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Coachella 2022: How Jewish concert-goers celebrate Passover at the festival

“I smuggled a thigh bone into Coachella,” Nate Auerbach said Friday as he stood in front of Coachella’s VIP rose garden amid hordes of partygoers dressed in sparkly dresses. “Most people sneak in… other things.”

Auerbach — a partner at Versus Creative, a marketing company that powers the social content for Coachella amid other Goldenvoice events — was preparing to host a Seder, the traditional Jewish meal for the first night of Passover, at Outstanding in the Field, the $275 per person dinner series held each night in the VIP area of ​​the festival. He secured a ticketing partnership with the dinner organizers, worked out a grant with a Jewish organization to help offset some of the costs, made a flyer promoting a $75 seder in the VIP area and sold dozens of tickets as a dinner pop-up. prepared by chefs Diego Hernandez and Donnie Masterson.

Danny Elfman’s manager Laura Engel and her family also bought tickets: daughter Rachel sent the flyer with the text “Shall we do that?” to the family’s SMS chain. Her other daughter, Hannah, responded in a way only a seasoned Coachella vet would: “I say yes, but it’s so hard because the set times haven’t ended.”

coachella passover

That difficult timing played out as attendees took breaks from dinner to catch surprise act Arcade Fire on the nearby Mojave stage between bites of their meals. Unlike a traditional Seder – with a very specific menu and a lengthy perusal of the Haggadah, the story of Moses’ journey from Egypt to Israel – this one was far more casual, with a non-kosher menu set long before Auerbach’s partnership, a 4th -page self-read Haggadah distributed to guests, and a quick candle-lighting and prayer amid much chatter from attendees.

Range Music managing partner Evan Winiker gave his signature hugs during the first course of smoked marlin pie with avocado hummus before dashing back to the field to catch his client Cordae’s set. Red Light’s Jason Colton and his family stopped by as plates of bluefin tuna were being handed out to say hello to old friends. Rapper Kosha Dillz rolled by in full Moses regalia to eat a matzo before rushing to his own pop-up Passover service, Matzachella. Engel’s husband, musician Jimmie Wood, eventually got up and sang an improvised version of the traditional Passover song “Let My People Go.”

“There are many people who sacrifice their Passover to be here,” Auerbach said. “They’re not looking for the austere food or the ceremony or any of that — they’re looking for the vibe of a family dinner. You can get together [with friends and strangers] and be a family on the first night of Coachella—which is also the first night of Passover.”

Auerbach wasn’t the only Jewish attendee looking for that connection: Dillz’s Matzachella event is an offshoot of his Shabbat services in the pop-up parking lot at Coachellas in the past, and chefs Eric Greenspan and Burt Bakman actually cook more traditional multi-course seder dinner at Outstanding in the Field on Sunday (“We thought Kanye was going to do Sunday services so we could do Sunday seders,” Greenspan said. “I guess he got shaken up.”) And there were a lot of passers-by, who didn’t even know the event was happening, who, upon seeing the one traditional Seder plate that Auerbach had set up in acknowledgment of tradition, mentioned how proud their parents were that Passover was taking place in the field.

Passover Coachella 2022

At the end of the day, though, dinner was about connection—that’s what actress and musician Idalia Valles and her partner Jessie Sachs, who leads mindfulness practices at Coachella for the meditation app Open, found out.

“We made friends with people [at the dinner] that we will meet when we get home,” Valles said. “They could move into the house in front of us – they could be our neighbors!”

https://variety.com/2022/music/news/coachella-2022-passover-1235233982/ Coachella 2022: How Jewish concert-goers celebrate Passover at the festival

Charles Jones

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