Holy Ship! veterans share their prized moments at sea — NGHTMRE, Valentino Khan, Worthy, & more
The countdown to Holy Ship’s 12.0 and 13.0 voyages has officially reached the one month mark, and it’s time to begin looking forward to the festivities ahead. Who better to amplify the excitement than a bunch of past Holy Ship! talent making their return to sea this year? Dancing Astronaut reached out to these veterans to pick their brains on their most cherished memories of the dance music getaway, to really help paint a picture of what to expect come January 5-9 and January 9-12. NGHTMRE, Valentino Khan, Worthy, Christian Martin, GG Magree, Subset and Bones were among those from the Holy Ship family willing to share their tales, with each bringing smiles to the face in different ways.
“My first time on Holy Ship! was also my first ever cruise. Both years I’ve gone there’ve been so many amazing friends and artists. It’s something I’ve looked forward too all year long! One of my favorite memories was wearing Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi costumes with the SLANDER boys for our B2B. No one takes themselves too seriously on ship and the “shipfam” vibe is very real. Can’t wait to be back for my 3rd year!”
“One year, I played the same boat as 12th Planet, who is just as big of a wrestling fan as I am. One night he’s playing some crazy dubstep set and I’m turning up right next to him wearing my favorite Ric Flair shirt. All of a sudden we see some dude in the crowd that looks exactly like Ric Flair — he’s dressed like Ric Flair, he has the robe, has everything on, and he’s waving a world heavyweight title belt. This dude locks eyes with us and I show him my shirt, and then he just somehow football throws this title belt all the way onto the stage. It lands perfectly right onto the table and we’re stoked we have this belt now. We find the guy in the crowd and he’s like you guys can keep it and we’re like are you sure and he goes, ‘you guys can keep it!’ We were like, ‘are you sure?’ and he said ‘it’s yours now.’ We ended up partying with the fake Ric Flair for the rest of the boat, it was amazing.’”
“The first year I played on the ship, I introduced myself to Duke Dumont at the private island beach party and we connected about both releasing music on Defected Records. To my surprise, he asked me to go back-to-back with him during his set, even though we just met and it was such a highlight of that year for me — to get to play music with him on an island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea was so unexpected and kismet. Later I spoke to various veteran ship DJs who said they’ve never played on that beach and often the ship won’t even make it to that island, so it became an even more special memory…one I’ll always remember.”
“My favorite Holy Ship memory happened on 11.0 — a massive Drum & Bass tag set on the back of the boat with my brother Justin, Claude VonStroke, Noisia, Mike Bee, & Worthy. There was a friendly sense of one-upsmanship that spurred everyone to dig for their most insane tracks. The crowd was totally down for the ride which made every drop extra intense. Looking forward to much more d&b on 12.0 & 13.0”
“This is a tough one because what happens on the ship usually stays on this ship, hehehe…One of my favorite ship memories though would have to be playing my second set on the ship, and just before I started it started pouring with rain, so there were about 1000 people dancing in the rain my entire set. I still to this day get DMs about that set. It was super super super magical”
“A couple years back, I saw a post in one of the Holy Ship groups that two brothers (Anthony and Christopher Vagenas) were bringing their grandparents (Henry and Janet) on Holy Ship. They had already been with them to EDC Vegas, and are very supportive of their grandsons and the electronic music community. It’s rare and beautiful to see families come together like that, so we hatched a plan to celebrate them and welcome them into our family.
Anthony and Christopher went to their grandparents’ house while they were on vacation and picked out a bunch of their family photos. We chose several photos spanning their relationship – from their first date to their wedding, their first home, first child, 50th wedding anniversary, and so on. With an all-Shipfam crew, we had the photos retouched, colorized, printed on life-size banners, and outfits sourced.
On the final day of Holy Ship that year, we walked Henry and Janet down “Memory Lane”, with Shipfam standing in front of each of the banners, dressed and posed to recreate the photos of some of the most memorable times in their lives. We welcomed them into our family with a retrospective look at their own. I will never in my life forget their reactions and the amazing ability of Shipfam to come together for what was an absolutely touching project.”
“Holy Ship has always been special to me because of the amount of artist friends stuck together for the few days at sea, almost like living back in a college dorm for a month. With the amount of touring / traveling / living all over the world, we never get more than a night (if that) to see each other and hang. It really is a DJ vacation as well as a festival haha….
I’m fortunate enough to have gotten to perform on 4 of the years, and looking back one great memory was 2017 on (HS 8.0) when our blog Gotta Dance Dirty hosted a BLOG HAUS takeover party w/ A-Trak, Busy P, Drop The Lime (aka Curses), STACATTO (Gina Turner and Louisahhh), and us GDD DJs kicking off the night. The intimate “Headliners” room we had the party in was slammed, but the coolest thing to see what the amount of artists from every genre come and get a taste of the nostalgia, being that we all came up with that electro sound from 2006-2009. Green Velvet jumped on vocals of his old record “Shake & Pop”, Claude VonStroke was MCing and being the ship daddy legend he always is, and even artists like Manila Killa, Jai Wolf, Tchami and Dombresky were dancing in the front of the crowd with fans. It was the coolest things, to see and felt great being that I owed the blog house era a lot and much to my DJ career. That was a one time thing and I don’t know if it’ll ever happen again, but it’s what we all wanted and needed for that moment and I’ll never forget it.”
Photo credit: Rukes, Oh Dag Yo Photo, Jason Woo