Blade, the Uber of the travel-by-helicopter world, is re-launching its West Coast operation this weekend, just in time to shuttle performers and concert goers out to the the Coachella festival -- should they want to fork over $695 for a one-way ticket.
Starting with weekend one of the two-weekend festival, which boasts headliners such as Radiohead, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar and Lorde, those attending the festival -- whether to perform or to to be in the audience -- can book flights to and from the festival, an accommodation that Blade first debuted last year. Beginning yesterday, from April 13-24, helicopters will be leaving from Santa Monica and will get attendees to Palm Springs within 45 minutes, a trek that would normally be more than two hours by car. At either end, Blade's airport lounges will be recast as Casa Dragones Lounge, named after the tequila brand co-owned by one of Blade's investors, iHeart chairman/CEO Bob Pittman.
In addition to Pittman, Blade is also backed by such media execs as Barry Diller, Alphabet's Eric Schmidt, Discovery's David Zaslav, director/producer Brett Ratner, talent manager Geyer Kosinski and media mogul Kenny Lerer; and was launched by former Sony and Warner Music Group executive Rob Wiesenthal.
During the first festival weekend, Republic Records, Blade and the SBE hotel chain will host daytime parties featuring Republic artists and DJs at a Palm Springs mansion, where the bar for the event will be housed in a full-scale-movie set replica of a Blade-branded helicopter
Besides the ability to get to and from Coachella, Blade's West Coast service will include such destinations as Ojai, Santa Barbara, San Diego, downtown L.A., the Valley and LAX, with a permanent West Coast Blade lounge soon to be located at Santa Monica airport.