Bon Voyage, S.S. Coachella - First Time Week


Coachella got big – so big it couldn’t fit all it had to offer on land anymore. This December, the West Coast’s favorite music festival makes its maiden voyage to sea with the S.S. Coachella.

A standard cruise ship. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

“S.S. Coachella is your chance to experience the music of Coachella in an intimate setting,” the cruise’s website reveals. “It’s everything you love about Coachella in an equally beautiful and peaceful setting with built in amenities. Plus, as if the music, pool and buffet aren’t enough to keep you busy, we have created some additional activities. By the end of the cruise you will be familiar with your fellow passengers, the people that bring you Coachella, the artists you know and the artists you don’t. “

Excited yet? Some people are. Deserting the port-o-potties, 100 degree heat, and massive crowds, the outdoor concert extravaganza is taking it to high tides for a cruise line adventure of independent music, drinking, and all the hipster pleasure one could imagine. For four super-progressive days in the Bahamas, and a week in Jamaica, the S.S. Coachella will set sail with artists such as !!!, Cloud Nothings, Black Lips, Grimes, Killer Mike, Yeasayer, El-P, and Father John Misty all making appearances. What’s particularly unique is the incorporation of these artists into the daily regimen. There are performances; there are DJ acts; but there are also musicians leading DIY arts and crafts events for guests.

It doesn’t get more Williamsburg than that!

“Just like Coachella, you will be able to build your musical itinerary with your favorite bands you want to see, and even add the activities you want to participate in,” the boat advertises.

Essentially, it’s a cruise with a bohemian, ultra-cool twist. Some things are conventional; others an attempt to be hip. There’s “lazy bingo,” for instance – perhaps due to lack of enthusiasm? There’s also wine tasting, bar crawls, and a great spread of restaurants that surprisingly aren’t all vegan-centric. You can learn to be a DJ; you can dance and make merry to James Murphy’s setlists; and you can attend midnight movies with Girl Talk spinning tunes.

James Murphy at Coachella, 2007. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Other unusual items on the agenda include:

  • “EXCERPTS” – Father John Tilly will “read passages from some of his favorite pieces of literature.”
  • “DEAR DIARY” – For those still in tune with their old school memorabilia, “It’s time to have a good laugh at your unrequited middle school love or that time you stole your bff’s squeeze.” There will be readings and joints, needless to say.
  • “POINTER SISTERS” – This one is not as specific, but apparently it involves Sleigh Bells’ singer Alexis Krauss and some sort of a fashion makeover. As noted, “S.S. Coachella staffers will buff your stuff.” It sounds like a manicure, but the slang keeps it ambiguous.

Truth be told, the S.S. Coachella will likely be good times and drunken memories for all those partaking in the adventure. It’s pricey (rates start at $650/person), but it will no doubt be a once in a lifetime experience. And like the real Coachella, it’s not for everyone. As evidenced by a story earlier this year on the Huffington Post, the enthusiasm runs deep, but the sarcasm never ends.

“This is one way they can have there show without getting dirty or having the ragamuffins hanging about, [sic]” a reader going as IfIOnlyKnew writes.

Bigshotprof notes, “How to get your Coachella cruise tickets: Stand around the ticket booth looking like you are there to do something else and can’t wait to leave. Make a comment to your friends about how it might be fun to “go” on the cruise ironically just to laugh at the airheads who fall for that sort of thing the way David Foster Wallace did. Get out your white iPhone and transfer money from your trust fund to PayPal. Buy the tickets. Buy some red checked Toms’ Shoes for the trip and to bump up the local cred of some lucky South American kid. Update your Pinterest page on the post-ageism reclaiming of shuffleboard. Pack. Wait.”

And Billk29 Rich adds, “Celebrities-having-fun-on-ship pictures to come I’m sure.”

Wish we were there!