Most people who weren’t on the third annual voyage of Holy Ship!!! (the exclamation points represent how many years it has taken place) are likely one of two things: insanely jealous of those who were, or sick of hearing about it (likely both). When I wrote my wrap-up piece about the Holy Ship!! last year, I explained that at the time I was constantly being asked about how it was. So far it’s been a lot of the same and although I’ll do my best to write about this year’s adventure, a person truly doesn’t understand how magical and how ridiculous it is until you experience Holy Ship first hand. I still haven’t fully wrapped my head around the three-night experience (Jan 9-12), I’m not sure if I ever will, and it’s hard to say where to begin. But I’ll do my best to share as much as I can with you. Again: no one truly understands what Holy Ship is like until you experience it first-hand.
When the lineup was announced months ago, I was absolutely floored by who would be on board. Sure, you have your big names like Skrillex, Diplo, Duck Sauce, Boys Noize, Zedd, Laidback Luke, etc (all of whom I am a fan of), but I always like to do a full survey of the entire list. And within that list I saw names like France’s G-House revolutionaries Amine Edge & Dance, Dirtybird chief Claude Vonstroke, UK duo Disclosure, reinvented Disco-maniac Skream, master of bounce TJR, and oh-so-soulful Slovenian Gramatik (to name but a handful). Oh yes, and the brain behind the whole experience: DESTRUCTO. And let me tell you – when everything was said and done, not one artist on that list disappointed. Well, one of them did but I won’t mention who that was.
Wednesday evening January 8th was the annual pre-party show at South Beach’s Story nightclub. On the docket were Destructo, Oliver, and Zedd. Story is a pretty insane nightclub and holds true to South Beach’s renowned night life scene. Zedd pulled out all the stops and as much as I like to think I’ve moved on from him, he just does not disappoint. Banger after banger, crowd pleasers, sing alongs, and rapid-fire track selections that will keep even the most ADD-riddled human happy. We met some Shipfam, we partied with strangers, and we highly looked forward to setting sail the next day.
One thing about Holy Ship that I learned last year is that there is a lot of waiting involved from start to finish. You wait in line to get on the boat, you wait for your luggage to arrive, you wait for the ship to set sail/for the music to start, you wait to get off the boat for the island parties, you wait to get back on the boat from the island parties, and finally you wait to get checked back in to the U.S. But despite all that waiting the trip is 100% worth it. Why is it worth it? Four stages of music from sun down to sun up. Two private island beach parties. Friends new and old from all over the world. Rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest and best dance music artists in the world. All-in-all it’s about sun, skin, surprises, and letting loose in the Caribbean.