Deep in the California desert on the first weekend of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, the largest temporary geodesic projection dome in the world, built by HP, opened a portal to another world. The dome was light years away from the hot sun and bustling crowds outside with its cool, cavernous inside and pliable yet supportive seating. As music fans settled in to view a 360-degree music video for the dreamily propulsive “Underwater” by Australian electronic and live band RÜFÜS DU SOL, the track’s opening synthesizers swelled from the speakers placed throughout the space. Everyone hushed and looked up at the jaw-dropping images arcing on the vast screen overhead, all the while rocking slightly back and forth in time with the song’s steady kick drum and rumbling bass.
For 20 years, Coachella has brought people together through its confluence of music, art and technology, driven by festivalgoers’ ever-increasing desire to get their hands on innovative and engaging products and be immersed in a shared experience. In its third year as the festival’s tech sponsor, HP delivered stunning visual experiences in the 11,000-square-foot Antarctic Dome, as well as the opportunity for festivalgoers to experiment and express their own creativity through technology.
“There are great festivals that happen all throughout the year,” says Daryl Butler, head of marketing for U.S. consumer personal systems at HP. “None of them can boast of having the kind of gravitational pull that Coachella has.”
Festivals are an ideal environment for the convergence of tech and humanity because attendees arrive already open to trying new things – whether it’s seeing an artist for the first time, meeting other music fans from different places or experiencing the mind-altering mechanics of technology at the vanguard. At festivals, adds Butler, “We get the chance to talk about how the product can be used based on how this consumer is living their lives.”