Coachella: official home to the incognito Hollywood starlet, the mid-set sandstorm, armed booze police and the unexpected Tupac hologram. But even this eternal valley of the bizarre looks to be out-weirding itself this year, to the degree that we’re starting to think they’ve hired David Lynch as programme director. Here’s the oddest shit that’s been going down so far…
Rihanna as Glitterwoman
While Leonardo Di Caprio and Orlando Bloom made a vague attempt not to be recognised by going as Beavis and Butthead, Rihanna went the whole Jarvis-Cocker-wandering-around-Glastonbury-in-a-bear-outfit. She donned a full-body Gucci morph suit made of actual diamonds in order, by some wild Rihanna logic, not to get noticed. Two words. Bear outfit.
Lady Gaga’s 100,000 person casting call
All of America is a film set, they say, but Gaga is apparently planning to turn Coachella into the funeral scene from Ghandi with more rigid alcohol restrictions. For the price of just a $10 charity donation, she said, her fans could return to the site later this week as extras in a new Bradley Cooper movie, playing the audience at a country music concert. Comfy denim and boots advised, so best ditch that sleeveless t-shirt of an 80s metal band you’ve never listened to, Coachellites.
Todd Rundgren becomes cool again
Sure, Coachella has a kind of retro hippy vibe (flower tiaras check; rampant intoxication, not so much), but the whole place got time-warped back to 1974 when Todd Rundgren made a guest appearance with The Lemon Twigs. The resultant line-up pic looks like all of the 1970s put their differences aside and got together for one last festival jam.
The drone display
Now this certainly isn’t the first time a bunch of people on drugs have seen lights in the sky above the Californian desert. But it is the first time 100,000 people have witnessed multi-coloured UFOs creating cones, tubes and patterns in the night sky, at least without Muse being within 500 miles of the ‘event’. This was the spectacular drone show that woke everyone up after The xx’s set, kind of like the fireworks you can spy on insurgents with.
Skepta’s phone box
In the UK we’ve seen all of the unused telephone boxes cleverly repurposed as emergency lavatories, refuse depositories and late-night sex centres. But it takes a keen streetwise mind like Skepta’s to realise that they could also form the iconic centrepiece of a Coachella stage set. Hence the grime frontrunner was to be seen rapping around an incongruously dumped old BT box for his entire set, without once jumping inside and transforming into Skepta-man, as we were so dearly wishing he would.