Music festivals have exploded in the past several years as “cultural experiences” became a new substitute for vacations and young promoters, risky talent buyers and venture capitalists sought to cash in on the trend. And when the sandbox gets crowded or too many new people come to the playground – some familiar faces escape to new landscapes…or in this case, seascapes.
While terrestrial festivals may be a saturated market, days worth of concerts on the open seas are not. A few niche promoters, like Cloud 9 Adventures, jumped in the unpopulated waters early and had success with events like JamCruise. Parlaying their proof of concept, they partnered with the HARD Family to establish the now wildly successful and growing Holy Ship series. The explosion looked like it might have happened already – but then the S.S. Coachella cruise with Pulp, Hot Chip, Yeasayer, The Gaslamp Killer, TOKiMONSTA and more artists pretty much fell flat on its face with its second voyage, perhaps scaring away some major players in the process and/or signaling that the market is not yet totally there.
With Embrace and TMWRK joining the fold with Mad Decent Boat Party in November, another successful Jam Cruise (its 13th voyage) in the books for 2015, and a second installment of Holy Ship coming up in February – now is probably a better time than ever to consider allocating some of that loot reserved for “cultural experiences” for a festival on a boat. Here are the TOP 5 REASONS a music cruise should be your next festival experience…
1. CONVENIENCE. You don’t need to put up a tent or an EZ Up. You don’t need to pack a pillow or a sleeping bag. You don’t need to fill up a cooler with overpriced ice and food that will survive oppressive festival heat. You don’t need to coordinate rides or be exposed to surge pricing to and from the festival grounds when tens of thousands of concert goers are all doing the same because your room (and a nice air-conditioned cabin) is only an elevator away. It is like glamping, but better. And, if you can’t make it to your cabin, there is probably a chase lounge or couch you can pass out on.
2. ALL INCLUSIVE. No buying a $300 festival ticket and then having to spend $20 on parking each day. No $10 funnel cakes or $8 slices of I Heart Spicy Pie. No $5 waters either. There are water fountains. There are drink dispensers of juice, coffee, tea and milk in the cafeteria. The only thing you will have to pay for are beverages like soda, Red Bull and alcohol (which is actually reasonably priced), unless you go with an all inclusive option.
3. NICHE. You don’t have to commit to a line-up with 100 acts, producing every genre of music, and 90 of which you could care less about. Get on a cruise and see the type of music you love and are passionate about, surrounded by other people who feel the same way, without any filler that you may not have patience for.
4. STRANGERS BECOME FRIENDS. Surrounding yourself with a couple thousand people that are each willing to shell out $1000+ for a unique music festival experience means you are around a healthy handful of people who willingly pay for the same things you will. You like the same music and you both have no problem shelling out a hefty fee for the experience? Some of your own friends probably do not like to spend money on the same ‘stuff’ so, maybe, just maybe, these cruisers could become your close friends?
5. BATHROOMS. Cruise ships have them everywhere. They do not smell like port-o-potties. They have running water and an ample supply of soap, paper towels and toilet paper. They also are not constantly overflowing with feces. And, if, in the rare chance they are a poo party, you have your own private bathroom in your cabin!