Holy Ship takes a different twist to festivals. It’s a music festival and an all inclusive cruise. Your ticket includes a cabin, access to a buffet 24/7, music and activities all night, and a private beach party.
In 2015, this was the fourth annual year of Holy Ship and my first chance to attend. Holy Ship is mostly an electronic festival that leaves Miami to the Bahamas for three days. The entire boat has stages in different sections and you get to spend an entire day on a private island where the special guest artist will play. Along with the lineup, Holy Ship was famous for the goers known as Shipfam. They are a group who people who are known to take care of each other, leave the judgment at home, and know how to have a good time.
Another main selling point on Holy Ship, is artist interaction. The artists are with you on the boat and are there to party with you. Often you will see artists partying in pools, sitting with people at tables eating, hanging out in people’s rooms, or relaxing in the sun on the pool deck. It’s a pretty great expierence that the attendees love to boast about.
I moved overseas around the first cruise so it wasn’t optimal for me to go. This year, though, they opened it to two different cruises which in my experience, opening any event to two separate events, is never a good thing. Nonetheless, I was excited to see what this was all about. I have never done an all-inclusive festival.
As stated above, Holy Ship has been known for an amazing crowd of people. Anyone who has heard or been on a sailing can vouch for this. With everything being all inclusive, a small boat compared to festival grounds, and having your room nearby, makes for a really crazy party three days straight. You can choose to go dance at multiple locations on the boat or go relax in a pool at any time. Everyone there, for the most part, is there to have a good time.
However, this year I heard was the first year that it started to go downhill. In the music festival scene, there is a group of people called EDC bros and another equivalent, the Aussies. Both have a terrible reputation of being disrespectful and rowdy. I did notice some debauchery and heard several negative stories, especially with encounters of Aussies (mostly men.) Overall though, the rest of the crowd makes up for the small amount of people who just can’t handle their shit.
I decided to jump on last second after just getting back from over seas. I bought a second hand room and shared a room with a random guy named RIley, who was from Utah. This ended up being a great decision as Riley was awesome and I met a whole new set of friends through him.
Along with new friends, I had about 30+ friends from Virginia who were on the boat, so at any time, I could usually find someone. Going to festival by yourself is one of my favorite things to do as I spent most of my time just bouncing around stages, meeting new people, and laughing with old friends.
Favorite Sets: Favorite artists I saw in no particular order (even though this was really hard to do).
- Odesza – was a group that just started who i was really excited to see. They did a hip-hop pool party set in back of the boat that was my favorite.
- Griz – seeing Griz in a theater was stunning.
- RL Grime – never disappoints.
- Laidback Luke – not an artist I get to see often.
- Pretty Lights – had a three hour closing set.
- What So Not
- Flume – beach party set was really good.
Holy Ship was an event that I probably had some of the most fun on and met some of the greatest people that I talk to more than any other event I have been to. I don’t think I would do it again, as I don’t think I could top my first experience. I do however recommend doing this festival at least once if you’re up for it. It will probably be the craziest party of your life.