As the afternoon sun mercilessly beat down on Coachella 2013's kickoff Friday, temperatures soared above 90 degrees at the Empire Polo Club. But inside the festival's most conspicuous new upgrade, the Yuma Tent, it could have been midnight for all any of the several dozen dance enthusiasts raving inside the nightclub-like space would have known.
Providing the only fully enclosed, air conditioned performance venue at the fest, the Yuma exerts a kind of louche cool -- all black lights and spinning disco balls with a backdrop of faux Caravaggio paintings taking up a back wall.
In a haze of wafting ganja, afternoon revelers bopped and grooved to Raymond Roker's hip-hop and reggae-tinged EDM set -- appropriately enough the only place Coachellans saw fit to remove their novelty sunglasses.
"This is so sick!" one baseball hat-wearing bro in a cut-off T-shirt exclaimed upon entering. "It's got real wood floors!"
"It's pretty cool," festival-goer Graham Gibson of Phoenix observed. "It's a good place to cool down when it's 100 degrees outside."