Guantanamo Bay-Themed Coachella Party Shot Down

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The controversial party’s original flier.

The controversial party’s original flier.

While Coachella has grown into one of America’s premiere music festivals, the sheer size and influence of the massive event has turned it into something of a marketer’s dream. While A-list musical acts perform over three days in Indio, CA, the surrounding area (including Palm Springs) turns into a party and event hub with record labels, brands and advertisers of all stripes staking their claim on the thousands of concertgoers in town for the weekend.

While it can take a lot to stand out in the endless field of Coachella-related party invitations, L.A. fashion magazine Flaunt pushed things to an extreme with a party called “New Guantanamo,” with an event flier (seen to the left) featuring scantily-clad models brandishing assault rifles with promises of “pleasurable torture.”

Fashion website Refinery29 was quick to call out the questionable party theme, labeling it “completely absurd.”

As word spread about the party, event sponsor Smashbox responded that they had no idea that the party would have a Guantanamo Bay theme, and that after speaking with Flaunt reps, announced that the magazine had agreed to change the name and artwork.

“When we saw the flier going around, a few of our clients emailed us and we saw some of the Twitter news, we were like, ‘what’s going on?’” Dee Delara, Smashbox’s vice-president of marketing and creative, told “At that point, we had discussed with Flaunt changing the event theme and after reading their comments to the press, we decided to pull out.”


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