A Look At The Innovations At This Year's Coachella, In GIFs

There are a few times each year when your Instagram feed is overrun by the same image. Late January, it was all about the Women's March. Come May, there will be a proliferation of Cinco de Mayo posts. And for two weekends each April, Coachella gets its moment as the event every influencer is talking about.

It should come as no surprise then, that many brands have partnered with the festival on both large and small-scale projects. This year, HP, Coachella's official tech sponsor, had an interesting challenge: Create on-site activities that fit with the festival's vibe and are cool enough to pull a crowd away from the event's main draw: the music.

As a guest of the brand, I flew out to Indio, CA to see the tech company's Coachella installations first-hand. Ahead, an insider's look at some of the most Instagram-worthy innovations on-site.

Photo: Madeline Buxton.
Of all the Coachella fashion staples — bralette tops and branded kicks, included — the bandana reigns supreme. Thanks to the magic of a digital pen, Windows Ink software, and one massive printer, you can create your own from scratch. The total process, from design to finished printed product, takes about an hour and a half. If you're in Indio for weekend two of the festival, head to the HP Lounge, a white domed structure near the Yuma tent, where the printer is housed.

An added bonus for those who stopped by last weekend: Nashville's Lennon Stella was on-hand to demonstrate how to edit photos on HP's Sprocket, an instant printer that fits in the palm of your hand. Her pro tips: Always add stickers (your options include everything from hearts to cocktails), and take and print photos with new people you meet at the festival.
Photo: Courtesy of HP.
In a pitch black room in the back of the lounge, artist Eric Paré set up shop. Paré is known as one of the pioneering figures behind light painting. While you stand perfectly still, surrounded by dozens of cameras set to a specific exposure time (the artist typically sticks to a one to three-second timeframe), Paré stands behind you, "drawing" with light. The resulting GIF is a surreal 120-degree animation.
Photo: Madeline Buxton.
The drones that helped Lady Gaga supercharge her Super Bowl halftime show were back in flying form at weekend one of Coachella. This time, they flew in rainbow patterns, forming tornado-like cyclones, a ferris wheel, and other designs in the sky to the left of the main stage.

The 300 HP and Intel-powered drones included Intel's Shooting Star drone, which was released last November and made for "entertainment light shows." The subtext here: Expect to see far more drone parties illuminating the sky at upcoming sports and music events.
Photo: Madeline Buxton.
From the outside, The Antarctic, a gigantic 11,000-square foot dome on the outskirts of festival grounds, resembles an oversized igloo.

Inside, the air-conditioned hub offers what feels like a 360-degree IMAX experience. When you enter, you sit on beanbags that are arranged in concentric circles around the room. Then, look up!

All around and above you is an animated projection created by artist Android Jones. The "digital painter" has previously had his projections featured on the Sydney Opera House and the Empire State Building. His work fits in well at Coachella: The pulsing music and trippy animations in the brief show could be the background video for one of the festival's EDM acts.