It’s a little strange that, after having worked in this industry for seven years (almost eight), I haven’t once been to Holy Ship! before this year. As such, especially with such a storied event, it could be difficult to properly describe the atmosphere and exhilaration of such an event without the wealth of prior context that so many attendees rediscover year after year.
That being said, my very first Holy Ship! Wrecked was 100% an experience to remember.
When I arrived at the Hard Rock Riviera Maya in Cancun, after checking into our room and getting our wrist bands, we immediately strolled over to Marc Rebillet on the main stage perhaps 300 feet away. It’s not particularly uncommon for a stage to be so close to the entrance at a festival, but of course with a resort festival, your cozy room isn’t that far away either. Neither is anyone else’s room, some of which surround the stages. Neither are a bevy of drink and food options, nor the beautiful ocean.
That fact doesn’t really hit you until you arrive when you take it all in, and the feeling is closest to relief — and then the realization that you’re going to have a fantastic weekend.
The Hard Rock Riviera Maya is a large resort, but nothing is ever more than a 5-10 minute walk away. In the mornings, we walked a couple of minutes to the nearby Toro restaurant where we picked up a selection of brunch items and some coffee, and of course a mimosa, before heading to the beach stage pretty much just outside. Plenty of servers walk by asking if you need any drinks, and the music is lively and loud so you never have to leave your seat if you don’t want to. Which is why we stayed on our beach chairs a good five hours on Saturday listening to Miane, Cloonee, Rebuke, and Chris Lake.
Apart from the music and atmosphere, Holy Ship! Wrecked offered plenty of activities to attendees, our favorite of which was the Loop Daddy Brunch Cook Off with Marc Rebillet on Sunday.
On our final night, we decided to stop messing around with the buffet-style dining and get a real meal at Le Petit Cochon, just next to the Sunrise Stage. Some beet tartare, an endive salad, and duck with celery puree with seasonal fruits was the perfect final meal for a brilliant event.
As far as particular sets, Alison Wonderland, Madeon, Deathpact, the Desert Hearts Crew, Ben Böhmer, and certainly Marc Rebillet were fantastic. And a special notice has to be paid to CharlestheFirst’s main stage set on Sunday. It was brooding, beautiful, and somber which served as a wonderful contrast with many other acts at the event. Charles sadly passed away yesterday, and we’re honored to have heard one of, if not his final set.
Holy Ship! Wrecked will return in 2022.