Dominican Holidaze is a unique and beloved event that seems to keep getting better every year. Fans of Umphrey’s McGee, The Disco Biscuits, and STS9 are treated to an incredible musical vacation in Punta Cana, DR, with event organizers Cloud 9 Adventures putting together an unmatchable experience on the beach. With amazing music across the board, all-inclusive food and drinks, tons of things to do both on and off site, there is a seemingly endless supply of entertainment and relaxation at Dominican Holidaze.
With the event scheduled to run December 1-4, there’s still time to book that trip to Punta Cana and experience all of the magic that Dominican Holidaze has to offer. With that in mind, take a look below at the top 10 things we’re looking for to at Dominican Holidaze!
10. A brand new second resort: Now Onyx
9. Vacation Life
Dominican Holidaze is the ultimate vacation, providing a variety of relaxing elements that can’t be beaten. First of all, the entire trip is all-inclusive, meaning that you’ll never have to worry about carrying a wallet around with you to eat or drink. Guests at Holidaze will be able to experience all-inclusive aspects at both Breathless and Now Onyx resorts. Also, Holidaze provides the perfect escape from the brutal winter in the United States, as Punta Cana enjoys an average high of 83 degrees in December. The resorts are jam-packed with spas, pools, and of course access to the crystal clear ocean. You can even get a massage on the beach. Incredible.
8. Late Night Sets
Dominican Holidaze makes it easy to stay up late by providing some of the best up-and-coming electronic artists in the Late Night Lounge, aka Breathless’ Wink Bar. Manic Focus, Goldroom, Michal Menert, and Adam Deitch will all be performing late night DJ sets this year from 3:00am – 5:00am, so keep your dancing shoes on once the headliners are over, head on over to the Late Night Lounge, and enjoy some late night beats until sunrise.
7. The Activities
No Holidaze would be complete without a number of awesome on-site activities. One of the cool things about this kind of event is getting to interact with the artists, and that’s exactly the experience that Holidaze provides with its many activities. This year you can play Water Basketball with The Floozies, attend screenings of the Umphrey’s McGee documentary “Reel To Real” and the Lettuce documentary “Let Us Play”, and meet-and-greet the artists at an autograph signing. Of course, our favorite activity was so popular last year, they had to bring it back this year: the Eric “Jesus” Coomes and Eric “Benny” Bloom cocktail hour!
These are just the first few events on the schedule, with more to be announced soon.
6. The Lineup
Dominican Holidaze features an excellent, hand-picked lineup of artists that would rival any music festival. First of all, the host bands of Umphrey’s McGee, The Disco Biscuits, and STS9 each play three sets over the course of the weekend, providing hours and hours of music on the beach for their hardcore fanbases. Also, this year’s lineup provides an awesome and eclectic variety that provides something for everyone. With only one stage and no overlapping sets, each artist gets their time in the sun (or under the moon!) where they get the undivided attention of the Holidaze crowd.
Lettuce had so much fun last year that they’re returning for a second go, while Lotus will be on hand to provide the ultimate dance party before Umphrey’s on Saturday night. The Floozies will be throwing it down to open the festival and Simon Posford will perform a rare DJ set under his Shpongle moniker in between the Biscuits and Umphrey’s sets on the event’s third day. Of course, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead will close the festival’s main stage on Sunday night, and fans have been drooling at the opportunity to see Joe Russo, Marco Benevento, Tom Hamilton, Scott Metzger, and Dave Dreiwitz perform the Grateful Dead catalog on the beach.
Watch Joe Russo’s Almost Dead perform “Help On The Way” -> “Slipknot” on JamCruise 2016
5. Poolside Sets
One of the coolest parts about Holidaze is getting to enjoy music while catching some rays by the pool. Goldroom, Michal Menert, and Manic Focus will play double duty at Holidaze, delivering late night sets as well as the coveted poolside sets that fans have come to expect from this unique event. Make sure to grab a spot by the pool, a refreshing cocktail, and a floaty of your choice as you rock out poolside.
4. The Beach
At Dominican Holidaze, fans are treated to a unique beachfront experience that can’t be topped. The beautiful white sand beaches of Breathless and Now Onyx are private, so you’ll only interact with other fans while you enjoy the beautiful waters of Punta Cana. Of course, the main stage is located on the beach as well, so you won’t have to move much to catch the music if you spend your morning catching some rays. Perhaps the best element is the full bar service on the beach. With servers walking through the crowd and taking drink orders, you’ll be able to enjoy all of the weekend’s music without ever having to leave your spot!
3. Sunset Sets
This is where playing on the beach goes from awesome to simply magical. Each evening at Dominican Holidaze, a band has the honor of playing at sunset, giving their fans a unique opportunity to watch their favorite band as the sun sets over the crystal clear waters of Punta Cana. This year, The Floozies get the honor of playing a sunset set to kick off the festival, while host bands The Disco Biscuits, STS9, and Umphrey’s McGee will each get their moment in the sun(set) over the course of the weekend.
2. Continuing Tradition
Starting back in 2007 with Caribbean Holidaze, the event called Jamaica home for three years before moving to Mexico for Mayan Holidaze. After four years in Mexico, the event once again moved to a new location, the Breathless resort in Punta Cana, DR that they continue to inhabit to this day.
Holidaze is an incredible experience that has kept fans coming back for more for ten years, and that’s because of the attention to detail that is put into planning the event. The lineup is always awesome, with artists such as Big Gigantic, Toots & The Maytals, Papadosio, Keller Williams, and The New Deal bringing their A-game to previous editions of Holidaze. The fans are always in high spirits, and the combination of great music and great vibes makes for a special weekend each and every year.
Check out some photos below of fans partying in Jamaica and Mexico at previous versions of Holidaze.
1. The People
Dominican Holidaze wouldn’t be what it is without the people. Sure, the music is excellent and the location is beautiful, but the true stars are the fans. Holidaze provides a unique experience for fans to interact over a four-day period, and many a long-lasting friendship has been formed at the event over the years. The event is full-on fun for all involved, and it’s noticeably when you walk around the event and see huge smiles on everyone’s faces. Fans get to see their favorites bands, hang with some of their best friends, and meet incredible new people along the way, and that’s as much as anyone could ask for when on vacation. Dominican Holidaze provides a truly special environment for people to interact and get to know each other in a low key way that really cannot be replicated anywhere else.
Watch the 2016 promo video for Dominican Holidaze, and the 2015 Dominican Holidaze recap video below to take a peak at the awesomeness for yourself! Find out more about booking your trip to Holidaze at the event’s website.