• Joey Amato

Experience Coachella Music & Arts Festival Without the Festival

Greater Palm Springs is home to a few of California’s most anticipated events including the BNP Paribas, Stagecoach Music Festival and Coachella Music & Arts Festival. While the pandemic has put a halt on the desert’s festivals this year, people can still experience the magic of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2021, with the added benefit of no crowds.



The Music

Just because the festivals are canceled, it doesn’t mean the live music has to stop in Greater Palm Springs! Tack Room Tavern and Polo Pizza in Indio are two connected restaurants on the grounds at Empire Polo Club, the sprawling fields where Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals are held. Their extensive outdoor patios are currently offering acoustic music during dinner hours on Fridays and Saturdays. Music lovers can head to Melvyn’s Restaurant and Lounge at the Ingleside Inn, which offers American fare, old Hollywood history and an outdoor veranda with live music five nights per week or The Nest in Indian Wells, where guests can enjoy live music on two patios every night. In the old west town of Pioneertown, head to storied music venue Pappy & Harriet’s, which has hosted everything from open mic and local musicians to special surprise performances with celebrities such as Paul McCartney, Lorde, Vampire Weekend and One Republic. Lastly, The Little Bar in Palm Desert was founded by Skip Paige, former COO of Goldenvoice, organizer of Coachella and Stagecoach, and displays wallpaper throughout the bar that represents more than 30 years of Paige’s accumulated music memorabilia as a fan and through his career in concert production.

The Art

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has produced a variety of larger than life outdoor art pieces that explore the history and culture of the desert region and now live on well past their festival lives. Edoardo Tresoldi’s 54-foot-tall sculpture, "Etherea," became so popular following its debut at the festival, it has since been installed long-term in the region turning an empty lot into a public park for locals and tourists to enjoy. “Lodestar,” created for the festival in 2018 by Randy Polumbo, is a 50-foot tall futuristic flower made of a Lockheed Martin Loadstar military jet, blown glass, crystal, mirror, steel and more. The artwork is now permanently installed in Bombay Beach, a tiny town 50 miles southeast of Palm Springs on the shore of the Salton Sea. “Roadrunner” and “Yard Dog” are two sculptures built from metal plates by Don Kennell for the festival in 2014. Today, the pieces are permanently installed in La Quinta.

The Fashion & The Food

Aside from the musical acts, some of the best parts of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival include searching for concert-goers in wacky costumes or celebrities in the latest, ultra-trendy styles, as well as indulging on festival eats. Travelers can search for their own one-of-a-kind or festival-inspired pieces at vintage shops like Iconic Atomic, The Fine Art of Design or The Frippery. For a more high-end look, visit the El Paseo Shopping District in Palm Desert, which is a mile-long stretch known as the “Rodeo Drive of the Desert.” For a Coachella-inspired dining experience, visit the Indio Food Park, which is a new, weekly street-fair-style food park and beer garden marketplace with vendors peddling delicious eats, food trucks, handcrafted goods and custom cocktails that rotate weekly. In the Coachella spirit or creativity, it was designed as a business incubator for entrepreneurs to test market their goods and concepts and draw support from other small business owners.