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BeatsFestival Report Card: Holy Ship! Wrecked 2023

Festival Report Card: Holy Ship! Wrecked 2023

This year marked the return of Insomniac‘s Holy Ship! Wrecked to the Hard Rock Rivera Maya, Mexico. Teaming up with Cloud 9 Adventures, event organizers helped turn what was once a cruise into an all-inclusive resort party that is truly unmatched.

The Ship Fam (nickname for festival attendees) and artist performances really set the bar for what it means to have a resort takeover done right. Read below to hear more about EDM Maniac’s Experience.

Gina Joy

Vibes: A

Holy Ship! Wrecked brings together a worldwide community of festival-goers each year, and this year proved to have the best vibes ever. Everyone brought their funniest costumes for the theme nights (Apres Ski and 90s Night), high energy for the music, and overall exuded so much happiness.

Groups from all over were accommodating and never let anyone dance by themselves. Staff members at the Hard Rock Cancun and the Cloud 9 Adventures staff also brought the vibes, as they were dancing along with festival goers while working and were always friendly.

“Happy Ship!” was a phrase often heard, and an expression of connectedness throughout the Holy Ship week.

Artists themselves were also spotted hanging out with each other and posting about adventures they were going on while in Mexico.

They often interacted with the crowd, walking around the resort, having conversations, and dancing to other artist’s sets with their fans.

The activities brought ship fam to life and allowed for festival goers to participate in activities beyond the music. Whether it was playing Dirtybird What’s The Word Showdown with Claude VonStorke, learning how to DJ with Rinzen, or participating in the Desert Hearts Wild Winter Olympics Pool Party, there was always something to look forward to. 

Production: B

Lasers were the name of the game at Holy Ship! Wrecked. Each stage was equipped with lasers that shined out as far as the eye could see.

The Tropics stage was an indoor stage, set with red mood lighting, and allowed for an intimate club feeling. The Beach stage and Pool stage were both set up outdoors and allowed for a few epic sets overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

We did not get to enjoy the outdoors as much as we hoped, because there was a cold front that caused consistent rain. The party was not ruined, though, as the staff and resort did a great job accommodating festival goers indoors when the rain would begin.

There was a stage, the Starlight Terrace, that did not get to be utilized as it was outside in the rain and only had one scheduled day of programming, which was a bit disappointing.

The mainstage was a bigger megastructure, but it did not have a Holy Ship theme beyond some signage. We did, however, appreciate the placement of the stages and feel that they were as close as they could be to each other while eliminating sound bleed completely, which was amazing. 

Scott Hutchinson

Music: A-

Holy Ship! Wrecked brought out the A-game of every artist on the lineup and the music we enjoyed was fantastic. With a small, intimate feel, artists allowed themselves to experiment and play multiple sets, surprise B2Bs with other artists, and more.

Most notably, the Sunrise Send party on day three featured Claude VonStroke and Green Velvet going back to back for a beach house party for the ages (and one of Claude’s final times playing as Claude VonStroke, check out his new alias Barclay Crenshaw).

Subtronics brought the heat with two different dubstep sets, even rinsing some techno and other genres during his typically heavier sets.

Hamdi and Troyboi got the crowd dancing and living their best lives at the Sunrise stage. The Desert Hearts Pool Party brought out the legends Lee Reynolds and Skream for an epic house music B2B.

The House of Wax takeover saw the likes of Chris Lorenzo performing a UKG set, and Wax Motif and Cassian doing a B2B to close out an epic weekend of dancing.

We appreciated the chance to see most of the artists multiple times, as it allowed their creativity to shine and we noticed how much fun the artists had playing.

We even made it to an after-party with surprise appearances by Wax Motif, Matroda, Justin Jay, and more! The only downside was that 4B and SubFocus both had to withdraw from the festival. While it was out of their control, it was a bummer as those were both artists we were really looking forward to seeing. 

Venue: B+

Taking place at the Hard Rock Riviera Maya, Mexico, Holy Ship! Wrecked took over the resort with style. A 60-minute drive from the Cancun airport, the resort was worth the drive. Upon arrival, we were greeted with performers, a buffet of food, and a welcome drink to grab before checking into our rooms.

Each room was equipped with its own jacuzzi and was only a few minutes away from even the furthest stage. There were six stages total scattered around the resort, each bringing its own unique feel to the festival.

The majority of the stages were in a close one to five-minute walk from each other, yet never had sound bleed. A golf cart could be requested to take guests through the resort from 7AM-1AM each day, which was very convenient and appreciated. 

Looking into the waters of the Caribbean Sea, the beach stage and pool stage both allowed us to feel relaxed and rejuvenated as we got to dance with the Ship fam in the sunshine (when the sun was out).

The Hard Rock has a plethora of dining options available 24 hours a day. Whether you were feeling a full buffet for breakfast, or wanted to have a nicer sit-down dining experience, or a late-night taco, there were options for everyone.

A highlight was the ability to order room service anytime we’d like. The all-day cafés were convenient and delicious, and a special shout-out deserves to go to Wai, a restaurant specializing in delicious Thai food.

There were certain amenities we wish would have been utilized more, like the Water Park and outdoor areas, but overall were happy with our stay at the Hard Rock.

Jason Fenmore

Overall: B+

The return of Holy Ship! Wrecked to the Hard Rock Rivera Maya, Mexico proved to be an unforgettable experience. With four days and four nights of non-stop music, eating, and Ship Fam shenanigans, Holy Ship! Wrecked was an incredible place to listen to some of our favorite sets of the year, enjoy 24/hr room service, and make some new friends around the world.

The true core of this event is the people who attend and make up the Holy Ship! Family. Artists were spotted walking around and connecting with their fans on a deeper level, and festivalgoers were always making sure to make each other feel like the Hard Rock was their home (at least for the duration of the festival).

The Holy Ship! community goes beyond attendance each year, and Ship Fam feels like an elite club to be a part of.

While the weather put a bit of a damper on the overall experience, we were impressed with how the festival itself was able to pivot and move the experience indoors quickly whenever the rain storms would come.

The music kept us grooving all week and we are grateful to be a part of Ship Fam for life.

The post Festival Report Card: Holy Ship! Wrecked 2023 appeared first on EDM Maniac.


By: Maddie Whelan
Title: Festival Report Card: Holy Ship! Wrecked 2023
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Published Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2023 17:44:31 +0000

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