DUBBYstep Live Music Contributor, Phil Pace, takes us on the journey through HOLY SHIP 2012. The pre-sale for the 2013 show already sold out. For more information, check out their official website for next January’s festival.
“HOLY F-ing SHIP!” This was a common expression heard amongst the crowd and the microphone from the artists throughout the journey. From the moment everyone stepped foot outside their car or cab to reveal what seemed to be the overly luxurious for the occasion MSC Poesia cruise ship, excitement filled the air… and the sea.
The lines to get onto the ship were filled with smiling faces and some still tired ones left over from the HOLY SHIP Pre-Party hosted by Mad Decent Records. Diplo, one of the busiest men in music today, headlined as his side project, Major Lazer. All of the fellow “maiden voyagers” as we proudly referred to ourselves as, were already busy trying to meet one another to boast and brag about how amazing the next three days would be.
As we pulled out of the port sometime after sundown on Friday, January 6th, Diplo hopped on the decks and appropriately played a sample of Enya’s “Sail Away” right before dropping into some crunchy electro. Another commonly used line throughout the weekend was brought up right then as two fans dressed as jellyfish walked passed me saying, “Imagine what other ships think of us right now!”
First night main sets included Skrillex, Rusko, Laidback Luke and French electronic sensation Gesaffelstein to name a few. Each DJ supported/pushed the next to bring more energy and creativity until the night truly reached its peak during an intimate, yet incredibly energy filled set by Zedd in the ‘Zebra Bar’ from 2:30-4 AM. While some people turned it in after this I casually stumbled onto the pool deck for one more drink, which quickly turned into five more when Skrillex made a casual appearance to hang out and send some love back to the fellow maiden voyagers. Yeah, that was cool.
Day two came to a screeching halt somewhere too close to land on a sand bar in Port Lucaya, Bahamas. My favorite quote from that minor bump in the road or sea in our case, came from a 32-year-old businessman. Dressed as a pirate for HOLY SHIP’s “Pirate Day” the businessman cheerfully stated, “I’ve been on cloud 12 since we hit the sand bar!” So, the second day on this beautiful ship in the middle of the Bahamas continued to be all I could ask for and then some, including the music.
Highlights from day two’s lineup include “Pool Deck” sets by A-trak, Destructo, Steve Aoki, Skrillex, Tommy Lee & DJ Aero. Then things moved inside starting off with a performance by burlesque goddess Dita Von Teese. Paris Social Club hosted an evening in the “Teatro Theatre” showcasing Brodinski, Gesaffelstein and Club Cheval. However, despite my efforts to be in more than one place at a time, I had to choose and ended up in the “S32 Disco” for Justin Martin and then Gina Turner. At 3:00 am, Justin Martin put on a set for the ages. Even Skrillex and Dave Nada showed up right next to me on the dance floor to show support for one of the few tech-house producers/DJs on a ship full of dub-step & electro acts. To see a moment where guys who play such different genres within EDM show love, support, and enjoyment for one another’s talents and progression in a constantly growing industry had to be the highlight of the night for me.
Day three greets you with some aches and pains from the past two days of jumping and screaming for 8-10 hours a night, but the utter joy and excitement of disembarking HOLY SHIP to get your feet wet during a private island party keeps you going. The party starts at 10:00 am and runs until 3:00 pm when you get back on the ship to recover for a couple hours and do it one more time on the way back to Port Everglades, FLA. The “Private Beach Boutique Party” featured sets by Dave Nada, Dillon Francis, Diplo and was wrapped up by whom some of the other artists refer to as the “godfather” of the entire EDM scene, Fatboy Slim. Being the veteran that he is, Fatboy slowed things down for John Paul Young’s “Love is in the Air”, and it truly was. People splashed around in the ocean, gave the floating rubber ducky a friendly push, and even a giant conga line formed weaving in and out of the shipwrecked bar/stage up on the beach.
Love was in the air and people were ready to close out the weekend with a bang! Back onboard, HOLY SHIP awaited sets on the Pool Deck by Brodinski, Justin Martin, Gina Turner and Laidback Luke; who I must congratulate once more on turning HOLY SHIP into an engagement party after proposing to then girlfriend, Gina Turner. After the party moved inside from the pool deck, the options included a Fool’s Gold Rap Party, Zedd among others in the Disco, and mystery sets in the theatre. I ended up choosing the theater and played witness to an extremely intimate set by Steve Aoki and then Tommy Lee & DJ Aero in which female singer Sofi made a special performance.
Overall, there could not have been a better way to start off the new year for an EDM fan than to be on the maiden voyage HOLY SHIP 2012. If the next one is anything like the first, you can count on seeing me wandering HOLY SHIP dressed up in my black and red striped pirate pants again. The entire experience was very personal with the artists, and the opportunities to meet them or at least catch a picture and handshake in passing were numerous. I also believe the artists had an exceptionally positive experience getting to play with friends. A couple days after arriving back state-side Skrillex sent out a tweet re-ittirating the fact that HOLY SHIP is a major player in the festival scene, “Holy ship was the craziest thing to happen in EDM period”.
Enjoy the recap video below…..