Wombats trotted down serene white sandy shorelines, iguanas waddled over the lava rocks, and high up in the water-colored sky sunshine danced over all-day pool parties at the Hard Rock Hotel Maya Riviera. This is the site where HARD Events and Cloud9 Adventures 4-day event, Holy Ship! Wrecked, took their original festival cruise concept and flipped it on its head.
Whereas most festival producers attempt to differentiate their experience with blockbuster artists on the music lineup or a picturesque venue, few distinguished themselves from their peers in a single year like Holy Ship! Wrecked did last weekend. To be sure, the music was over-the-top solid with showings from Marc Rebillet, Charlotte de Witte, Desert Hearts, Ben Böhmer, Justin Martin, Alison Wonderland, the Lisbona Sisters, and many more. But the venue might have been the #1 highlight — a blissed-out adult-amusement park. Among its many features were the all-in resort standard of open bars and a smorgasbord of succulent restaurant options, plus an actual water park — for anyone who felt like being a kid again for the day.
What really made the event such a prize wasn’t the fact that it was sunkissed and breezy at a heavenly 80 degrees all weekend — that didn’t hurt though. Instead, Holy Ship! Wrecked set itself apart by transporting fans into the same experience a person might expect a topline DJ to get. The experience was luxe and glamorous. Plus, by design, it dissolves all those physical barriers that would traditionally separate the hottest musicians and the fans who love them. It brings the fans to the stars and by simply walking around the venue it was common to run right into your favorite DJs, again and again.
With fistbumps and highfives abounding, the resulting debauchery was as irresistible as it was unique. Observe the undulating sea of freak flags proudly waving in the crowds around the event’s many stages. Through fashion and flair, these lovable weirdos share kindred spirits (along with actual ones), even referring to one another fondly as “ship fam.” Based on the sheer joy and camaraderie of those who attended, it’s tough to imagine anywhere else on earth last weekend where people were having so much fun.
We could say more, but perhaps it’s better to just let the colorful smiles in the photos ahead tell the rest of the story.