5 Ways Coachella Art Is So Much More Than Just a Backdrop

When you think about the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, you think about all the great singers, bands and DJs who play at the giant concert. And while music is obviously one of the biggest draws of the event, the art fixtures spread throughout the polo fields are just as much a part of the celebration as anything else.

We don’t know what kind of planning goes on behind the scenes when organizers decide what art to display each year, but we wouldn’t be surprised if each piece has a bigger intended purpose than simply serving as a visual treat.

As we walked from one act to another during the first weekend of the festival, we took note of all the different ways attendees were interacting with the sculptures and other various art works.

Below we list a few of the ways the art installations at Coachella are so much more than just a backdrop. Scroll through the slideshow above to see each piece listed below.


Christain Ristow’s “Becoming Human” is a huge red robot sculpture, and struck us as a cross between Iron Man and the humanoid robot Asimo. The piece sits in the middle of the field, holding a flower in its hand and is also often used as a meeting spot for festival-goers, many of whom make use of the elevation by climbing on its feet to spot their friends after shows.

“Lightweaver” by Alexis Rochas is a site to behold. The colorful twisted geometric sculpture resembles a giant pretzel, and is also used by attendees as a shaded spot during the hottest part of the day.

“CryoChrome” by James Peterson is as interactive as it gets. Viewers are invited to walk through a revolving structure. It’s a little trippy and can slightly throw you off balance, but the powder pink petal design inside provides for a nice photo opp.

“Squared” by Charlie Gadekan resembles giant sugar cubes on sticks, but is an entirely different beast when it lights up at night. For those making use of mind-altering substances, the light show is surely a great addition to elevate the experience.

“Caterpillar” by Mike Grandaw may be the most convenient area in the whole place. First of all, it’s a great shaded spot to find refuge from the hot desert sun beating down on you. It’s also between a couple of tents so you can still enjoy live music while relaxing. There are bathrooms nearby as well as food and drink booths so you can grab snacks as friends hold your spot. It’s also a nice backdrop for photos. It’s an all-in-one.