Neon Carnival is returning to California yet again for its 12th party this year on Saturday night in partnership with Levi’s and Tequila Don Julio. Created with Bolthouse Productions and Best Events, the star-studded event — held during the Coachella Arts and Music Festival season — features a range of musical performances and activations.
Since its first version in 2009, Neon Carnival has grown as an occasion during Coachella to enjoy the open desert air and the excitement of a classic carnival. The A-list event frequently features carnival games and attractions, as well as numerous musical performances, brand activations and specialty cocktail stations for thousands of attendees. Over the years, the party has also widely increased its range of collaborators; past Neon Carnivals have been hosted in partnerships with Guess, PacSun, Olay, Bondi Sands and Hydration by Liquid I.V., as well as films including “Dope” and “Detective Pikachu.”
One of the biggest elements of Neon Carnival, however, is its star-studded guest list. Frequent attendees over the years have included Leonardo DiCaprio, Paris Hilton, Alessandra Ambrosio and Jamie Chung, as well as guests like H.E.R., Zoë Kravitz, Jared Leto, Teyana Taylor, French Montana, Zedd and Joe Jonas; even Rihanna and Drake have made the occasional appearance. Ahead of this year’s highly anticipated party, take a trip through past Neon Carnivals below.
The 2014 Neon Carnival was hosted with Olay Fresh Effects, Guess and Nylon magazine. Guests including Nicky and Paris Hilton, Lance Bass and Claire Holt danced through the night to music from DJ Ruckus, Zoë Kravitz and DJ Politik.
Neon Carnival’s 2015 party found the brand swapping denim partners for Paper magazine and PacSun, as well as the indie film “Dope” and Tequila Don Julio at the Thermal Hangar. Guests included Emily Ratajkowski, as well as Aaron Paul, Joe Jonas, Kellan Lutz, Julianne Hough, Scott Eastwood and Leonardo DiCaprio. At the time, the party also went viral for denying entry to Kendall Jenner, who didn’t meet its 21-and-up age policy.
2016 found undercover attendees Rihanna and Leonardo DiCaprio mingling with guests like Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Chung, G-Eazy, Tom Felton, Alessandra Ambrosio, Derek Hough and Patrick Schwarzenegger. Attendees danced to music by Jamie Mazur and DJ Politik while visiting stations from Levi’s and Re/Done Levi’s, as well as Bud Light and Batiste Dry Shampoo.
At the party’s 2017 iteration, Levi’s and Tequila Don Julio returned to host guests including Sean Combs, Jhené Aiko, Christina Milian, Aaron Paul, Zedd and Taylor Hill — as well as French Montana and Drake, who made a viral appearance that same day for a set by Future. Activations were also held by Batiste Dry Shampoo and Tinder for the occasion.
For its first outdoor festival at Hits Desert Horse Park in 2018, Neon Carnival featured a starry guest list with new and returning faces, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Hailey Baldwin, Chance the Rapper, Daniel Kaluuya, Shanina Shaik, Kourtney Kardashian, Paris Hilton, Sean Combs, Nina Dobrev and Jamie Foxx. Guests sipped cocktails by Golden Road Brewery and Tequila Don Julio, visited activations by Levi’s and Batiste Dry Shampoo and enjoyed tunes by Kayper, DJ Politik, Jesse Marco and DJ Ruckus during the occasion.
Neon Carnival’s 2019 iteration marked its second outdoor party, thrown with Levi’s and Tequila Don Julio — as well as Bondi Sands and the animated film “Detective Pikachu.” Janelle Monae, Taylor Lautner, Paris Hilton, Young Thug, Ashlee Simpson and more guests enjoyed brand activations and Golden Road Brewery cocktails while music played from Dee Jay Silver, DJ Ruckus and DJ Kayper.
Neon Carnival’s 2022 party included performances by DJ Ruckus, Kayper and Mel Debarge, witnessed by guests including Amber Rose, Nicole Scherzinger, Paris Hilton, Teyana Taylor, Anitta, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Chlöe and Halle Bailey and Zoey Deutch. Activations were held on-site by DirecTV, as well as returning hosts Levi’s and Tequila Don Julio.
Neon Carnival is a famed party taking place during the Coachella Music Festival. The 12th annual outdoor dance party, created by Brent Bolthouse, will be held at the Desert International Horse Park in partnership with Levi’s, Tequila Don Julio, Smirnoff ICE Neon Lemonades, Path Water and Ghost Energy. The event will feature music by DJ Ruckus, Kayper and Mel Debarge.
PHOTOS: Discover Neon Carnival parties through the years in the gallery.