April 13, 2018 12:00 PM

Festival season is back! The annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival starts on Friday and music lovers, celebrities and fashion mavens alike will descend upon the desert for a weekend of amazing performances and even better parties.

From this year’s most anticipated sets to the hottest parties that are sure to attract a ton of famous faces, here’s a guide for making the most out of the weekend.

When is Coachella? 

The music festival takes place over two weekends, April 13 to 15 and April 20 to 22.

Where is Coachella? 

Ever since it started in 1999, Coachella has been located in the Indio desert in California.

Who are the biggest performers? 

Perhaps the most highly anticipated performer this year, Beyoncé will return to the Coachella stage as a headliner after being forced to postpone her 2017 performance due to her pregnancy with twins Rumi and Sir Carter. Saturday’s performance will be her first since welcoming the twins.

Given Beyoncé’s major star power, she could have some of her famous friends — and family — join her during her set. Fans have been speculating that a Destiny’s Child reunion may be in the works for Beyoncé’s performance, and that there’s a good chance her husband JAY-Z will join her on stage as they’ll be kicking off their second joint tourdubbed OTR II, in June.

Along with Beyoncé, the Weeknd and Eminem will perform as headliners on Friday and Sunday respectively.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty; Kevin Mazur/Getty; Jason Merritt/Getty

Cardi B will make her Coachella debut on Sunday — with a baby bump! The Grammy-nominated rapper revealed that she’s expecting a baby with her fiancé Offset during her April 7 performance on Saturday Night Live. Offset, who is one-third of the hip-hop trio Migos, is also set to perform on Sunday.

Other big names on the lineup this year include breakout star SZA, rock groups Portugal. the Man and HAIM, Vince Staples and French Montana.

What are the most exclusive parties?  

Coachella is about more than the music. Whether you prefer to lay low at pool parties or dance until the sun rises, there’s an option for everyone when it comes to the weekend’s biggest events. As a tip for those planning on party-hopping, ride share services like Lyft are definitely the way to go.

Friday, April 13: 

Kicking off the weekend is the Three Olives Rosé Vodka Launch party at the Hilton Palm Springs Day Club. A surprise guest will help bring the rosé all day lifestyle by extending the daytime party (partnered with Betches) into the night.

Just around the corner, fashionistas will be flocking over to Rachel Zoe and The Zoe Reports fourth annual “ZOEasis” sponsored by Belvedere Vodka. This year, guests will be welcomed into Zoe’s Moroccan oasis to indulge in cocktails provided by the new Belvedere Ginger Zest and Smoke Tree Wines. The Souk will also offer chic beauty and wellness services including a luxe nail bar by OPI Products, a hair styling market by Pravana and inspirational henna art by Keds. SK-II will prep attendees with glowing skin for their journey into the desert. Joining Zoe herself will be Paris HiltonOlivia Culpo, Victoria Justice, Brooklyn Beckham, Erin and Sara Foster, Nicola Peltz, Anwar Hadid, Lisa Rinna and more.

Katie Jones/WWD/REX/Shutterstock

REVOLVE will take over a Palm Springs hotel for #hotelREVOLVE starting Thursday to host influencers and celebrities like Chanel Iman, Elsa Hosk, Nicole Richie, Culpo, Romee Strijd, Shay Mitchell, Taylor Hill and Winnie Harlow.

Revolve is also partnering with Tao Group for Desert Nights — an exclusive VIP, invite-only festival after hours turn up at a top-secret location — that will take its position on Friday evening. Desert Nights will feature intimate, surprise late-night performances, DJ sets and interactive brand activations with Puma and Palms Casino Resort.

John Sciulli/Getty

On Friday afternoon, the Playboy Social Club will open with an exclusive VIP event and will continue through Saturday with a daytime pool party. G-Eazy serves as the unofficial host as the party takes over a private boutique hotel in Palm Springs. There will be surprise performances, exclusive pop-up shops, fire dancers and a Bespoke Bunny Ear Station where women can create their own customized flower crown bunny ears. The men in attendance will receive complimentary haircuts and beard trims in a mobile barbershop courtesy of G-Eazy’s barber.

Later in the night, Combs Chella (presented by nANA jUDY) will kick off. The party, hosted by Sean “Diddy” Combs‘ sons Christian and Justin, as well as Quincy Brown, will feature a performance by Lil Wayne and friends on Friday night and a performance by Gabe Roland and Katie Welch on Sunday.

Continuing into the wee, wee hours of the night, the h.wood Group’s Poppy Nightclub will partner with Kylie Cosmetics and BMW to host an exclusive party, “Powered Paradise In The Desert,” to celebrate the launch of the new makeup collection “KOURT X KYLIE” and the launch of Pizza Boys Radio on Beats 1. Kylie Jenner is expected to make her first public post-baby appearance at the party, which will feature DJ sets by Diplo and Chantel Jeffries.

Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock

Saturday, April 14: 

On Saturday, the record labels behind some of the weekend's biggest performers will host their exclusive soirees. Republic Records will be taking over a private house in the desert for a day party dubbed “The Estate” (presented by Dream Hotels and sponsored by Tanqueray No. TEN). Republic artists like Phantoms, Martin Solveig and Alma will perform. Over at the Interscope Record’s BBQ, guests will chow down on some much-needed food with Adam Perry Lang.

At the Arrive Hotel in Palm Springs, Lucky Brand will take over for their second annual Desert Jam. Harry Hudson and Charli XCX are set to perform, along with support from Jaira Burns, Naomi Wild and DJ sets from Mr. Best, Wade Crescent, Tolula Adeyemi and Denise Love Hewett. When it’s time to take a break from dancing, guests can get their festival looks ready with Scunci and FHI Heat, while sipping on Omission Beer and Jack Daniels cocktails.

Saturday marks the start of #REVOLVEFestival 2018, which runs through Sunday at a private location in Palm Springs. Revolve will partner with Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas to curate the Palms Stage with this year’s performers including A$AP Rocky, Mike Will Made-IT, 21 Savage, Snoop Dogg, YG and more.

Thaddaeus McAdams/WireImage

Bootsy Bellows’ annual daytime Coachella celebration never disappoints. Sponsored by McDonalds and PacSun, the party will feature DJ sets by Jeffries, Arkade, Pookie and a performance by Rae Sremmurd.

Want a chance to party with Rihanna? Her Fenty x Puma line is hosting a “Drippin” pool party at a top secret location in which the star and designer is expected to showcase her latest collection.

Roger/AKM-GSI

For a second year, American Express will host their Platinum House at The Parker Palm Springs, open exclusively for Platinum Card Members from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Before hitting the festival grounds, attendees will have access to  the first-ever SoulAnnex pop up from SoulCycle as well as a meditation and bootcamp class taught by Stacey Griffith. While on site at the festival card members and their guests will be seeking respite from the sun inside Amex’s first-ever exclusive Card Member Lounge, equipped with charging stations, a bar and games.

Model Alessandra Ambrosio visits the American Express Card Members Club at Coachella
Getty for American Express

“The space is designed so you can recharge, and meet new people, get some shade. It’s designed as an escape,” says Amex VP of Global Entertainment and Premiere Events, Walter Frye, of the garden-themed oasis on the festival grounds. Also, for the first time Amex developed an AR (augmented reality) commerce experience for card members to shop exclusive festival merchandise within the Coachella app, available anywhere on the festival grounds. With Jesse Williams and Alessandra Ambrosio stopping by the Amex onsite space, Frye says “We’re thrilled we’re able to do it at such an important event that our card members love.”

Returning for its ninth consecutive year is Neon Carnival (presented by Levi’s Brand and Tequila Don Julio), an outdoor dance party complete with amusement park rides and games, including bumper cars and a giant Ferris wheel. Batiste Dry Shampoo will host hair styling stations that offer attendees bold, festival-inspired styles and provide product samples for the ultimate hair refresh, and Tequila Don Julio will provide guests with specialty Palomas. In the past, celebrities like Rihanna, Leonardo DiCaprio and Usher have all been seen partying late into the night at the Brent Bolthouse event with their pals.

Sunday, April 15: 

The parties will continue at the American Express Platinum House, REVOLVE Festival and TAO X Revolve Desert Nights on the last day of the festival.

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