KH: Getting to Neon Carnival was the usual 40 minute trek from our hotel in Palm Springs, but once we got there around 11pm it was breeze getting in. If you are on the list, make sure to always pre-pick up your wristband to the carnival before you get there or else you’ll be stuck in a nasty line. After passing through the entrance party-goers were immediately greeted by a monster sized game of PLINKO! with prizes ranging from gift cards from Pac-Sun to hats from Hurley and Adidas all at the luck of the plink.
RK: Sticking true to the name, Neon Carnival delivered on multiple “midways” filled with the stereotypical carnie games with crappy stuffed animals and wonky bananas with happy faces, all of which were won by yours truly. If it wasn’t the water gun balloon game, it was the football through the tire or the knock the milk bottles down or the ring around the Don Julio tequila bottle...uh wait a minute...what? yes, Don Julio was the sponsor so that meant a ton of tequila based cocktails...specially “handcrafted” for all to enjoy. I thought it was kind of strange that these “handcrafted” drinks seemed to be pre-mixed pink cocktails in sealed Don Julio bottles but who cares...it’s free so drink up and shut up. Along with the games there were the rides. Bumper cars were available for everyone to act out their pent up angst for waiting in the long lines to get in. A giant multi-laned mega slide tested everyone’s skills at being the first to cross the finish line. There was a rolling spinning loopy thing designed to insure you’d lose your head and what’s a carnival without a ferris wheel. All of these attractions were bombarded by lines of people coupled with a dance floor and stage area where mashups and top 40 tracks banged through the speakers...and then there was that moment when A-Trak jumped on the decks for a surprise DJ set... Oh yeah and then there was the “Hollywood” element...bottle service in the middle of the desert along with VIP roped off areas where the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, Tommy Lee, the Hilton sisters, “Orange is the New Black”- Taryn Manning, super model Alessandra Ambrosio, “Dancing With The Stars” - Julianne Hough and members from MUSE & Kings of Leon all brushed shoulders and boogied beside an airplane hangar at the Thermal Airport. And at times it seemed that many were desperately searching for or were already on that "blue stuff"...we were just happy seeing Jesse Pinkman...I mean Aaron Paul...
KH: The gals of Team Fauxchella were treated to a make up glam session at the Glamsquad tent. Lovely ladies and gents offered up both makeup and hair fixins and we indulged in both, thank you very much! Glued on rhinestone?! Yes! The glitter on my eyelids sparkled under the colorful carnival lights.
The ultimate must not miss for us was the BIG YELLOW SLIDE. Yes we raced. And yes one of us cheated and still lost! Argh!! Conciliatory margaritas for all racers quickly eased the woes of losing and then it was off to the next activity. Pop chips were plentifully available all over, however we did notice the absence of actual food, which was a unanimous point against the night’s festivities. Coolhaus ice cream sandwiches were on site as an alternative to super spicy pop chips but c’mon ice cream sandwiches with your tequila? uhhhh puke puke.
AD: If you’re a festival-junkie then one of the positive things you’ll get from the highly-buzzed about carnival is that you can have a full blown stuck-in-the-middle-of-a-massive-crowd experience without ever stepping foot into Coachella. Thankfully the weather didn’t bring any sand storms like last year’s carnival.
RK: Eventually the carnival turned into quite the packed event, like a sold out night at the Avalon or Playhouse in Hollywood, which was Team Fauxchella’s cue to take our leave. To give you an idea of how badly people wanted to get in, Neon security made sure to cut of everyone’s wristbands upon exiting so that there was no chance of reselling them or handing them off to the many people that asked us for our wristbands as we made our dusty journey to the car.
(copy by: Rich Kim: RK / Kimberly Hall: KH / Alyssa Dominguez: AD / photos by: RK, KH & Getty)