The 10 Most Epic Moments on the Holy Ship!!! EDM Cruise
Note: this article was written by Kat Bein of Rocks Off's Miami New Times sister blog Crossfade.
After three years of raging at sea, Hard Events' Holy Ship cruise has proven itself to be the best nautical EDM adventure that money can buy. (Of course we enjoyed press accommodations, so we didn't actually pay.)
Photos by Ian Witlen
It might still be a new-ish phenomenon, but this party boat has the most loyal fans, the edgiest lineups, and the biggest surprise guests. So from the moment that we made it through customs, our Holy Ship!!! 2014 experience was awwweeeesome.
Unfortunately, the MSC Divina's capacity is about 4,000 passengers. And while that's a lot of shippers, there are tons of fans who get left ashore. So just for you, stranded ravers, we're counting down the ten most epic moments.
Shippers have been waiting a whole year, ticking off the days, preparing their minds and bodies for this very moment. In the past, it took Holy Ship cruisers a few days to mix, mingle, and make buddies. But this third year, the friendships were instantaneous. We wasted no time in catching up with old pals, dressing up in absurd costumes, hitting the dance floor, and letting it all hang out. Even Hard Events' captain, Gary Richards, noted 2014's superior vibe: "Of the 20 years I've been doing events, I've never seen people go that crazy. They were fucking having it."
Gina Turner Plays Pregnant at 5 a.m. and Still Manages to Teach Yoga Before Noon
At approximately 26 weeks pregnant, Gina Turner shouldn't have been able to stay up all night to play a back-to-back set on a giant cruise ship. It's even more impressive that the DJ/producer (who also happens to be Laidback Luke's spouse) woke up the next morning, boarded a boat to a private island, and led a pre-noon yoga session. But turns out that's exactly the kind of boss-level thug stuff that Turner pulls off on the regular.
Special Guest: Tiësto!!!
Rumors would've had you believe the cruise's much-hyped "???" set would be Dog Blood or maybe Jack U. Even Daft Punk seemed more believable than techno's king Dutchman. In fact, when someone on the boat tried to tip us off, we laughed in their face. But then Zedd finished his set and took the mike, introducing his "great friend."
And for a moment, Richards and company messed with the Shippers, pushing notorious EDM troll Dillon Francis onto the stage. But Tiësto soon pushed him out of the way and delivered a deep-house set for the ages. All the other DJs joined in for an all-star conga line, the likes of which will never be seen again. You should have been there.
Chromeo's P-Thug Busts Out the Talk Box
We've followed dance music obsessively for years. Yet over the course of almost a decade of dedicated partying, we have never managed to see Chromeo live. That's why we were disappointed by the sight of "DJ set" beside Chromeo's name on Holy Ship!!! lineup. But all frowns were turned upside down when P-Thug busted out the talk box during Saturday's set on the pool deck. He let loose with a few freestyles and crooned some classic hooks. And for that almost-live funk, we must give thanks.
Claude VonStroke's Back-to-Back Surprise Set Featuring Almost Everyone
The best parts of Holy Ship are the surprise back-to-back DJ sets. But there's has never been anything quite so epic as Claude VonStroke's all-star takeover of the MSC Poesia's Discoteque on Saturday night. The Dirtybird head honcho was joined on the decks by everyone from Diplo to Disclosure, Skream, and Tiësto.
As Hard's Gary Richards recounted, smiling ear to ear: "Claude told me there were so many people back-to-back, he only played one record. That's so rad. I hope that happens to me one day."
Private Island, Part II
The first night of Holy Ship!!! private-island partying set the mood. But the second night was the absolute pinnacle of feel-good greatness. It was a straight everybody-surfin' vibe as the crowd danced and splashed. Free food was provided for all to enjoy. The crew busted out the biggest beach ball ever. One carefree girl danced atop a blow-up couch and didn't mind when she fell on her face. The Holy Ship!!! staff never even got annoyed when revelers stayed on the beach for two hours after the party's scheduled end. Sunburns be damned, that shit was well worth it.
List continues on the next page.