Ah yes, the big indie rock festival. Every year it seems like there’s more of them and every year they all seem to get bigger and bigger. And as the indie rock fests get more ubiquitous, we can begin to discern some patterns, some reoccurring themes consistent between them all. Despite the differences in geography, in lineup, in associated costs ($7 showers, Bonnaroo?!) they’re all the same on the inside: a large, diverse gathering of the hip and the trying hard to be, the creative and the crazed, bands, fans and everyone in between.
And cameras. And where there’s a lot of people with cameras there’s bound to be celebrities.
Now, we’re not saying that we don’t think all celebrities are just there for the exposure. Some of them probably just want to experience the event like the rest of us. Some are even there to work. But, given the number of celebrities that attend the big fests, seeing an A-lister at Coachella or SXSW isn’t that special. In fact, we can kind of narrow down the kinds of celebrities you’d see at any of these festivals into one of three sub-groups: The Genuine Fan, The Delightful Interloper and the On The Jobber.
The Genuine Fan
Some celebrities actually enjoy indie rock, believe it or not. They’re there to get grimy, dance, sway to the music and possibly partake in illicit substances just like the rest of us. That said, they generally look better doing it. Drew Barrymore made a big splash in 2009 at Bonnaroo covered in body paint and with a feather in her hair.
These days the odds of running into an A-lister who’s just there to watch at any given festival is pretty good, whether it’s Hayden Panettiere or Perez Hilton at Lollapalooza 2010 or Beyoncé at Bonnaroo 2010. Even some of the bands can be a little starstruck at times.
The Delightful Interloper
If you’ve been to enough shows or big festivals, then you know this individual: it’s the guy or gal that doesn’t really look like they belong. It could be their clothes, their age or the way they’re taking in the music. Something about them has a certain air that screams to everyone else there, “I don’t belong”. That said, the celebrities that fit this bill at festivals are always awesome.
Danny Devito is a Coachella fixture; it feels like he’s there every year. And there’s a pretty good chance you’d run into him too, whether he’s backstage with Robyn, tripping balls to Deadmau5 or cavorting with cast members from our favorite kid’s show Yo Gabba Gabba. You can check out the clip of that last one below. The moment when the two world’s collide is short but sweet.
Jeff Goldblum is another great example and he’s got one up on Devito as he actually performed at Coachella this year! Well, in the parking lot at Coachella. But still! And who knew he was so jazzy?
On The Jobber
Some celebs are just there to work and we’re not just talking about the musicians. These types have become more and more frequent and are generally spotted at the festivals that have a heavy focus on the industry side of music. Case in point: SXSW. That festival probably has the greatest amount of star power per capita with the different actors, directors and producers floating around and doing promo. Usually they’ll do a little promo, maybe have some fan interaction and catch a set or two and head home and that will be that. But sometimes things can get a little hairy. Like when a fan tried to take a picture of Jake Gyllenhaal at South By… when they were both in the bathroom. Come on man, in the men’s room? Is nowhere sacred anymore?