From Jan. 6-9, the MSC Poesia experienced a group of cruisers they never had before: an ecstatic crowd of rave kids decked in tutus, furry boots, sailor hats and animal costumes who raged relentlessly ’til 9 a.m. It was the first time electro acts had set sail for a weekend long adventure. Around 2,500 rambunctious EDM die-hards loaded onto the 16-story boat as Holy Ship! made its maiden voyage out of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and set out toward the Bahamas.
Dreamed up by HARD Events creator Gary Richards, everything was smooth sailing on the cruise. Well, aside from a bump in the road when some passengers experienced a frightening thump. Others may have been too passed out or too far gone mentally to notice, but the boat got stuck in a sandbar while on the way to the Bahamas Saturday morning.
Distracted by options like DJ lessons with A-Trak or yoga instructions with Gina Turner, sailors didn’t seem to mind the problem. One lone rider named Tyson Lo (who also went by the name “Drugs”) took full advantage and won Steve Aoki’s poker tournament. He bet Aoki that if he beat him, the DJ would pay for the whole cost of his trip on Holy Ship! Lucky for Lo, he won. Five tugboats later, the ship was on its way and the DJs and seafaring partiers continued to keep the music loud and the drinks flowing.
Some of the most desirable names in EDM including A-Trak, Laidback Luke, Steve Aoki and Skrillex performed multiple sets in perfectly set-up venues throughout the ship. Over the three-day fest at sea you could catch Zedd at the Zebra Bar, Justin Martin spinning in the Studio 54-like S32 Disco room or go crazy with Brodinski on the main pool deck. But the most priceless part of this cruise — besides the free food (which wasn’t too shabby), take-over parties by Fool’s Gold and Paris Social Club, or Fatboy Slim playing from a wrecked ship on a private island — was the closeness that fans got to experience with their DJ heroes. At any given moment one could sit in the hot tub with Tommy Lee (if they’re courageous enough to), share a bottle of champagne with Diplo or wake up to Skrillex lying next to them at the pool. Artists and fans alike were on common (run a-) ground.