There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being in the desert, especially when you combine the magic of that arid space with some of the biggest names, established and up and coming – in the electronic music scene. Our weekend began with a beautifully scenic drive to Palm Springs. It was easy to pack for, bathing suits, glitter and kimonos. As one of my closest girlfriends and I entered the dry, vast desert, anticipation grew to witness headliners including Lee Foss, Big Wild, Jai Wolf, Justin Martin, and more. We rolled the windows down & blared our current favorite tech house tracks, preparing some funky new dance moves to debut poolside.
We arrived at The Riviera pool as the sun began to go down, catching the end of Jai Wolf’s dreamy set full of his uplifting productions and versatile remixes. The crowd was wild from a a full day of partying in the sun, setting the vibe for the weekend. The one and only Justin Martin was up next on the decks and as the sky got darker, so did the beats. The amount of floaties and other unknown objects and people in the pool was unbelievably hilarious. We headed up to the front side of the stage to enjoy the speakers and extra room for grooving before taking off to the Air Museum after party.
Benny Bridges and Josh Taylor, who are actually the vocalists for Justin Jay and Friends, laid down a b2b set of good vibe grooves before Christian Martin, Justin Martin’s older brother, took over with Justin sneaking onside quite a few times. Justin Jay and Friends played last, and this was the highlight of my weekend, hell, maybe even the highlight performance of my festival season so far. The Fantastic Voyage album has been gradually released in singles recorded by different record labels. I was able to speak with Justin Jay about the album following the epic weekend and exciting performance by him and the boys. “We spent hours in my bedroom making music with no intentions, accidentally realizing that this was an album. All of these songs went together nicely and were different at the same time, so we had to find different record labels.”
Some of my personal favorites from this album include “Turn Around”, “Can’t Complain”, and their new single, “Climbing Trees”. When I asked Justin what we can expect to unfold for this project he explained “As for the future, we are figuring things out as we go along-I don’t want to jinx anything. I’m pushing myself to make new kinds of music and step outside of my comfort zone. Live music takes practice, and I’m learning everyday”. The implementation of live music into a DJ set was extremely refreshing, and I don’t think we stopped dancing the entire time. My friends and I had a prime spot that was overlooking the stage and crowd, although it was hot, we danced and glided through the desert wind that kept us princesses cool and blissed out through the entire performance.
Sunday was a hot one, and we started out at The Saguaro to catch Slaptop, Bitfunk and the rowdy Aussie duo that is Cut Snake. Bitfunk laid down the ultimate vibe that everyone needed to withstand the desert heat. Cut Snake came on the decks ready to party and the rage vibe heightened quickly with their hilarious encouragements from the microphone. After we had enough of the heat, we grabbed some food and headed to The Riviera, ready for some good ole Odesza vibes. The pool was packed and everyone was loving the music and those classic last day of the festival feels.
Following the day and evening of hot beats was an after party at The Bardot and getting in was not so easy due to the capacity limit of the bar. With a little patience (others in line were not so forgiving) we were in after about 40 minutes of waiting for others inside to leave. Cut Snake already had the party started once again and the energy was at a high, as well as the heat inside of the bar. As drops of humidity fell from the ceiling, we threw our hair up and enjoyed the sounds coming from the speakers. Justin Martin, all star of the weekend, played yet again and let us hear some gold off of his new “Hello Clouds” album, which has been very successful since the release.
Splash House definitely had its perks, the ability to connect with friends easily and the convenience of hotel room party hopping at the venues between sets – those drinks at the bar add up. Splash organized a creative “bitchin balconies” contest where guests were encouraged to decorate their balconies, and five winners were chosen at the end, their were some hilarious attempts. Travel packages were offered for only 200, including your ticket and hotel accommodations for the weekend, which I think is a great value, especially when you consider the money you save on ubers with the shuttle service offered, which was quite chaotic and unorganized at times, especially when the last show of the night has ended and everyone is charging for the line (which was a giant mob of people) because none of the shuttles were there waiting yet.
These shuttles let me tell you – were a party of their own. The lucky ones who were able to grab the aux first were in charge of playing music, and that led to some rowdy dancing and most importantly – new friendships. I made many new connections throughout the weekend and that is something I am always thankful for at events and festivals. It was definitely a Coachella, college type crowd mixed in with Dirtybird lovers and Ship fam, sprinkled with house heads and the LA industry gang, yet the vibe was very appealing and accepting, like a poolside party summer camp. I’m sure it had a lot to do with the stacked lineup of talented producers and DJ’s. I highly recommend attending the August edition, you won’t want to miss another wet n wild weekend full of spontaneity, splashing and bomb music.
Words by Madison Kymberlin Kneupper
Follow on Instagram to keep up with Madison’s festival ventures: @madiiiison