Coachella's 'Guantanamo' Party Draws Jeers

'Pleasurable torture' event apparently seemed like a good idea

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 9, 2013 9:12 AM CDT

(Newser) – This year's Coachella music festival was set to feature a Guantanamo-themed party, complete with "pleasurable torture," according to an invitation revealed at Refinery29. Media sites and the Twitterverse immediately piled scorn on the idea, and a sponsor, Smashbox Studios, has now pulled out, the Daily Intelligencer reports. An announcement for "New Guantanamo" called it a "unique and painfully pleasurable pop-up experience."

"The idea of a New Guantanamo isn't playful or cheeky—it's completely antithetical to the spirit of Coachella—or fun, or any sort of festival experience, whatsoever," writes Leila Brillson at Refinery29. MyCoachella reports that the event's name has now been changed to "Night Shift." Last night, sponsor Flaunt magazine said it had sought "to create an atmosphere of fun, and the spirit and theme were never intended to cause offense or harm. We value and respect the public's concern and are taking action."

The real Guantanamo Bay, which is decidedly less pleasurable than the imaginings of certain party organizers.
The real Guantanamo Bay, which is decidedly less "pleasurable" than the imaginings of certain party organizers.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)
Crowd cheers Lauryn Hill performance during 12th Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Friday, April 15 2011, in Indio, Calif.
Crowd cheers Lauryn Hill performance during 12th Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Friday, April 15 2011, in Indio, Calif.   (AP Photo/Spencer Weiner)
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