Bernie Sanders Supporters Plan "Berniechella" Music Festival
The free two-day block party will take place before the second weekend of Coachella (April 21-22) in Old Town Coachella.
If nothing else, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is proving that he's got the indie rock vote sewn up. On the heels of Wednesday night's massive rally in New York's Washington Square Park, headlined by Vampire Weekend, comes news of the Berniechella Block Party. The two-day festival, slated to take place before the second weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (April 21-22) in Old Town Coachella, Calif., will feature Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros singer Alex Ebert, Ozomatli, Grupo La Meta, Rodrigo Amarante, Moses Summey and Venus & the Moon as well as DJ sets from actress Zoe Kravitz and artist Shepard Fairey.
The free event will also have beer gardens, food trucks and live art and installations and is expected to draw up to 3,000 people. "It’s a party of people who are in support of a particular candidate," event organizer Tizoc DeAztlan told the Desert Sun. DeAztlan said he's reached out to the Sanders campaign and hopes the candidate shows up, but the Democratic nominee has not yet responded.
“This is the first time since I’ve been here on this dais and the first time in the Coachella Valley that the campaign of a presidential candidate is willing to do an event,” said Mayor Steven Hernandez, who noted the city is not on the hook for any expenses related to the mini-fest. “I think it’s good for us. It’s good for democracy, and it’s good for the city.”
On Thursday, veteran campaign staffer Rania Batrice, the Sanders campaign's national director of surrogates, told Billboard that the campaign reaches out to artists for events like Wednesday night's, where Vampire Weekend played a four-song set at a free nighttime rally in Washington Square Park, as well as Sunday's free concert in Brooklyn's Prospect Park with a performance from Grizzly Bear and Monday's TV On the Radio gig at Long Island City's Hunter's Point South Park.
Other times, Batrice said, artists, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, have set up their own events in support of the senator.
This article first appeared on Billboard.com.