Each year, a few thousand lucky fans embark on the whirlwind adventure that is Holy Ship. They know they’re in store for three-and-a-half days of phenomenal music, Caribbean sunshine, and little, if any, sleep, but it’s the unpredictable moments that make this floating festival an experience unlike any other. Here are our top eight most epic moments from the second 2015 voyage of HARD‘s annual Holy Ship.
8. DIRTYBIRD #SHIPFAM
The dirtybird crew was out in full force for the entirety of the festival, playing ridiculous sets and partying alongside fans. Label favorites J.Philp, Justin Martin, and of course the godfather himself, Claude VonStroke, led a wild dirtybird Players night in the ship’s Black & White Lounge that felt more like a house party full of old friends than a show.
7. Ed Banger’s Love Ball
Is there really any music better suited for the Caribbean than the sexy French house beats of Breakbot and Busy P? The Ed Banger crew had everyone swooning during the appropriately named Love Ball, which helped set Holy Ship off in style with hours of seductive beats both modern and classic.
6. Shoey’s With Cut Snake
Holy Ship is notorious for its awesome on-board activities with artists, but the February sailing saw a whole new level of ridiculousness with Cut Snake. In true Australian fashion, the producer challenged fans to a game of flip cup and punished the losing team by making them drink beer out of their shoes. It was glorious, disgusting, and a true Holy Ship original moment.
5. The Ladies Crushing It
It’s no secret that the world of electronic dance music is largely a male-dominated industry, but the ladies of Holy Ship were a force to be reckoned with this year. Anna Lunoe played lights-out sets at Ed Banger’s Love Ball and the ship’s Night Bass Party, Louisahhh!!! brought out her techno guns during the Bromance Party, and J.Phlip showed off her finest dirtybird magic.
4. Destructo’s Sunrise Set
Shippers who managed to stay up until 5am on the festival’s second morning got the chance to experience one of Holy Ship’s most coveted traditions–a sunrise set from HARD head honcho Destructo. With a crowd of Holy Ship’s finest behind him and a mass of loyal cruisers in front of him, Destructo welcomed the sunrise with a funky set that featured an unexpected B2B with Claude VonStroke and a table-top dance session from Skrillex.
3. Fatboy Slim’s Surprise Set
On the second day of sailing, Fatboy Slim and Destructo hosted Random Access Smileyness aboard the boat. A Holy Ship Olympics of sorts, the event consisted of a three-legged race, egg toss, and plentiful tequila shots, and winners received the most fun prize imaginable–the chance to DJ alongside Fatboy Slim during his surprise set. Held in the ship’s lobby area, the set was one of the ship’s wildest moments, with fans watching from balconies, spiral staircases, and through the elevator’s glass walls.
2. Kaskade’s Surprise Appearance
Rumors were abuzz around the boat as fans awaited the special guest on the festival’s final night, and the Holy Ship gods certainly didn’t disappoint. It took multiple plane and boat trips to get him aboard, but dance legend Kaskade made it all worthwhile during his first Holy Ship appearance. Playing a knock-out set on the ship’s pool deck, Kaskade had the crowd mesmerized with a mixture of classic tracks and new, unreleased music.
1. Skrillex and Kaskade Go B2B
If there was ever a way to end Holy Ship, this was it. Two of dance music’s most respected stars teamed up for a back-to-back set that will go down as one of the best moments in Holy Ship history. They haven’t collaborated much since 2011’s Lick It, but when their combined sounds meet it creates something truly special. Playing to an absolutely packed crowd in the ship’s intimate Black & White lounge, Skrillex and Kaskade made sure that the final hours of Holy Ship were the most incredible.