An inside look through the gates of Desert Beach Club, one of Coachella's most exclusive parties
Weekend one of Coachella has become the golden standard for the hottest, most exclusive parties of the year. Celebrities, influencers and big-name company owners and CEOs fly in from all over the world to stop by the world-renown party scene to see and to be seen.
Perhaps no party during Coachella is more talked about or more exclusive than the Velocity Black Desert Beach Club Presented by V Magazine, Mate Bikes and Nana Judy, created by 1OAK LA’s co-owner Darren Dzienciol.
1OAK, which cleverly stands for “one of a kind”, is one of the most sought-after clubs to end up at in LA and in New York, with its signature catchphrase “Ended up at 1OAK” blasted on the walls in neon signage upon entering the club area to remind you of just that.
But no matter how stellar 1OAK’s reputation may be to the wealthy and the in-the-know city crowds, Dzienciol wants attendees to make no mistake that Desert Beach Club is “Not just a 1OAK party.”
“I’ve been coming to Coachella for at least 12 to 13 years, maybe longer — I’ve been doing parties here for at least 10 years and we created Desert Beach Club three years ago,” Dzienciol tells us.
Clearly no stranger to the scene, Dzienciol, who has “owned other clubs in the past and would set up outposts of those at Coachella,” has created an entirely new beast with Desert Beach Club, one that exists in an elite realm of its own, reputation proceeding.
When you first walk in to the three-day-long event, you forget that you’re in the crowded, overtaken-by-festival-tourists city of Palm Springs and instantly feel your entire mood and vibe shift from the inevitable traffic you probably hit on the way over.
“We kind of spread it out a little bit just so it doesn’t get too packed in one area,” Dzienciol explains of the event set-up.
This year’s venue was L’Horizon, a high-end, bungalow-style hotel complete with stoned paths, grassy patches and a perfectly sized pool — almost as if you were in the backyard of someone’s estate.
“Hey man, no bikes on the grass” Dzienciol mentioned to a party goer attempting to take a Mate bike for a spin on the grassy area of the venue. It's clear that this isn’t your average free-for-all, wild festival party with people spilling drinks and party-scene-inducing debauchery; there is a notion of tranquility and being civilized while still partying hard, a delicate balance to attain.
“We wanted guests to feel like they’re in the French Riviera .. resort-like, glamorous,” he tells us, “The opposite of what you’d find at your average, over-crowded Coachella party.”
Dzienciol himself is exactly the embodiment of the vibe that the party intends to convey — looking effortlessly cool in sunglasses and a printed, short-sleeved button-down, he doesn’t have to dress in obnoxious festival garb or in-your-face designer logos to grab attention and let people know that he’s important — it’s simply understood, which is how it goes for all of the guests at Desert Beach Club.
It’s that level of exclusivity that so many parties at Coachella aim to achieve but somehow fall short of.
Perhaps the perfect Coachella party for A-list celebrities and influencers isn’t one with a massive guest list that solely aims to get the biggest names in the industry to stop by for a quick promotional photo or Instagram story, but to have what feels like an intimate gathering through a network of people who already know each other — well, an intimate gathering that includes bottle service, Wagyu beef sliders and IV drips.
Dzienciol lets us know that the guest list is based around “1OAK’s biggest supporters, people who have supported the club since day one” which, without naming names, Dzienciol alludes, “Well, you’ll see them when they get here. You’ll know.”
And if you know, you know.
In the past, these guests have included countless celebrities and influencers, like Alessandra Ambrosio, Madonna, Kanye West, Travis Scott, Rihanna and Kendall Jenner, just to name a casual few.
This year, guests were treated to intimate performances by Miguel and Daya, with other notable Hollywood A-listers partying poolside with table service amongst their friends as if it were just another night out at their favorite hotspot.
Guests also included the founders and owners from two of Desert Beach Club’s sponsors, MATE (a sustainable electric bike company) and Nana Judy (an Australian-based clothing company).
As we were introduced to the respective owners, it once again became clear that this party was more of an elite hangout for people that already knew each other— there was nothing overly formal or corporate about the company owners hanging out there, nothing felt forced.
The party was also sponsored by Velocity Black, dubbed the ‘world’s most exclusive concierge and experiential company’ which lived up to its description from the moment we checked in at the door next to the valet service — we were given a phone number by one of the employees working the party and were told to immediately contact him with anything we may need once inside.
For many guests, these needs included bottle service alongside massages and IV drips provided by Soothe.
Though there were photo activations and plenty of Instagram-mable spaces at the venue (a photo activation booth next to one of the poolside daybeds featured a trippy background with an image of Lady Gaga), nothing felt created solely for social media — a feat that’s difficult to achieve at a festival where the party scene has essentially become synonymous with over-curated social content.
Models and influencers lounged poolside among guests who were treated to top-notch food selections (the tuna tartare was to die for) and cocktails by Elyx — not mention unlimited rosé which guests never had to wait for, thanks to the 4+bars set up throughout the property.
As we walked around and throughout the party, we couldn’t help but wonder (cue Carrie Bradshaw voice), were we still in Palm Springs or had we, in fact, been transported to Monaco?
Part of that tranquil, glamorous feel had to do with the sound systems installed around the ground, Dzienciol explained, “Most parties, if you actually look closely, you’ll see five or six big speakers that are just blasting music — it’s overwhelming. The concept of this is just that the speakers are everywhere so it's surround sound, crystal clarity. Anywhere you go it will sound exactly the same.”
This included the speaker set by the main stage behind the pool, where a giant, clear floating pall floated on the surface, Dzienciol casually pointing out that it would soon be filled by a “Cirque de Soleil-inspired acrobatic act.”
Nearly on cue just five minutes later, without any noise or fuss, a beautiful woman appeared inside the ball and began performing.
It’s hard to top an event like this, even when you’re the owner of one of LA’s most reputable nightclubs.
So it comes as no surprise that Dzienciol has a new project in the wings which takes the level of exclusivity from Desert Beach Club straight through the doors of 1OAK:
“We’re opening a place called ‘Forever and Ever’ inside of 1OAK. It’s going to be a new, private VIP room for 150 people … We’re going to serve food, [the decor will be] all pink and super pretty — every girl is going to love it.”
But why stop there?
“I’m also opening up a private members club for LA’s ‘who’s-who’ …10,000 feet, three levels with a rooftop.”
And if you think you’ve already heard of one or two of these type of clubs across the world, Dzienciol can assure you that this will be different: “It’s not SoHo house. You can’t come in with a computer, I’ll throw your a*s out — it’s a social place.”
Of course, it’s not one hundred percent impossible to make it on to Dzienciol’s lists, right?
When we ask him how your Average Joe might find his way with a Desert Beach Club RSVP, Dzienciol cooly replies:
“Come visit us in LA, come to my nightclub, work your way up and maybe you’ll be invited here.”
Until then, keep feeling the FOMO on Instagram.