Blade, the Uber for those who want to get to short-distance places quicker by booking a helicopter, will be back in action through its West Coast operation in time to shuttle attendees to the Coachella Festival, kicking off this weekend.
The festival, which is spread over two weekends, features a multitude of acts including Beyoncé, A Perfect Circle, The Weeknd, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Tyler, the Creator, Eminem, Portugal. The Man, Fleet Foxes, St. Vincent, David Byrne, Greta Van Fleet, Jamiroquai, Migos and Post Malone, among others.
As it has in the two years prior, Blade, the brainchild of former music industry executive Rob Wiesenthal, will be scheduling departures from downtown Los Angeles or Santa Monica and flying festival goers to the Thermal Airport in Thermal, Calif. right outside Palm Springs, a 45-minute trek that will cost $775 one way. Festival attendees in the Palm Springs area can fly via Blade to Thermal Airport for $415.
According to a Blade spokeswoman, the company’s helicopter service offers a convenient way to avoid the five-plus hour trek by car to the festival. Moreover, for people in the music industry like artist managers, it’s an easy way to attend the festival to support their bands when performing without having to commit to a whole weekend. Other than concert attendees, industry executives and artist managers, some Coachella performers have used Blade to get to the festival in the past, and are likely to do so again, the Blade spoke.swoman said in a statement
In Palm Springs, fliers land at the Drai’s Desert Lounge, which is designed in a 1960s-themed outdoor living room, and also houses the Casa Dragones Tequila Bar where a DJ will be spinning. Fliers also will be shuttled to the festival from the airport in BMWs, which will be on the move all weekend. That will make it easier for those who want a break from the festival to attend a Saturday Night party hosted by Ray Nicholson, son of the famous actor Jack, for the premiere of a BLADE LA television commercial directed by Elliot Wolf, himself the scion of another Hollywood personality, director Dick Wolf.
In a new move, this year Blade will be using what are considered quiet helicopters, the Airbus EC-130, which happen to be a new investor in Blade. Next month, Blade — which is also backed by media execs Barry Diller, David Zaslav, Bob Pittman and Eric Schmidt — will open an operation in Dallas, joining its current setups in L.A., New York and Miami.