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‘Berniechella’: Sanders Supporters Host Block Party in Coachella

“Berniechella” is coming to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival next week, where participants hope to encourage music lovers to “feel the Bern.”

Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are hosting the Sanders Block Party on April 21 and April 22, sandwiching the event between the two weekends when the world famous Coachella festival is scheduled to take place. (The first weekend is taking place this Friday through Sunday. The second part of the festival is slated to take place the weekend of April 22.)

“This is the first time since I’ve been here on this dais and the first time in the Coachella Valley that the campaign of a presidential candidate is willing to do an event,” Coachella Valley Mayor Steven Hernandez Hernandez told the Desert Sun. “I think it’s good for us. It’s good for democracy and it’s good for the city,” he said. Hernandez and city council members hope the block party will provide a boost for the local economy.

Tickets to Coachella cost anywhere between $75 to $10,000. But like Sanders’ plan for “free community college,” the Sanders Block Party is a free event for those who wish to attend the outdoor party. It promises beer gardens, food trucks and art installations. A flier for the event says DJ’s Shepard Farley and Zoe Kravitz will also be performing among artists like Venus and the Moon.

According to the Sun, between 1,500 and 3,000 people are expected to show up although similar events nationwide have attracted as many as 10,000 people. “Berniechella” organizers are hoping some of the traffic from Coachella will spill over into their free block party and help them persuade more attendees to consider their candidate of choice.

Mayor Hernandez said he would be open to hosting democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton for an event in Coachella too, telling the Sun, “I’d love to see Hillary here too.”

The Sanders Block Party is taking place on Thursday, April 21 from 5 p.m. to midnight and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 22. Participants can “feel the bern” on Grapefruit Boulevard and Vine Street in Old Town Coachella.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.

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