April 17th, 2011
10:42 PM ET
It was Friday afternoon, just before Cee Lo Green was supposed to take the main stage. Actress Vanessa Hudgens and a group of friends (including rumored new boyfriend Josh Hutcherson) were sitting on the grass, minding their own business and waiting for the performance to start. And that's when they descended.
First it was just a photographer or two, but soon a number of paparazzos surrounded the group, snapping pictures from a distance of about five feet.
A couple of Hudgens' male friends rose to their feet and starting taking photos of the paparazzi, distracting them as the young actress made a run for it. She dashed out of the VIP area and sprinted across the field near the Main Stage, losing her floppy hat and nearly her low-slung pants in the process.
A gaggle of middle-aged men chased after her - but they were clearly at a disadvantage, having to lug both their camera equipment and their ample girth with them.
But not all the Hollywood celebrities caused a spectacle as they gathered at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival to take in their favorite acts. Joshua Jackson and girlfriend Diane Kruger were able to enjoy a peaceful double date picnic on the grass with Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev from "The Vampire Diaries".
It was a guys' weekend for "Gossip Girl's" Penn Badgley, as he hung out with "Desperate Housewives'" Shawn Pyfrom and "Cougar Town's" Dan Byrd. Others like Nicky Hilton, Camilla Belle, Brittany Snow, Busy Phillips, Kate Bosworth and Whitney Port and her boyfriend Ben Nemtin of "The Buried Life" were also able to enjoy the festival's music without much of a stir.
Even Paul McCartney, who headlined Coachella two years ago, went relatively unnoticed as he found shade under a palm tree with his girlfriend.
And just like the other festival-goers, the focus of the Hollywood stars was to catch the musical performances. With his signature baseball cap pulled down over his head, Leonardo DiCaprio quietly snuck his way into the VIP section to watch Kings of Leon on the main stage Friday night.
Others like Ashley Greene, who's been linked with KOL bassist Jared Followill, also slipped into the VIP area relatively unnoticed. Lauryn Hill, on the other hand, was easier to spot, as she and her entourage checked out other artists after her turn on the main stage.
Not all of the celebrities taking in the festival tried to blend in with the crowd, though. Usher, who frequently took in the performances at the Sahara dance tent, always had his bodyguard close by. Rihanna, who slipped in just before Arcade Fire took the stage, also had her bodyguard in a close proximity - although she obligingly posed for photos with fans who got close enough to ask.
And, of course, there were the Coachella regulars. Danny DeVito was spotted trying to talk his way into the photo pit for Interpol, although he didn't have a camera with him, and Jeff Goldblum somehow snuck a grand piano into the campground, and played a set with his jazz band for a surprise set with his jazz band.
The star-gazing continues tonight, as Kanye West headlines the final night of Coachella.
From around the web
About this blog
Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.