Coachella's star-studded, multi-day lineup is its raison d'etre, but there are plenty of other things to enjoy at the fest, like these art-filled escapes. Ranging from sound baths, cozy recording rooms, and scavenger hunts, there is plenty to do and see while in the desert.
Chill in a geomagnetic sound bath
About an hour north of the Coachella Valley is the otherworldly Integratron, a dome-topped structure built in the 1950s by a UFO enthusiast who intended for it to house a time travel machine. The space's location and design make it a geomagnetic and acoustic wonder -- and a favorite of acts like Moby and Arcade Fire, who have played there. The site's primary attraction, however, is its sound baths (from $30 per person; $250-$900 for a private session), and visitors lucky enough to secure an appointment can enjoy an hour of recorded music and healing sounds. integratron.com
RECORD AND REHEARSE
Book a session at a rustic studio
For artists, a quiet week between shows is a chance to record. Rocco Gardner of Hot Trash has capitalized on that with his year-old desert-chic retreat/studio Rancho V, a fave of Arctic Monkeys, Peaches, MK and other festival headliners. "There's something about the environment that switches on people's creativity," says Gardner. The 40-acre space's main house, two guest houses and three furnished Airstreams can be rented individually or together (from $700 per night) and its Skyline Studios is a fully equipped recording and rehearsal space. esca.pe
Go On a Masterpiece Scavenger Hunt
Desert X, the debut, high-end art festival that opened in February and runs through the end of April, is set throughout 45 miles of the Coachella Valley. The show includes 16 works from top-tier artists like Doug Aitken, Claudia Comte, Jennifer Bolande and Will Boone. "We have a nice art museum and a lot of collectors here, but there wasn't a way to focus attention on visual arts," says Desert X founder-president Susan Davis, who worked with curator Neville Wakefield on the collection. "As Neville has said, the desert is blank canvas. That gave a lot of freedom to the artists." Desert X's hub is conveniently located at the Ace Hotel. desertx.org
This article originally appeared in the April 15 issue of Billboard.