In addition to killer performances and high fashion, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA, this year April 13-15 and April 20-22, spawns an array of notable parties and special events. For many, the T-Mobile Indio Invasion Powered by Pandora is at the top of that list. This year, in addition to dj sets from Mia Moretti, Jim E. Stack and headliner Dillon Francis, the brands offered myriad photo ops and a “Trojan Horse” moment at the chic Cree Estate to engage Los Angles-area Pandora listeners, clients and media.

For those lucky enough to gain entry to the coveted free event, the experience began at an entryway featuring lush greenery and garlands of faux magenta bougainvillea and white wisteria. Then it was over to the co-branded step and repeat for the first photo op of the event.

Once inside, attendees could lounge in a custom-designed tent comprised of ribbons in various shades of pink that created an ombre effect, and featuring stylish rugs, branded pillows and baskets of branded beach towels. Those looking for a little more action could head over to the Gaming Lounge to play classic lawn games like cornhole, Ping-Pong and croquet.


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Attendees seeking to perfect their festival look could also hit up one of the glam stations at the Braid and Glitter Bar where beauty experts sprinkled festivalgoers with glitter, bejeweled their skin and braided their hair.

Other highlights from the event included craft cocktails containing branded popsicles, a Magenta Dessert Bar (a nod to T-Mobile’s signature color) featuring hand-spun magenta cotton candy, custom mini cakes with hand-painted magenta piñatas, magenta macaroons, branded cookies and candies.

The highlight of this year’s Indio Invasion, however, was a “Trojan Horse” moment featuring a colorful donkey named Gerald. Inspired by headliner Dillon Francis’ “pet” piñata, Pandora and T-Mobile ran with the concept, erecting an eight-foot-tall by six-foot-wide replica Gerald installation, complete with T-Mobile’s #AreYouWithUs messaging. The display served as a popular photo op—until it was time for the main act. As Dillon took the stage, the brands set off magenta-colored smoke bombs just as the piñata’s chest opened up, unleashing hundreds of mini magenta Geralds. The objects ultimately took on a life of their own, popping up all across the Coachella grounds throughout the weekend.

“We look at all of our events as a real opportunity for social engagement and social sharing,” says Liz Brochhausen, senior manager-experiential marketing and live Production at Pandora. “As event professionals we understand that social sharing is kind of what helps our event live on past the time the doors close. So we really tried to develop various touchpoints throughout the event that, if we were going as guests, would socially share those things out.” Agency: The Visionary Group, Los Angeles.

 

Inside T-Mobile and Pandora’s Fourth Annual Indio Invasion:

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