Bella Thorne has been going to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival since she was a teenager. Aside from when she’s busy working on a project, she likes to be sure to make it out to the desert for a weekend of parties, fun and music.
“I am a hermit, but I'm also a very social creature if I'm out,” Bella Thorne tells Los Angeles Confidential. “And because I'm a hermit, I don't have a lot of social interactions all the time. So it's nice going to Coachella because I know I'm gonna run into people that I haven't seen in forever— so many people and make some new friends as well. And that always really excites me because I like having interesting conversations and getting deep with people and I feel like Coachella definitely can bring that out.”
Upon her return from Indio, Thorne dishes all about her 2023 Coachella experience. Read on for her festival must-haves, what it was like at all the A-lister parties and more.
With long days in the sun and even longer nights that can last until sunrise, a tranquil retreat is essential. “I rented a house that had so many games like poker and a lot of fun stuff. I have a lot of people over to have some fun,” Thorne shares.
A house is also crucial for when it comes time to get festival (and party) ready. “Friday, I set up my table, like the long table in the kitchen. I set it up so that all the girls that were staying in our house… could do their makeup together and their hair together, which I loved. I thought that was very, very fun. So we got to do that every day.”
A day at Coachella can mean dealing with hot days, windy nights and lots of dust, so any festival veteran knows its best to come prepared. When she hits the Empire Polo Club grounds, Thorne likes to have handy electrolyte packs, lots of lighters, multiple chapsticks, a good pair of sunglasses and an Evian spray bottle. “Basically I carry the mom bag that has a bunch of s*** that everybody needs in it is and is usually asked for during the festival,” Thorne says.
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“I am such a big fan and seeing her perform was so amazing in her all-pink get up with all her pink performers. Hearing her talk on that stage, it was making me cry. It was making me tear up,” Thorne shares. “She has a real poetry to the way that she writes. And it's amazing that she's created this great open space for other women to follow in her footsteps and have that space to really talk about their life actually and real s***. Women in most industries— and definitely in film and music— that’s such a small box and Doechii, it’s like ‘wow’ how she exploded that box.”
Running between parties and performances, Thorne stays fueled with savory meals. “I'm a big eater,” she says. “I'm also hypoglycemic, so I eat every three hours and I'm constantly hungry. And so I always like a good festival pizza. When they have a really dank festival pizza, it's greasy, it's slimy. It's all kinds of wrong and it just makes it so right. I love it. Love it. I also love nachos, but that's kind of dirty with the fingers, so maybe not festival food. I’ll go for a popsicle or a slushie though, for sure. Those are always delicious. And this year for the VIP stuff, they had a watermelon margarita that I got with vodka. That was delicious.”
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This year, Thorne dedicated most of her time to the various parties and events surrounding the festival. Her lineup included Nylon House and the Marc Jacobs and i-D Coachella Pool Party. “That was super fun,” Thorne says of Nylon’s Friday event. “They had so many cool lights and different setups… Alesso performed and he's a sweetheart. He killed it per usual. I just ended up staying all night on the dance floor with my friends, my manager, some of my agents. We were all just hanging, having a glorious time.”
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The fashion that comes out of Coachella is almost just as newsworthy as its performances, but that doesn’t mean it’s ever worth wearing a painful pair of shoes on festival grounds. “Coachella is all about the cute, but are you comfortable,” Thorne concludes. She notes that the main difference when putting together a look for the festival versus a party is shoes because at a party, heels can work. But at the festival, boots are both a smart and fashionable choice.
You can see Thorne putting her fashion philosophy to work in her outfit at Nylon House. The red Schiaparelli is a head turner with its scarlet hue and gold accents, but the loose fit and wide leg of the jumpsuit make it the ultimate desert look. She also opted to wear pieces from her own jewelry brand, Thorne. “I stuck with the classics, she says. “My favorites are the croc, thick hoop earrings. And then I rocked some of my huggies. I love the huggies… Also, my friends— I jeweled them all up for the festival as well. So me and my whole crew were rocking Thorne and it was nice to see everybody in it.”
As Thorne mentioned, Coachella is like a massive reunion. She describes getting into long conversations and unpacking different perspectives, hearing amazing stories, talking politics and making new friends. These moments turn into ideas for who can be guests on the live radio show, Twisted Sisters, that she has with her sibling, Dani. “You meet people from all over the world, from all different backgrounds,” Thorne says. “To have real, moving life-changing conversations, as small as it may be, it may really change your life. And I think that having those conversations and making the world more open as well in this way and making myself more open— we do a lot of call-ins on the show, which is one of my favorite parts because I just get to really hear from people. We get to talk about everything from dating advice to the world to aliens to anything, and it's really a no-judgment, free zone. And that makes me happy too. Because in order to have these conversations and be healthy, we have to allow people the room to speak and the room to learn as well, and the room to not be right.”
Photography by: Courtesy of Bella Thorne