By now, you have heard that the critically acclaimed Bradley Cooper / Lady Gaga film A Star is Born was filmed at both the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals. But, without another Indio festival, Desert Trip, it’s quite possible the film may have never happened.
Billboard has the details on how Cooper, who plays Jackson Maine in the movie, attended the 3-day festival at the Empire Polo Club and how it influenced the making of A Star is Born:
Maine makes his entrance in A Star Is Born on the Palomino Stage of Stagecoach, and every one of his steps is immediately weighted in recognition. The country music festival sprawls across the same stretch of Palm Desert turf as Coachella, and in the fall of 2016 — months before Cooper and company borrowed a few minutes from Willie Nelson’s set to film Maine’s fictional one — he attended the classic rock gathering Desert Trip on those same grounds, where he watched Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real back Neil Young.
In A Star Is Born, Cooper fuses fact and fantasy, paces from where he came up with the idea: onscreen, Nelson plays Maine’s sideman, but on set, Nelson was Cooper’s right hand as far as the music and the playing of it was concerned, as he was brought onboard to consult after Cooper saw him perform. Maine and Nelson trade slicing solos as the full Palomino Tent roars their approval, and it’s all over in a flash before Maine ducks into a waiting SUV where he unscrews the cap of a bottle and breathes. The scene is important, but not just because the execution is flawless and the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it pacing is perfect: It’s a direct nod to Nelson’s contributions and a reminder that this whole epic wouldn’t be unfolding had Cooper not watched the guitarist deftly handle “Harvest Moon” just a few months prior and a couple hundred feet away.
What I am saying is: please bring Desert Trip back in 2019. Hell, have Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper perform and bring it full circle!
I’ll go ahead and continue to keep my Desert Trip app, just in case.