The Latina-founded alcohol-free drink shop, The New Bar, became Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival’s first non-alcoholic partner. With alcohol consumption on the decline especially with Gen Z and Millenials, The New Bar has validated the need for fun nonalcoholic options at mainstream events like Coachella after experiencing steady lines both weekends. Coachella also debuted a dedicated camping site for #soberchella patrons. In addition to the full nonalcoholic bars within Indio Central Market and 12 Peaks VIP, The New Bar curated alcohol-free drinks backstage at Do LaB, within Outstanding In The Field’s dinner series and at the Safari Campgrounds.
“We really wanted to put an effort into creating more complex offerings for folks. There are so many great non-alcoholic options out there now, and it’s easy to re-create all the popular cocktails. Sharing moments and memories with people doesn’t always have to include booze and we wanted to be mindful of those who choose an alcohol-free lifestyle,” shared Lizzy Curnen, Director of Food & Beverage at Goldenvoice.
Founder of The New Bar, Brianda Gonzalez, has seen the rise of sober curiosity over the past couple of years with Americans reassessing how alcohol shows up in their lives. “We’ve reached a point where this trend can no longer be ignored or dismissed as a fad. A lot of venues and organizations are starting to realize that serving these customers and providing more inclusive, exciting alternatives for them is a no-brainer. Coachella has always been at the forefront of music, culture, and over the past few years, increasingly innovative food and beverage programs. They’re deeply committed to providing an inclusive experience for a diverse set of concert-goers, so partnering with us to bring non alc to the festival just made sense.”
The New Bar wanted to design something that felt like a natural extension of its brand and ethos. The flagship store in Venice, holds a punchy visual identity that makes anyone who visits The New Bar feel at home. The New Bar at Indio Central Market featured a wavy red bar like the Venice flagship. “We built-in capacity for seating at the bar and added display shelves to highlight bottles of our partner brands’ spirits and wines. Our booth in 12 Peaks VIP was painted New Bar red and definitely stood out amongst a sea of neutrals. We wanted to create a space people felt comfortable hanging out at – somewhere they’d easily recognize and use as a landmark to meet up with friends over and over throughout the weekend,” Gonzalez added.
Notable patrons over weekend one include Vogue’s April cover star Cara Delevingne, who became a regular at the VIP bar ordering Seedlip’s Field Day and Spiritless’ Mojave Agave cocktails, as well as former NFL player RK Russell and dancer Corey O’Brien which both enjoyed French Bloom’s Super Bloom cocktail and Le Rosé pours. Canned drinks from HOP WTR, Hiyo and Kin Euphorics were also present at the bar.
For the non-alcoholic brands who are paving the way for this new category being present at Coachella gave them the opportunity to be in connection with their target customers. “Not only is Coachella the premier music festival in the US, but it’s also a bellwether for summer trends. At Spiritless, we’re not just looking to grow brand awareness, we’re striving to make social events and gatherings more inclusive,” shared Spiritless Co-founder Lauren Chitwood. French Bloom Co-Founder, Maggie Frerejean-Taittinger also shared the same sentiment. “French Bloom aims to revolutionize cultural gatherings and show that celebration can be both inclusive and limitless. It makes total sense for us to be on the bar at this globally recognized festival which brings together hundreds of thousands of people to make connections and build community.”
Gonzalez shared that the response was beyond what they had expected. “We knew this activation would be appreciated and well received, but we were blown away by the words of encouragement and gratitude we heard from customers. So many sober folks shared how they’d felt “othered” for staying sober in festival environments before. Now they don’t have to. We also had a lot of customers who just didn’t want to be hungover day over day and felt excited to try something new. Unlike alcoholic bars, where even the heaviest drinkers reach a limit, we had countless customers return to The New Bar for drinks 5 – 7 times a day! We were also so excited to see AEG embrace this partnership wholeheartedly. This year, after seeing the heartwarming response to our partnership, they launched sober campsites on the festival grounds for the first time.”