SS Coachella will make its maiden voyage Sunday, when the luxury ship Celebrity Silhouette will cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to the Bahamas (Dec. 16-19). It sails again next week to Jamaica (Dec. 19-23).
The set times were released here.
Goldenvoice, producers of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, announced in July its plans to launch the festival cruise line.
Headliner Pulp — an English alternative band that returned to playing live in 2011 and played the two Coachella festivals in April — will be joined by alternative rock, hip-hop and electronica acts including Hot Chip, El-P and Z-Trip.
Goldenvoice calls the S.S. Coachella “a rare opportunity to see Coachella artists in an intimate setting.”
In a blog post today, OC Weekly broke down its “Five Reasons You Should Be Jealous of Our S.S. Coachella Trip.” Among them: DJ lessons, luxury and bikinis in December.
The S.S. Coachella plays host to Girl Talk, aka Gregg Gillis, on its maiden voyage this December.
The Pittsburgh DJ and remixer also played Coachella on land in 2007, 2009 and 2012, and MyCoachella alum Sonya English had this to say about the high-energy act this spring:
My first thought when I saw Girl Talk on the Coachella lineup was something like “HELL YES.”
My second thought — I mean it — was: Am I in shape for this?
Read more: Girl Talk Live: Sweatier than spin class
Still, whenever I hear the UK group’s techno beats and Alexis Taylor‘s signature vocals, I seem to tense up involuntarily.
After ruling out the lyrics, vocals, instrumentation — anything substantive, really — as the basis for my aversion to this S.S. Coachella act, I came to terms with the fact that I just had a horrible first impression of Hot Chip.
The maiden voyage of the S.S. Coachella is fast approaching, so we wanted to introduce you to the artists who are taking to the seas this December.
First up is headliner Pulp, an English alternative band that took a hiatus in 2001 and returned to playing live a decade later.
The band’s reunion came just in time for the band’s 1995 song “Common People” to become an anthem for the 99 percent crowd.
In the song, Cocker skewers a rich girl who tells him she wants to “live like common people” and “do whatever common people do.”
At the land-based Coachella weekends this past April, Cocker worked his butt off to engage the audience and succeeded with “Common People” as the band’s finale.
But as MyCoachella’s Bruce Fessier pointed out in July, the S.S. Coachella isn’t as focused on the 99 percent, and “Common People” could find themselves more separated from wealthier attendees than they do at the original Indio festival.
The SS Coachella started taking reservations today.
That means you have choices to make: Bahamas or Jamaica? Ocean view or interior room? $700 or $1,700?
The high rollers will pick the AquaClass or Sunset Veranda room for “unlimited access to many of the AquaSpa amenities,” available only for two guests. That will run you $1,500 plus fees* each.
Looking to cut costs? The best amenities the interior room has going for it are “a sitting area and a flat screen TV” — but, hey. It’s cheap at $500 to $750* each (depending on if you book with two, three or four in your group).
* Don’t miss the notes on the pricing list : An additional $200 will be tacked on for “taxes, gratuity and booking fees.”
We thought Goldenvoice was concerned about City Councilman Sam Torres.
It turns out they were more worried about another part-time Indio resident: Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff.
Azoff and Goldenvoice President Paul Tollett are friendly rivals. They played golf last year in La Quinta. They’re both speaking Nov. 7-8 at the Billboard Touring Conference & Awards in New York. Azoff is giving the keynote Q&A and Tollett, Skip Paige and Bill Fold will talk on “The Grass, The Palms, The Music: Inside Coachella.”
Live Nation dove head first into the cruise entertainment business last January by launching its Holy Ship!! cruise on the Italian liner MSC Poesia. Its next one departs Jan. 4-7 from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. through the Bahamas. It’s already sold out with an entertainment lineup of DJs — most notably Justice doing a DJ set.
The creators of the Mayhem Festival, the country’s largest touring heavy music event, also are taking music to the high seas. They’re launching a heavy metal cruise from Miami through the Bahamas on the Carnival Imagination line Dec. 7-10 with entertainers including Lamb of God, Machine Head and Anthrax.
Broadway showed its interest in cruise entertainment at last month’s Tony Awards. The Royal Caribbean International’s troupe of performers did two numbers from their full-length production of “Hairspray” in a cutaway segment on the television broadcast.
So it was only a matter of time before Goldenvoice jumped on board with their brand of entertainment.
Coachella’s brand has become like a Good Housekeeping seal of approval for bands. It signifies a certain level of achievement.
A corporation’s job is to grow its brand, so it was only natural that Goldenvoice would take bands parading the Coachella brand and put them on the new hot entertainment platform with a smattering of Coachella accoutrements.
Voila! Step this way for the magical, mystical S.S. Coachella cruise, featuring Pulp, Hot Chip, Z-Trip and more! It casts off from Fort Lauderdale roughly one month before the Live Nation cruise.
But what’s interesting about this Goldenvoice venture is that the 30-year-old company that started out promoting punk bands has teamed up with the most luxurious liner on the Solstice series: The Celebrity Silhouette.
That almost shouts that Goldenvoice has accepted the celebrity hipster label many critics have applied to Coachella as a pejorative.
99 PERCENT OCCUPIES EMPIRE
Coachella became a cultural force at the dawn of the millennium when it united a multitude of acts that couldn’t command mass media attention. Many of them couldn’t get on radio, let alone television.
Tollett realized that if he gathered a whole bunch of these “niche” acts, they could attract enough intelligent but disenfranchised fans to become one massive audience.
Goldenvoice and the Coachella crowds reveled in the fact that they weren’t mass market. TV and radio crews weren’t even allowed on the grounds of the Empire Polo Club. With the Internet and social media, they were out to prove they didn’t need the old mass media.
And they changed pop culture by proving they didn’t.
Coachella also became a social phenomena by enabling these niche groups and their fans to experience the sensation of being among the elite.
Goldenvoice produced Coachella on fields where people played polo — the most elite of all sports. These young people, who were bright enough to recognize good music without it being force fed to them, felt entitled to a festival programmed by people as smart as they were. So, when they were put on a lawn for rich people, it was like a celebration of their great taste.
They looked around at the nicest large concert venue in America, and all of the great music on it, and went, “Wow!”
When the movie stars and young socialites began coming to Coachella, they attracted the attention of the mass media. But most of that interaction took place at parties miles away from the Empire Polo Club. It didn’t affect the Coachella vibe at all. The Coachella fans were still mostly 99 percenters occupying the Empire.
Think about that subliminal message for a minute. The 99 percenters were occupying the Empire.
Tollett never liked talking about the “Hollywood hipsters.” He didn’t really have anything to do with them. His organization gave passes to talent managers and they gave them to the celebrities. They were the ones who made sure publicists fed the mass media the names of their hipster clients.
So it’s kind of surprising that Goldenvoice would suddenly embrace those elitists as part of the Coachella brand.
NICHE MUSIC TO SAIL ON LUXURY LINER
Goldenvoice is using its same formula of putting niche music in an elitist venue — a luxurious cruise ship. But this time, only the wealthy can afford to go. This is more for the hipsters than the 99 percenters.
Stiletto President and CEO Garry Kief, who produces Broadway-oriented music for the Holland Cruises, doesn’t even call the cruisers “hipsters.” He calls them “yuppies.”
The music on the S.S. Coachella cruises will be hipper than any other cruise ship. But there will be more regimen and class structure than you’d ever find at a music festival.
Do you think the ship security will tolerate people walking into certain restaurants with their shirts off? If the infamous Naked Wizard takes off his clothes on the S.S. Coachella, they’ll probably throw him in the brig.
I’m most interested in seeing if that grass on the S.S. Coachella’s deck is real. If it’s artificial, it doesn’t deserve the name Coachella.
Gotta love the S.S. Coachella headline in this morning’s Desert Sun!
Here’s the paper’s Wednesday coverage of all things Coachella:
• Coachella promoters line up bands for musical excursions to the Caribbean by Bruce Fessier
• Indio officials up for re-election expect no backlash over Goldenvoice dispute by Xochitl Peña