Travel Diaries

Coachella, VIP Style

By Kristen Gray

Whether you’re there to scope out the next level fashion scene, soak up some rays during the desert sun-filled days or discover new artists for your Spotify playlists, Coachella is a California festival unlike no other (even Burning Man). We asked a few of our friend to share their experiences from this year’s #Beychella events — beware, FOMO may be induced.

Jay Jeffers & Michael Purdy

“This year, the hands down fave show was obviously Beyoncé. I mean no one can touch the Queen Bey,” says San Francisco style-maker Purdy of his weekend with Jeffers (pictured above), his husband and business partner. “Every year we do a house swap with a couple from LA who owns a killer house in the Twin Palms neighborhood. We go down to Coachella and they use our place in the Napa Valley. The VIP passes are a must for the couple, offering “several full-service bars, comfortable areas to lounge in, great vantage points to see the main stage, lots of interesting gourmet food options and places to escape the sun, and plenty of good people-watching. There are always good celeb sightings too.” There are some who might roll their eyes at all the hoopla surrounding the news-making scenester magnet, which put festival fashion (including flower crowns) on the map, but let’s face it: Haters are gonna hate, and when the concert lineup includes everyone from pop power-divas to David Byrne, who really cares what they think? Revenge is best served on Instagram. “Many people who have never been say that it reminds them of Burning Man. No way! While there are lots of incredibly cool art experiences, dancing venues and musical journeys one can take, Coachella is run like a well-oiled machine. The only thing one has to worry about is getting up to the front of the stage to see Beyoncé,” Purdy adds. The designers loved watching Byrne perform as well as Jamiroquai, and relaxed in between shows by sipping on cold drinks alongside other festival-goers at host hotels the Ace and Arrive in Palm Springs. On Monday, they reserved a much-needed recovery day at the Palm Springs Yacht Club. That’s called doing Coachella right.

Kendall Chase

The San Francisco fashion and lifestyle blogger, known as @chasingkendall to her thousands of followers, joined her best college pals for their sixth Coachella reunion. 

San Francisco tastemaker Kendall Chase.

Most conveniently, the group decamped at a timeshare just 10 minutes from the grounds. “It already takes almost two hours to get home every night if you stay until the end, so finding a spot close to the fest is absolutely key,” says Chase.  It was her second time as a VIP, and she’s not sure she could ever go back to General Admission. “It’s nice to have a separate hub with yummy food and drinks that I love to indulge in, including the awesome poke bowls we had on day one. The Rose Garden is the coveted area with all the Instagram photo

ops, a must-stop. Plus, they sold Whispering Angel and frosé. I obviously got both … at once,” she adds. As for festival scenes, Chase sees Coachella as the best of all. “Maybe it’s the beating desert sun or the large-scale art productions, but it feels different than any other festival I’ve been to. It’s my place to discover new music — I followed my gut to see Black Coffee, even though it meant ditching my friends for a minute.” And, witnessing Beyoncé’s jaw-dropping performance that featured dozens of drummers, brass players, violinists and dancers, she knew immediately that history was being made. Another favorite was the band Odesza — “as we crossed the entire main stage crowd, I felt like Jesus parting the Red Sea.”

Jamie and Dana Finegold

Jamie and Dana Finegold

The Bay Area husband-and-wife team, who founded Tart Collections, ventured to Coachella in April for the seventh year in a row. “Being in the clothing business, we definitely appreciate that you’d never be able to see this much fashion anywhere in three days like you can there,” says Jamie. The retail entrepreneurs stayed in a luxury tour bus on a friend’s property adjacent to the polo fields. “His company is Corso Agency and builds out several installations at the festival  — greatest hookup of all time. It’s definitely not Burning Man, yet people who have never been love to compare the two. It’s a wonderland of green grass and models walking around taking selfies and trying to figure out how to get more followers. It’s definitely less about the music these days and more about being seen,” he adds, confessing that,  for the ultimate access and high-end experience, “having an insider taking care of you” is the way to go.  Help! Does anyone know Gigi Hadid?

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