I have a couple of friends who are obsessed with Coachella. It’s basically their religion. And they do it so well – each year, they have the flyest house in the valley and the best outfits, painstakingly pre-planned for the perfect Instagram picture. I even went with them once, and let me tell you, they definitely know how to do music festivals the right way.
This year, they opted to go on an awesome trip to Hawaii, so made the super-adult decision to forego the festival. The FOMO was pretty real, as you could tell from their #throwbackthurdsay pictures leading up to the big event.
To deal with missing out this year, they did what any festival-loving couple would do – they brought it to them.
And so, Poolchella was born.
Here’s how they managed to throw the hottest event in Redwood City’s recent history.
Dress the Part
Let’s be real – one of the main purposes of Coachella is to have the best outfit you can’t wait to share on social media. If you aren’t Snapchatting and Instagramming your look each day, what’s the point?
So my friends encouraged everyone to dress as if they were actually heading to Indio. It was a tad cloudy that day, but the hot tub was ready to go, so everyone wore bathing suits (whether or not they were hopping in). They had rented out the entire lounge area of their apartment complex, so we could hang out in a temperature-controlled room while pretending we were tanning in the desert sun.
As expected, there were floppy hats, sunglasses worn all day even while inside, the shortest cutoffs and colorful tank tops. Dressing up was definitely an important piece to making us all feel like we were partying at Coachella (rather than in a suburb 30 minutes south of San Francisco).
Feed Your Guests
Aside from being an integral part of any party, providing food serves a few purposes: it gives your guests a place to congregate and chat (while having something to do with your hands), and helps prevent champagne-fueled hangovers. While this does tack a bit of $$ onto your bill, it’s definitely classy to have your party catered – and usually, people will be bringing bottles of booze and maybe even some of their own snacks anyway.
My friends picked a great option for their event: Mediterranean food catered from a local restaurant. It was light, small enough to eat standing/walking around, and had options for meat eaters and vegetarians.
Now, if you REALLY wanted to provide an authentic Coachella experience, you’d have a food truck available (and you can easily rent any of them out for parties), but it tends to be pricier and logistically more complicated than simply having food available in a central location – especially when on a higher floor in a building as we were.
Create the Ambiance
Coachella has an unmistakable skyline, almost as iconic as New York City (well, at least for festival rats like us) – a ferris wheel, balloon-lined arches, huge stages, and tents, of course. Another staple? Palm trees!
The lounge was adorned with inflatable palm trees and large silver balloons spelling POOLCHELLA in front of the balcony (with a gorgeous view of a parking garage – free on weekends!).
Drop the Beat
A huge part of the ambiance of any music festival – and I know this is going to be a REAL shocker to all of you – is the music. Coachella must know people want to party from home when they can’t make it out to the desert, so they provide a live stream of the festival, which was playing on a large TV in the middle of the party.
A really cool touch was hiring an actual DJ to provide music for the party. It wasn’t TOO expensive, and was a great addition that made us feel like we were really at a Coachella pool party! (And just think of all the cash money you’re saving by not booking flights, renting a car and a house, buying a ticket, and all the stylish clothes you need to look the part.)
And anyway, nothing beats dropping it low in front of a DJ booth, no matter where you are.
Add Those Special Touches
The party was basically set for success at this point. But that didn’t stop my friends from going that extra mile and ordering a custom ice luge for the party!
This was a ridiculous yet ultimately essential piece that made this party really feel like an authentic Coachella pool party. Also, it was surprisingly my first ice luge experience (closing in on 30 years old, this is pretty crazy). It was adorned with a logo I created for them, which was simply “Poolchella” written in a free Coachella font I downloaded, but still was a hilarious and fun element to an otherwise great event.
Thanks, Tom and Krystal! You did an amazing job. Already planning my outfits for Poolchella 2018.