*Five Things an EDM Diva Learned at Burning Man
*Five Reasons You Should Be Jealous of Our S.S. Coachella Trip
*Coachella Jumps On Board the Floating Festival Trend, But is This New Cruise a Sinker?
Goldenvoice's week-long music festival cruise to the Bahamas and Jamaica titled the S.S. Coachella anchored back in the Port Everglades of Fort Lauderdale Florida yesterday. It was only natural that the Coachella brand would jump ship on the cruise festival trend such as Mayhem Festival, Groove Cruise and Holy Ship and bring the festival experience to the high seas. Just like our OC and LA natives have been making the pilgrimage every year to the Indio desert for a weekend of scorching heat, outrageous partying and music madness since it's launch in 1999, plenty took part in the first ever S.S. Coachella. Sure, we wrote about how the line-up was a sinker a couple of months back, but we still couldn't help having FOMO (fear of missing out) if we didn't join on the inaugural cruise to the Caribbean.
Though it may have looked like hipster hell, it actually was one of the wildest times I've had this year since I lost my playa virginity at Burning Man. In a way the S.S. Coachella was like the Burn with an infinite array of possibilities - the only difference was this adventure took place on one of the most luxurious cruise ships and shared more of the eclectic music tastes of the Coachella crowd (and it's values). The Celebrity Silhouette is a 122,000 ton ship with everything from premiere suites, pools, basketball courts and grass on the top deck (yes both kinds of grass). Throw in some bands, DJs and you have a recipe for a lot of debauchery. We broke down the five highlights from our S.S. Coachella escapade while still nursing a massive hangover and attempting to get over the sea legs.
5. The Walk of Shame, Or Lack There Of
After a night of firsts like seeing Yeasayer and Pulp rock it out in the Silhouette Theater as the giant neon "PULP" sign swayed back and forth and we got used to being on a huge cruise ship. Or taking illicit substances and watching Grimes memorize the crowd as Claire Boucher's voice resonated from the Sky Lounge and her dancers moved with the fluorescent lights. The least embarrassing thing we did was walk back to our cabin at 8 a.m. after crazy partying in the Quasar night club getting down to DJ Jimbo Jenkins' jams and hopping in the hot tub on the Presidential Suite deck with complete strangers. In fact our butler greeted us with a smile and complete breakfast room service. We'd like to think it was the best walk of shame ever which you could only achieve on a cruise of this caliber and sure beats waking up to the sweltering heat in the Coachella camp grounds wondering who's tent you are in.
4. Fine Dining at a Music Festival
The Celebrity Silhouette boasts five casual dining restaurants and cafe's which serve everything from coffee, breakfast, salads, sandwiches, paninis and fresh baked pastries free of charge. They also have five fine dining specialty restaurants which have Italian Steakhouses to French Cuisines. After the "Desert Crew" panel which featured some key players in the festival like Skip Page, the concert promotion's vice president to Bill Fold the festival director and producer talking behind the scenes, festival memories and challenges we got to dine with some of the Goldenvoice crew and friends at the Qsine. Indulging in the dishes from around the world artfully presented with the perfect drinks to match was so delightful we even forgot we were missing Sleigh Bells (Fold their manager must of not been too happy). Much better than the greasy pizza slice one gets in Indio, the fine dining restaurants added to the experience of being on a luxurious cruise ship instead of the desert.
3. Our Own Vegas Style Pool Party
You would think on a luxurious cruise ship to the Bahamas and Jamaica the hottest spots on the ship would be the pool deck and jacuzzi, right? Well wrong. The S.S. Coachella was filled with hipsters afraid of water and more of your backstage types who's main priority was catching the bands. That didn't stop us from throwing our own Vegas style pool party in the jacuzzi during Alf Alpha's set on the pool deck though. We got down to his funky house and hip hop as we poured the free Heineken beer on each others bikini clad chests and splashed the eight people in the jacuzzi every time he played an epic dubstep drop. We danced on the deck like there was no tomorrow (after all the world was supposed to end in a couple of days anyway). We were raging so hard that the crew ship staff was taking pictures of us as they are mostly used to an older more "reserved" set of guests they told us. To each their own, we were having a blast!
2. Lots of Boozin' and Fruity Cocktails with Artists
They had a handy drink package which was $54 a day for unlimited drinks of all types and for all hours. Add pub crawls around the 12 bars and lounges with The Black Lips, wine tasting with James Murphy and we think it's safe to say that the S.S. Coachella encourages drinking excessive amounts of booze (as safely as possible of course). Not to mention trying the rum in the Bahamas poured into a coconuts and all of the creepy guys with drink packages willing to get girls fruity drinks with an umbrella. You can only imagine the massive hangover we had coming off the ship. The best part however, was that all of the artists were stuck on the same ship and more than happy to share a brewski with a chill fan. We saw, drank and danced with everyone from Jarvis of Pulp, Tokimonsta, Z-Trip and Jason Bentley (does Har Mar Superstar count?) partying it up well into the beautiful sunrise morning. Those memories alone should be worth the hefty ticket prices.
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1. Up Close With the Performers
Aside from drinking and partying with the artist the best part was getting your own intimate show with the bands and DJs at each performance. We all know how the crowds get at Coachella sometimes you can't even see the stage you end up so far back. This was a music lovers dream to be able to see bands like Father John Misty, !!!, Warpaint, Cloud Nothings and Hot Chip up close and personal. How many people can honestly say they've seen The Gaslamp Killer, DJ Harvey, The Rapture or Simian Mobile Disco on the pool deck with 10 other people or at the after hours club where they could literally touch them until 4am? At the Silhouette Theater Girl Talk had everyone go on stage with him as giant balls and condom looking floaties adorned the crowd and confetti filled the room (sorry there was no toilet paper). That was the defining moment of the cruise when we realized going days without sleep and drinking copious amounts of alcohol is totally worth it as you are jumping up and down with complete strangers. Some are favorite artists and some are Goldenvoice employees, but you are all singing the lyrics to an old school anthem at the top of your lungs as sweat pours down your chest. That's when you think damn this is fucking cool, I can't wait to make my friends jealous and do it all over again next year!