Leading up to the February sailing of Holy Ship, the anticipation was in full force and before I knew it, 72 hours and many Red Bulls later, I had to disembark from the beautiful Italian cruise ship, the MSC Divina, back into the port of Miami. Being a virgin shipper, I had no idea what to expect but it was better than anything I could have imagined. The insanity, music, DJs, people, costumes, dancing, new friends (#Shipfam) and sheer fun was worth all of the planning and anticipation. As I sit here trying to write about my experience, I can’t help but smirk and think about next year. The buzz from the February Holy Ship Facebook group is constantly going and keeping my spirits up #HolyShip2017.
Multiple venues on the ship were rocking at all hours of the day from the likes of Porter Robinson, Destructo, Thomas Jack, Claptone, Gramatik, Baauer, Tchami, DJ Snake, Marshmello, Malaa, Subset and SNBRN as well as a Dirty Bird Players Stage and a host of other performers whom I have the utmost respect for. From the opening set on Wednesday of RL Grime B2B with Baauer on the Pool Deck to the closing of the festivities with Bauuer and numerous guest DJs in the Black and White room, the crowd for each set was alive – chanting, singing and dancing. I was constantly reminded that it was a music festival on a cruise and not a cruise with a music festival. The atmosphere was unreal from start to finish and morale was high.
There were too many DJs and sets while aboard the ship and on the private section of the beach on Nassau to write about since I can go on for pages so I selected a few from each day that left an impression. I spent most of the first day in the Black and White room which was taken over by the Dirty Bird Players featuring Will Clarke (the bearded wonder with the hit “Can You Funk”), Ardalan, Justin Jay (recent college graduate and the youngest Dirty Bird member will be appearing at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn, NY this April), J. Phlip, Shiba San (the French sensation with the hit “Okay”), Justin Martin and the special guest DJ, head of Dirty Bird Records, Claude VonStroke (dropping huge hits like “Make A Cake” and “Barrump”) from 9pm-6am. With a lineup like that I had to force myself to check out Anna Lunoe, What So Not and Gramatik in the Theater so I didn’t fall too far in that tech house hole.