Sailing the high seas: My time on Holy Ship

Holy Ship February 2016
The second week of February I had the pleasure of boarding the second round of Holy Ship 2016. Technically speaking I am a returner to this event, cost however my first one was only a few weeks prior in January. Holy Ship is an event that is completely different from anything I’ve ever attended or worked (This potentially has something do with everyone being stuck together on a massive ship for three days straight). Either way the sense of community between shippers is incredible. ShipFam is 100% a real thing and is truly felt between all of the attendees. February’s Holy Ship featured gravity defying costumes, ed killer music, patient and an exorbitant amount of “suh dude”.

Day one of the ship always seems to be the craziest to me.

This time around I spent most of my time bouncing between the Golden Jazz stage and the Black and White Theater. The Golden Jazz stage is one of the smaller areas on the ship, and most of the party was going full throttle at the Black and White. This did not come as a surprise though because the first night of the ship had all The Dirty Bird Players rocking out in the Black and White. I got to catch a bit of Ardalan’s set and witness the beginnings of the costume craziness that happens aboard the ship. One of my favorites of the night was a woman who dressed as bubble gum. She was decked out in all pink and white and taped medium sized pink balloons all over her front and back sides.

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Photo by

The night in Black and White carried on in typical Dirty Bird style with loads of pizza and a proposal. Yes seriously, in the midst of nearly getting kicked off stage during Justin Martin’s set a man turned around, got on his knee, and popped the question to a very surprised looking lady.

She said yes and they celebrated with a shot and a gentle push off stage from a very frustrated stagehand.

A photo posted by Holy Ship (@holyship) on

Day two began for me much later into the afternoon. After stumbling into bed at around 6:30am I needed to recharge. I missed most of the island party due to the shuttle bus confusion and an early call time to be back on the boat for my shift. My night truly begin in the Theater with Chromeo’s live set, which showed how I work with a super talented and professional production crew. Their flawless change over from a DJ set, to a live set, back to a DJ set (all of which requiring different equipment and setup) was done incredibly smoothly. I applaud the stage crew for managing that and sticking to the very tight schedule.

Following Chromeo’s killer live set we had an influx of the Pardon my French crew. While I didn’t get to witness any of the crowds’ costumes or antics, I did spend some time building a Star Wars battleship (i.e watching it get built, I’m hopeless with those things) with someone from Tchami, Mercer, or DJ Snakes crew. He did a surprisingly good job of putting it all together without the instructions. Then he gave us all a good laugh when we showed him the instructions we had hidden in the beginning and he started yelling at one of the production guys in French for a few minutes and promptly walked away.

Day three on the ship and I finally got to be outside on the main deck for a little bit. I started my morning at the Pool Deck stage for the a few hours of beats in the sun. Everyone was enjoying the last day of warmth and music before reality had to take place again. Hey look thats me, smiling through my exhaustion!

Oh Dag Yo Photography
Oh Dag Yo Photography

The music from Justin Jay, SNBRN, Claptone, and Thomas Jack, kept a fantastic upbeat, vibe-y, and dance-y mood for the last 24 hours on the ship.

People were definitely still raging and enjoy the sun but the exhaustion had definitely set in a bit. My time ended on the pool deck stage just after a stunning sunset.

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Photo by

Around 7:30 I went back down into the Theater to finish up the last night onboard. Our first set there was with Subset and it was hilarious. Subset and his crew walked backstage completely dressed up as Wonder Woman. I had to give out a couple of tips on tying back the wigs they were all wearing because the hair was getting in the way. In typical Holy Ship fashion many Subset fans also came to the set dressed as Wonder Woman. Although my favorite moment of the evening was when an older woman (also dressed as Wonder Woman) came over to our makeshift bar behind stage and asked for a beer.

While I was pouring it she informed me that not only was this her first time on Holy Ship but her son was the one playing right now.

She then took her beer, drank half of it in front of me, then danced her way back over to the side stage to continue watching the set. The night ended strong in the theater with Snakehips, Porter Robinson, and Jauz b2b Marshmello playing until 3:00am. I got in a few hours of sleep before the 8am disembarkation back to reality alongside the rest of the #shipfam.


A photo posted by SUBSET (@subsetgetsit) on

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