The festival on a cruise ship

Who on earth ever thought that combining a music festival and a cruise would be a good idea? Well the organizers of the (until now) – vaguely credible Coachella festival. What their genius plan consisted of was getting a load of bands onto a cruise ship that smacked of something between the Miami Ultra Festival and Butlins, and then try and persuade a load of festival goers to shell out for tickets prices ranging between $900-$2000.

The first and most glaring flaw in this plan is that a cruise is pretty much the antithesis of a festival. Festivals are about organic freedom – a sense of being liberated in the open spaces and embracing celebration in natural surroundings. Not being trapped in neon claustrophobia with themed restaurants, a bitter sense of ‘laid on activities’ and a prevailing whiff of completely naff.

The SS Coachella has just finished cruises in both the Bahamas and Jamaica with a lineup including bands like Pulp, Hot Chip, Simian Mobile Disco and DJ’s like Harvey and James Murphy.

The cruise website features a bizarre list of activities such as bingo – the website says

‘Stop by and play some Lazy Bingo with special guest caller GRIMES. One hour per cruise up on the beautiful lawn club. $5 per bingo card or 4 cards for $15. Fabulous prizes to be won! ‘

And wine tasting with DJ James Murphy ‘Come try a selection of the best Natural Wines with hosts JAMES MURPHY and fellow oenophile JUSTIN CHEARNO. First come, first served, limited capacity event,’ gushes the site as the whole voyage lurches from the sublime to the ridiculous.

I n many ways it is a natural extension of the Vegas and Miami style pool parties, but somehow seems so cringeworthy and very much a sign of the times when such contrived luxury is being passed off as festival culture.

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