festival is at a bar and grill about a half-hour drive from the festival grounds in North Palm Springs and totally free (with a suggested $5 donation, kind of like Sunset Junction in its early years). Be forewarned, this hot newcomer is likely to fill up fast, so if you plan to spend the day there get in line early.


Through April 22.

Lacoste Live Desert Pool Party

Lacoste: It's not just for preppies anymore. The iconic maker of pastel-colored shirts with that cute little trademark crocodile is hipper than ever with its third annual exclusive pool party at a private estate in Thermal that is supposedly walking distance from the festival grounds. Attractions include crocodile rafts, Patron Popsicles, giant Twister and speedboat racing. Guests are expected to include Elijah Wood, Lea Michele and Diane Kruger.

Saturday and Sunday, invite only.


The Neon Carnival

Legendary party producer Brent Bolthouse is back with his Armani Exchange- and T-Mobile-sponsored Neon Carnival near a giant airplane hangar in Thermal. This one-night-only affair is one of the most exclusive and talked-about Coachella parties, with plenty of celebrities and pretty people making their annual social rounds in the fevered center of a thumping dance floor beneath the glow of a neon Ferris wheel.

Saturday, invite only.


Details @ Midnight

A surprise performance by Asher Roth is at the heart of this invite-only fete hosted by Hennessy and Details magazine.

The late-night event takes place Friday, April 13, at a private residence in Rancho Mirage.


Guess Hotel Pool Parties

The ever-fashionable clothing brand is hosting three days of pool parties in La Quinta at the lavish Lake La Quinta Inn featuring food, cocktails, live music and DJs including New York-based Paul Sevigny.

Friday through Sunday, invite only.


Skyy Infusions Coconut Escape Pool Party

"True Blood" hottie Alexander Skarsgard and Nikki Reed are set to host one of the most exclusive poolside events for Coachella's second weekend, in conjunction with Spin magazine. A couple of surprise performances are in the works, including one by a hot Grammy-nominated band.

April 21, invite only.


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