“You have to love over a thousand people coming down to an island where all you need for the entire weekend is your room key.” Umphrey’s McGee keyboardist Joel Cummins knows what’s up.
Since 2007, Holidaze has offered fans an unparalleled vacation experience, packing great music, all-inclusive accommodations, artist-led excursions and beautiful weather into one great weekend. We detailed the 10 things we’re most looking forward to about Dominican Holidaze in a recent feature, but don’t take it from us alone. What does Joel love about the annual event?
“It’s the experience of getting to share the fun of being on a beach with four days of music that really elicits so much joy from everyone. I get to be a fan just as much as I get to be a performer, and it’s always a blast hanging out with fans getting down. There’s also just a wonderful vibe that the locals provide at the resorts— those interactions always bring a smile. But how crazy is it that we’re in our 10th year? Holidaze was the first beach destination event out there, and I still think it’s the best one for all of the variety a fan can experience while chilling on the beach or dancing their asses off in the sand. The way that the artists and the fans mingle is something that’s so special.”
10 years is certainly something to be proud of, and Umphrey’s McGee has been involved in all of the celebrations. The event is “incredibly special” to Joel, who even met his wife at Holidaze in years past. Talk about a perfect vacation!
Aside from finding true love at Holidaze, there are countless musical memories to share. “Having everyone up on stage at the end of the 1st year for ‘Hey Jude,’ that was special,” he says, before recalling a bastion of memories from sets by Umphrey’s and the many musicians who have played over the years.
“I have a very clear memory of our Digital Tape Machine set from 2012 in Tulum where the sun was setting right behind the stage. Last year, I watched and danced to Lettuce’s event-closing set while my feet were in the water. Holidaze has become an event that’s all about the camaraderie of Umphrey’s McGee, STS9 and The Disco Biscuits. That aspect of it has only become more fun as the years have passed. And it’s been really great having other quality artists like Lettuce, Lotus, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Break Science, the New Deal and many others. But of course, meeting my wife at Holidaze is going to top them all.”
The music isn’t the only great part about Holidaze. “The excursions are also always a blast. There have been some epic battles on the golf course (I won one of them), some great snorkeling, swimming & spelunking in the cenotes of Mexico.” It’s never a dull moment on vacation with your favorite artists!
Holidaze is coming up in just a few short weeks, running from December 1st through the 5th in Punta Cana, DR. With STS9, The Disco Biscuits, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Lotus, Lettuce, Shpongle (DJ set), The Floozies, Goldroom, Michal Menert, Manic Focus (DJ set) and Deitch (DJ set) on tap, the 10th annual Dominican Holidaze is sure to be one of their best yet!
Watch Umphrey’s McGee perform “Kinky Reggae” at Dominican Holidaze 2014:
So what can we expect from Umphrey’s McGee for this milestone event?
“We love to bring the edge and some unexpected twists and turns to our sets at Holidaze. As always, you can expect a great time on the beach with Umphrey’s McGee. But we love to improvise and check out the vibe before we pick what we’re gonna play too. We also like to look at what we played over the last couple years at Holidaze, so you can expect to hear completely different shows this year. Holidaze is probably the only beach-centric event with multiple artists that embrace improvisation and a party vibe. It’s simply the best and we can’t wait to be back on the beach with everyone.”
We can’t wait either. Book now! All of the information you need is available through the Holidaze website.