What do you get when you put 2,500 EDM lovers on a boat and send them to Jamaica? Groove Cruise Miami! The world’s largest floating dance music festival, and a concert cruise like no other. This year marked the 12th year of the event, which started in 2004 as a group of party-goers on a cruise.
The festival had at least one stage running at all times throughout the day and night, making sleep a difficult task. With a line up consisting of some of EDM’s biggest acts including Dada Life, Dash Berlin, Darude, Kristina Sky, Project 46, Dsk Chk, Sander Van Doorn, EDX, Markus Schulz, and Dzeko & Torres, the music was endless. This year, the cruise took festival goers to Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Obviously, Groove Cruise isn’t your typical festival. Being on a cruise ship with the artists provides for the unique experience of getting to hang out with some of your favorite artists in a casual, intimate setting. One minute you’re dancing to Michael Woods with Dada Life in the crowd next to you, the next you’re listening to never before heard songs by Markus Schulz during a limited access event, or having drinks with Katrina Sky, Darude, and Dash Berlin. Despite some rain on the pool deck, the party never stopped. We took that rain and turned the deck into a giant slip n slide. A bunch of fest-goers sliding across the deck on inflatable animals was a sight to be seen.
With two themes per day (one for day and night), and interactive events like a soccer game led by some of the artists, it was certainly a wild scene on the boat. One heroic festival-goer donned an inflatable T-Rex costume throughout the duration of the trip. At one point, he made it onto the stage during Roger Sanchez’s closing set, where he was dancing next to Towlie from South Park. Mr. T-Rex also refereed the soccer game between teams Dada Life and Dash Berlin, which got heated before ending in a 4-4 tie.
This festival is truly a unique experience and a treasure of the EDM scene.
Words and Photos by Andrew Dolan. Full Gallery: