Congratulations, we’ve made it everyone—we’ve finally reached Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival’s first weekend of 2023. As celebrities and festival goers alike parade around the Empire Polo Club, presumably to flaunt their carefully curated outfits and take Instagram-worthy pictures rather than actually make time to see some of the incredible artists featured on the event’s lineup, most of us are left with having to watch from the sidelines, aka through our social media feeds.
But this collective FOMO has not gone unnoticed by the people behind the popular music festival. In 2022, we saw a Coachella-themed fashion item drop in Fortnite. This year, the festival has expanded even further into gaming with the launch of Coachella Island, a new destination in Fortnite where players are invited to virtually experience the event.
Coachella Island launched on Friday 14 April, aka the festival’s first day IRL. If you’re keen to go and check the digital rendition of the event for yourself, gamers can find the new destination via the ‘Epic’s Picks’ Discover row in Fortnite or by simply typing in the island code, 5449-4207-12803.
The island has a virtual merch tent and ‘Art Park’, along with desert skies, mountains, Polo Fields and palm trees inspired by the festival’s iconic landscape. Art Park features virtual replicas of the festival’s most recognised art installations, which Fortnite community creators recreated.
This includes the Coachella Ferris Wheel (also often described as “the hottest hook-up spot”), Spectra, an architectural installation inspired by the sunrise and sunset of the event’s desert, balloon chains, as well as two new art installations debuting at this year’s festival.
Similar to 2022 players can purchase Coachella-inspired outfits and in-game items in the Fortnite Item Shop. There are two new outfits for 2023, dubbed ‘Sunset Alto’ and ‘Desert Dawn Lyric’.
The Sunset Alto outfit includes an orange tank top, shorts, and a beach hat. “It comes with a bonus Aurora Visualizer alt style that reacts to music, a reactive Sunset Swirl Back Bling and Crystalline Cactus Pickaxe,” TechCrunch added, whatever that means.
Meanwhile, the Desert Dawn Lyric outfit includes a graphic tee, and comes “with the reactive Aurora Visualizer alt style, an Airflow Vibes Back Bling and Electropalm Staff Pickaxe.” Sadly, no thigh highs or chaps were featured in the outfit packages.
The music-reactive elements play songs by two of this year’s festival’s top performers, Bad Bunny and Burna Boy. Gamers can also participate in creator-made music and art experiences like minigames and quests.
“The future of in-game music and art experiences should not mimic the real-world, but reimagine the magic and make it more accessible via a new medium,” said Sam Schoonover, innovation lead for Coachella, in a statement.
“We believe that the best way to do that is to enable and empower artists to show us the way. Just like the festival IRL is a stage for musicians, Coachella Island is now a canvas for gaming creators. Fortnite provides the tools needed to invite creators and fans to participate in this creative process,” Schoonover concluded.
If you were hoping to spot any celebrities, even if only digitally, unfortunately, I’ve got some bad news for you. There’ll be no sightings of Timothée Chalamet or rumoured love interest Kylie Jenner on Coachella Island. Hopefully, however, we’ll be able to get our hands on some smooching pictures of them at the actual event.