The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival near Palm Springs rocked hot and hard this year, with acts like Björk, Amy Winehouse, Rage Against the Machine, The Arcade Fire, Happy Mondays, Arctic Monkeys, and Lily Allen performing in the 104° heat. Björk was a must-see, if only for her wacky outfit of skeleton-bone-pattern corset with wild voodoo-jungle skirt (see my video here). Amy Winehouse did a messy, liquor-fueled set, tripping over her mic wire and ending with a fitting rendition of “Rehab” (watch her performance here). Fellow Brit ladette Lily Allen was the epitomy of chav chic, dressed in a prom dress/white sneakers combo. Besides the music, Coachella was a prime celeb-spotting ground, and I really didn’t think I would top spying Paris Hilton through a fence, crouching down behind a row of portable toilets, smoking a joint. But top it I did: Right after seeing a mellow set by Air, I wandered off to an Indian food stand to get some dirty festival grub, and was halfway through asking the counter-guy whether the Masala Fries were any good when I realized he was Vincent Gallo. “They’re very good!” he assured me, which made me frown and ask, “Are you Vincent Gallo?” “Yes!” he replied, before handing me my food and pointing me in the direction of the plastic forks. The fries were indeed very good, so, um, thanks, Vincent. Late night after-parties were a big part of the weekend, and the coolest one to get into was the nightly Hugo Boss party at the Mod Resort. There I bumped into WOW alumna Alisa Charoen-Phol, and we shared a hot tub with Cisco Adler (ick). It was hard not to think of that picture. And on that note, I’ll end by saying I had a ball at Coachella. A big, hairy, swinging ball.
– Text and photos by Steven Corfe
(Photos, from top, l to r: Vincent Gallo serves Masala fries; Lily Allen; Arckid at Hugo Boss; in the dance tent; Alisa and Corfe in Cisco-tainted tub; Amy Winehouse; main stage)