Just because you didn't score a Coachella wristband this year, doesn't mean you had to miss out on the Coachella Valley fun. In fact there where are enough pool parties, day clubs, and after-hours events to keep you partying all weekend long while seeing some of your favorite acts on the Coachella bill outside of it's Empire Polo Field gates. As round two of the festival creeps up on us however, don't expect the party scene to be as grandiose as it was last weekend. Most of the lavish (and celeb-filled) soirees such as the Lacoste or Vestal Village only pop up on weekend one. Here's what we saw in the Palm Springs heat over the past weekend to give you a better idea of the Coachella party scene and maybe help you better plan your pilgrimage to the desert next year.
The Party: LED Dayclub
The Venue: The new Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs
Time of Day: The party starts at 11am, but most of the headlining acts don't go on until past 3pm.
Difficulty Getting In: Tickets are $40-$125 for general admission (depending on the day/artist) and go all the way up to $6,000 for a private poolside cabana.
The Crowd: A little bit of everything–from the EDM crazed fans, hipster chic, and VIP types. (We wished it was more of the LED events crowd who knows how to freakin' party though.)
The Swag: Sponsored by G Pen they were giving out bags and other goodies in their upstairs suite.
The Music: Electronic dance music heaven with Dirty South, Kastle, A-Trak, Duke Dumont, Disclosure, The Martinez Brothers, Justin Martin, and David Guetta week one. Skrillex and friends, Martin Garrix, TJR, Michael Brun, Deorro, Tiesto, and Showtek weekend two.
Overall Vibe: Since this is the official Goldenvoice pool party lots of the Coachella EDM artist made their LED Dayclub debut. Their sets were much different however, so expect more chill pool vibes rather than the untz untz untz you hear in the Sahara Tent.
The Party: The Saguaro Desert Weekender
The Venue: The Saguaro Palm Springs – a Joie de Vivre hotel
Time of Day: 1pm – 7pm
Difficulty Getting In: Just an RSVP at thesaguarodesertweekender.com (and standing in a decent size line if you're not a VIP)
The Crowd: Basically the cool kids in LA –from the sexy gays, hipsters, and everything you would expect to see at a Club Called Rhonda.
The Swag: As if the eye candy isn't enough, their sponsors offer free beer to yoga in the A.M.
The Music: The stuff you like to get funky too–Peanut Butter Wolf, Plastic Plates, and DJ Harvey on weekend one. Pete Tong, Kidnap Kid, Justin Jay & Ardalan, Jon Dadon, and Kedd Cook weekend two.
Overall Vibe: There's a reason why Resident Advisor to Rolling Stone are official sponsors of the Saguaro Desert Weekender. It's got the vibes of an exclusive Coachella pool party minus the pretentious feel. You can sip cocktails poolside next to Solange to Dillon Francis and nobody really gives a fuck as long as the music is good.
The Party: The Old Navy Oasis
The Venue: Shadow Hills RV Resort
Time of Day: 12pm – 6pm
Difficulty Getting in: Invite Only
The Crowd: Unfortunately the Old Navy Oasis was hit by Saturday's sandstorm, so there were less people than expected. No celeb crowd, but the vibe was awesome.
The Swag: Their gifting suite was incredible–jackets, scarves, hats, dresses, shirts, bandanas, towels, flip-flops and so much more.
The Music: Performances by Young The Giant and Lily Kershaw with DJ sets by Hannah Bronfman, Brendan Fallis, Daisy Lowe, and Jesse Rose.
Overall Vibe: With free valet parking, shuttles to and from the festival, Pinks Hot Dogs, a hair braiding station, and teepees we felt it had a little bit of everything a Coachella fan would want.
The Party: NYLON and Olay Fresh Effects present Neon Carnival with GUESS
The Venue: Tradition Aviation in Thermal, CA
Time of Day: 10pm – 4am
Difficulty Getting In: It's supposed to be the most exclusive and hard to get into party of the weekend.
The Crowd: Celebrities like Puff Daddy, Steven Tyler, Lance Bass, Ryan Philippe, Jared Leto, Carmen Electra, Joe Jonas, Paris Hilton and more.
The Swag: Aside from the free carnival rides and games, there was an Olay Fresh Effects station, Skull Candy booth, STK and Fatburger treats as well as a free flowing open bar which closed around 2am.
The Music: DJ Ruckus and his cousin Zoe Kravitz were the DJs with support from DJ Politik who all spun lots of top 40 and hip-hop.
Overall Vibe: When it was sponsored by Armani they had bigger artist, better prizes at the booths, and what seemed like a more extravagant party. Maybe it was the crazy winds or the insane amount of people trying to get in past 1A.M., but this years Neon Carnival was more like Santa Ana fair vs. OC Fair.
The Party: Do-Chella 2014
The Venue: The Ace Hotel and Swim Club Palm Springs
Time of Day: 12pm – 6pm
Difficulty Getting In: A simple RSVP at thedoover.net
The Crowd: This is the Do Over's fourth year partnering with Adidas Originals poolside at the Ace Hotel as part of the their Desert Gold party and their fans are the true music lovers trying to cool off before the festival.
The Swag: Tasty BBQ treats
The Music: Special Guests included Questlove, Gaslamp Killer and Crazearoni with an all new lineup and mystery guests week two.
Overall Vibe: Positive vibes, with good music, yummy sangria drinks, a little bit of old school hip-hop, and a chill pool to cool off. What more could you ask for?