A Coachella Virgin! That’s me and I’m about to experience my first Coachella Music & Arts Festival this weekend. After a decade, I was finally granted press credentials for weekend 2.
I’ve been consulting the app for guidelines on everything from my backpack size to the art installations. There is, of course, a Queer+ section to the app which points me to the HeadQ+uarters (HQ+), dedicated to the festival’s all-inclusive culture.
I’ll be visiting and “reporting” i.e. posting this weekend. I’m also monitoring the @GaysofCoachella IG and also as a Facebook group. But we have been using the #GaysofCoachella for years and there’s plenty of posts there too.
Of course, I’m most looking forward to seeing Blondie, whose music I played on the radio as a young DJ in the 80s. If Debbie Harry can get on stage to perform at 77, I can certainly “survive” a trip to Coachella’s expansive grounds.
Brad Fuhr, your Gay Desert Guide on KGAY 106.5 Palm Springs
For the latest, follow our socials @GayDesertGuide and @KGAY1065 and listen to KGAY Palm Springs wherever you may be!
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Coachella Music & Arts Festival – Weekend 2
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival presents the second weekend of the annual mega-event playing to a capacity crowd of 125,000 attendees at the Empire Polo Club in Indio. If you are going, be sure to check out these great resources: every one is a safe space community care effort to support mental health and harassment prevention at the festival, and HQ+ is a social gathering space within the festival grounds for BIPOC LGBTQ+ individuals to come and be celebrated. Both are located in the Coachella Courtyard near the 12 Peaks VIP section, across from the Coachella Main Stage. Some of the top acts playing again this weekend include Bad Bunny, Gorillaz, Chemical Brothers, and Blondie on Friday, April 21, Blackpink, Roslía, Eric Prydz and Charli XCX on Saturday, April 22 and on Sunday, April 23, Blink 182 will headline in place of Frank Ocean, plus Björk, Jackson Wang and many more. Once again this year, you can stream Coachella LIVE on their YouTube channel. See the poster with full lineup on our event listing: More info
On social media: Gays of Coachella is the perfect place to connect with other LGBTQ Coachella Festival-goers. Check out their feed on Facebook and get the latest in Coachella trends and news, with announcements on upcoming events, meet-ups, and pre-parties. Find them on Facebook at GaysofCoachella and on Instagram: @GaysofCoachella
Desert Gold at Ace Hotel & Swim Club
The Ace Hotel & Swim Club presents Desert Gold, a weekend of holy chaos, sunbathed sound and glorious poolside parties this weekend, April 20–23. This year Desert Gold invites in a days-long list of legends and surprise stars, including DFA Records, Link Up, Dublab, The Do-Over, Pitchfork Live, The Deep End, Stones Throw Records, and more. Every event is free and all are welcome, though space is limited and first come, first served. More info
Experience Palm Springs Like a Local
While Palm Springs hotels may be packed with visitors here for the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, it’s a great time to go downtown and support our locally-owned businesses while those visitors clear out to attend the festival all afternoon and evening! Enjoy the even more relaxed vibes and check out this great article from Visit Palm Springs for locally-owned shopping, eats, nightlife and more things to do. Learn more
Palm Springs Pride 2023 Theme Announced: “Drag Now. Drag Forever”
Taking a stand against anti-drag bills and LGBTQ+ extremism and to support the historic form of artistic expression and advocacy, Palm Springs Pride organizers announced the 2023 Pride Week theme is ‘Drag Now. Drag Forever.’ The festival and parade are set to take place November 5 & 6, 2023, and to highlight harmful legislation and physical violence targeting members of the LGBTQ+ community, Greater Palm Springs Pride declares Palm Springs a Drag Sanctuary City to honor and celebrate freedom of expression of all forms. Read the declaration and learn more
Slay: the Art of Drag
Mr. Mann’s Design Gallery invites you to the opening of a new exhibition, Slay: the Art of Drag, on Saturday, April 22 from 4–7 pm. Drag has been in the news for brunches and bans. It’s also a misunderstood art form that has been in existence since William Shakespeare’s choice of men to play female roles. Exploring drag as art, local artist Craig Mann celebrates local drag artists who bring joy and entertainment to their audiences in his new exhibit, with 16 portraits of our queens on display. Exhibit continues through April. More info
Open Call Talent Project
The McCallum Theatre presents the Open Call Talent Project this Friday and Saturday, April 21 & 22. Outstanding local performers of all ages are presented in this exciting talent competition – a visually stunning and energy-filled production with a full cast finale that has become a McCallum sell-out event. Audience members can vote for their favorite performer and the winners are announced and celebrated at the final performance on Saturday evening. Get tickets
Day Club Palm Springs Weekend 2
Day Club Palm Springs returns to the Hilton Palm Springs for Weekend 2 on April 22–23, hosting two full days of lineups curated by the artists themselves, with poolside programming from noon to sun-down. Performances this weekend include: Two Friends, Łaszewo, SG Lewis (DJ Set) & Elderbrook (DJ Set) with more to be announced. Both single day and weekend passes are available. Get tickets
Manilow! Songs that Make the Whole World Sing
Modern Men: Coachella Valley Men’s Chorus presents two SOLD OUT performances of MANILOW! Songs that Make the Whole World Sing on Saturday and Sunday, April 22 & 23. Modern Men will honor Barry Manilow’s gift to the world through his music from “Mandy” to “I Can’t Smile Without You,” “Copacabana” to “Jump Shout Boogie.” A portion of each ticket sold for these performances will benefit the Manilow Music Project. More info.