5 take-aways from the return of Coachella
After being postponed for two years, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was once again back in the Californian desert. With a star-studded lineup, the festival is running on two consecutive weekends. With the first one in the books and the second in front of us, we list some of the take-aways that are fusing digital, culture, and music.
22 Apr 2022

The return of Swedish House Mafia

The planned headliner and closing act of the festival, Ye (previously known as Kanye West) pulled out two weeks prior to the festival. He got replaced by not one, but two major acts fused together — Swedish House Mafia and The Weeknd. 

In front of, approximately, 125.000 attendees, the two played together in what could seem like a giant halo, created by Alexander Wessely. The Swedish-Greek artist, photographer, and director have been working closely with the two and most recently directed the music video of the collaborative track Moth To a Flame. After the second Coachella weekend, awaits a world tour Swedish House Mafia, which, most certainly, will be delivering more spectacular moments.

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The first-ever Spotify live-streaming

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Speaking of the Swedish EDM-trio — two days before closing out the first Coachella weekend, they launched their new album Paradise Again, which was celebrated together with Spotify, organizing an after-party after the first day of the festival.

If you were not invited, you were able to enjoy it from the comfort of your home through the first-ever live-streaming event on Spotify. Fans were able to tune in on Spotify and, through the band page, stream the set. 

The streaming event is part of the launch of Spotify’s new service called Spotify Live — previously known as Spotify Greenhouse — and a standalone app. The somewhat new streaming service is now incorporated within the Spotify app itself. 

Absolut brings Coachella to Metaverse

In a true metaverse experience, Absolut Vodka has created an on-site activation and at the same time made it possible to experience the festival through the virtual world Decentraland. The two experiences were connecting each other. The attendees in Palm Springs could be partying in the Absolut tent with the ones in Decentraland — and vice-versa. Decentraland-goers could also win actual tickets for the festival and order drinks delivered to their door.

— People experiencing it on-site at Coachella really appreciated the connection to our brand house we built on Decentraland and those that connected online really enjoyed feeling part of the festival, explains Roland-Philippe Kretzschmar, Global Head of Digital Marketing at Pernod-Ricard. (Transparency: Also Editor-At-Large at Scandinavian MIND.)

Absolut had bought a plot of land within Decentraland and had built a giant Absolut bottle. The experience, named Absolut.Land, had an anti-gravity dance floor, NFT giveaways, a virtual museum and a bar serving cocktails. To celebrate its Swedish heritage, Absolut have partnered with Swedish House Mafia. In the Decentraland-venue, the group’s latest album Paradise Again is played on a custom jukebox.

Why does Absolut bet on the metaverse? And why is Coachella the right forum?

— It’s an experiment but a starting point of a journey, hence why we decided to purchase a plot of land. Decentraland is not the only metaverse platform and we will continue to explore others as well, including opportunities in the gaming space. Coachella is the right forum from the perspective that the audience is fairly young, open-minded, digitally native, and keen to test new things. And it fits well into our partnership with the festival that celebrates 10 years, as well, as an extension to our partnership with Swedish House Mafia, Kretzschmar concludes.

Fortnite x Coachella

Fortnite x Coachella.

One of the more important aspects of attending a music festival is of course in what outfits you will be watching your favourite music acts. To do so, not just on-site in Palm Springs, Coachella teamed up with Fortnite to create in-game clothing so you could dress your avatar accordingly. Together they created Coachella-themed, music-reactive skins which are available in the Fortnite Item Shop.

But you won’t just be able to dress in Coachella outfits. Icon Radio, the in-game music streaming service, will add music from 30 artists performing at the festival, including the likes of Harry Styles, Stormzy, and Peggy Gou.

Virtual merchandise

The Coachella Bloom Seed NFT was given to attendees of the festival.

If there is one thing people save, value, and hold precious, it is concert and festival memorabilia, such as wristbands, tickets, t-shirts and other things to remind you of what you have experienced. Things which, by definition, could be seen as non-fungible. 

This is something Coachella has been taking hold of and has therefore released an NFT-collection. The collection consists of digital art, sounds, and photos. Many of them hold utility and will give tangible perks in real life. For example, one of the NFTs will give you lifetime VIP access to Coachella. Every attendee of the festival is also given an NFT, connected to their wristband, which gives access to on-site events and vouchers.  

To deliver the NFTs, Coachella has teamed up with FTX US to build their own NFT marketplace, which is located on the Solana Blockchain.