The festivities didn’t end when the main acts left the stage at this year’s Coachella. The music and arts festival in the California desert always draws celebrities and the most influential figures marketers and brands could ever want; it’s a gathering of powerhouses, and for advertisers, it’s a rare opportunity to reach a select group. And it’s for this reason, that the after-parties are such a significant part of the weekend. Although not officially part of the Coachella calendar, these events have now become, in some cases, even bigger than the festival itself, and food and drink brands are clamoring to be a part of it and get their product in front of the biggest names in the industry. From the world’s biggest burger chains to emerging beverage startups, Coachella weekend saw a range of different exciting brands pull out all the stops to take to the culinary stage at the after parties.
Republic Records were undoubtedly the biggest provider of big name performers at Coachella, and the record label threw a Coachella party that matched that magnitude, hosting a lavish event at one of the most exclusive estates in the region. Guests at the weekend's most-talked-about soiree partied around a man-made beach at a private mansion, with world renowned DJ, Martin Solveig took to the decks to entertain the crowds, accompanied by Alma taking to the mic for a special performance. Whispering Angel served the rosé, an elegantly fitting pairing against the stunning white sands and blue waters. For the wine brand, it was a picture perfect opportunity to bring their crisp, refreshing rosé to the Californian heat, and to cool down celebrities like Darren Criss and Victoria Justice at their waterfront cabanas in style.
My Mo Mochi provided a spectacular mocha ice cream bar. Guests nibbled on ice cream in a variety of flavors from its My/Mo Mochi Bar, in another completely perfect and novel pairing with the scorching hot weather. Food trucks from local Palm Springs-based F10 Catering served elevated street food, from carnitas tacos to more poke bowl.
Another prime ticket event of weekend, Neon Carnival, also drew in the big names holding its ninth carnival style after party on the Saturday night. The creation of famed LA nightlife maven Brent Bolthouse, the event replicated a brightly colored carnival with amusement park rides and games entertaining guests. Celebrities – including Leonardo Di Caprio and Blake Griffin – sipped on Don Julio 1942, the brand being a major sponsor of the celebration. Don Julio’s Airstream Speakeasy served guests specialty Palomas, kickstarting the main stage musical acts.
Elsewhere in the Valley, Combsfest, hosted by Puff Daddy and his sons, saw celebrities partying the nights away with a plethora of different beverage brands at their disposal. The star studded line up were treated to a selection of drinks from Ciroc Vodka, DeLeón Tequila, Bumbu crafted rum, Luc Belaire Rare Rosé, and Red Bull. Relative newcomer to the drinks scene, DetoxWater, also made an appearance, with the unique beverage making waves in Hollywood, helping many get through the intense weekend.
There’s no question that Coachella is an exceptional platform for marketers and brands, with all eyes on not only what celebrities were wearing, but what they were eating and drinking as well. The annual festival in the desert has gone from a celebration of music and art to becoming an opportunity to showcase the finest food and drink. And as we’ve seen this year, advertisers will pull out all the stops to create the most engaging and memorable experiences for their brands, with the bar only continuing to be set higher and higher. The rest of us will need to "settle" for the best of the festival's food and beverage options.