Photos by Jamie Rosenberg
Between the relaxed atmosphere, fantastic music selection, free shuttles, and reasonably priced hotel packages, it’s easy to justify going to both the first and second weekend of Splash House in Palm Springs. Both weekends share obvious similarities, but if you find yourself in a bind and need to choose between one or the other, we’ve put together a few observations to help you make your choice between weekend one and weekend two in 2016.
Unlike its older and bigger Goldenvoice cousin Coachella, Splash House brings in completely different lineups between each weekend. Both the June 13-14 and Aug. 8-9 editions this year enjoyed a stellar roster, but weekend two not only brought in more artists but a few bigger names as well. The first weekend featured four headliners, and weekend two saw seven with Klingande, Matoma, Shiba San, Slow Magic, Star Slinger, Tokimonsta, and Trippy Turtle leading the pack, with an added surprise performance by GTA.
A larger lineup for weekend two also meant a larger fan attendance with Splash House founder Tyler McLean claiming that 1,000 more tickets were sold for the August event in comparison to June. To deal with the swelling numbers, Splash House swapped the Hacienda Cantina for the bigger Hard Rock Hotel, which is walking distance from one of their other venues, The Hilton.
After expanding to two weekends last year, with a month’s rest between each, a noticeable trend has seen the more popular artists booked for Splash House’s August leg. On account of the relatively small venues used, the event will most likely never see huge mainstream rosters. Nevertheless their programming has consistently drawn in artists that traverse the line between popular appeal and cult fan followings, with June’s event skewed towards local talent and August towards more globally recognized names.
While the venues between each Splash House have continued to cycle through a handful of places over the years, the Saguaro has remained the event’s mainstay location. In its first editions, ticket holders would crowd this stage and leave the other venues sparsely attended. A few organizational tweaks between locations and Splash House organizers have since remedied that issue to have an even amount of revelers spread between the venues at all times.
Though last year’s lineups arguably packed in more star power with Cut Copy, Flume, A-Trak, Chromeo, and Jagwar Ma as headliners, the 2015 editions maintained Splash House’s grassroots arrangement. Never do any of these weekends feel like a pretentious large-scale festival or Vegas weekend binge, which, when coupled with improved organization, is why the event has enjoyed comfortable growth since its inaugural year.
If you have to choose between Splash House weekends in 2016, it should be a comfort to know that you won’t have to sacrifice that intimate pool party vibe at either. Your friends might not exactly know who is playing between each stage at Splash House, but they will undoubtedly enjoy their time while your more discerning tastes enjoy the best artists that the indie-electronic scene has to offer.