As if packing farms, city squares and mountaintops across North America and Europe weren’t enough, music festivals are now setting sail on the seven seas and popping up in the jungles of South America and the islands of the Caribbean. Instead of being bummed out about the ice and cold this winter, soak up the sun of on these luxury cruises and private beach parties with life-changing music and unbridled celebration ’til dawn.
12. Holy Ship!
The hottest electronic music artists grace the stage on board this cruise bound for the Bahamas. 2015 will feature two sailings, in January and February, because one just isn’t enough. The music starts as soon as the ship pulls away from port in Miami, Florida. January’s lineup includes names like Pretty Lights, Boys Noise and Knife Party. February will bring out Skrillex, Baauer, Tommy Trash, Fatboy Slim and many more. The ship arrives in the Bahamas on the second night for a beach party on that night and the night following, with nonstop partying in between.
In addition to the obvious attractions like shows and dance parties, Holy Ship features theme nights. January’s theme nights are Prom Night on the second night and a Pajama Party on the third night. February’s theme nights are Mardi Gras and Noah’s Ark.
Credit: HOLY SHIP
11. Jam Cruise
Jam Cruise is one of the longest running festival cruises and will depart on its 13th embarkation in January 2015. This year, Jam Cruise brings us the funky stylings of Kung Fu, Pretty Lights, Umphrey’s McGee, Lettuce, Galactic and more for five – count ’em – five nights. The cruise departs from Miami and sets course for Honduras and Mexico. The music kicks off with the sail away party and goes ’til dawn.
Enjoy the sandy, pristine beaches of the Caribbean and the lush jungles of Mexico while you get off and shake out your sea legs. Once you’ve had enough of the beach, meet back at ship for some more face-melting goodness that goes well into the twilight hours. Jam Cruise is an intimate musical adventure that includes music workshops and meet and greets.
Credit: Jam Cruise
10. Dominican Holidaze
Formerly Mayan Holidaze, the Holidaze concert experience has now relocated to the Dominican Republic to the brand new Breathless Punta Cana Resort and Spa, right where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. If you get tired of the ocean, there are eight pools on the property and don’t worry, there WILL be a poolside DJ set.
Performances this year include The Disco Biscuits, Umphrey’s McGee, STS9, Lotus, and more. When you’re not dancing ’til dawn at a seaside dance party, take a surfing lesson with Mike Greenfield of Lotus, snorkel with Allen Aucoin of The Disco Biscuits, or take a tennis lesson with Bredan Bayliss of Umphrey’s McGee. Musical getaways don’t get much more intimate than this, and any fan should have this on their bucket list.
9. Wanderlust Oahu
Head West for Hawaii this February for an all-out ecstatic celebration. It’s a retreat and workshop for your mind, body, and spirit that also happens to feature inspirational musical acts. 2015 will welcome Nahko & Medicine for the People, Brett Dennen, and more. Each day offers surfing lessons for all levels, yoga workshops with world-renowned instructors, ukulele workshops, inspirational speakers, exquisite meals sourced locally from the North Shore, wine, camping under the stars, and revelry.
Wanderlust isn’t a music festival in the conventional sense, but it is a tropical retreat with awesome jams. It’s a spiritual experience, complete with sunrise surfing and beachside yoga. Unplug and drink in the natural beauty of Hawaii.
8. 311 Caribbean Cruise 4 – Soundsystsem Jamaica
Get together and feel alright on this cruise ship bound for the shores of Jamaica. 311 will play their Soundsystem album in its entirety on the way to the sands of Ocho Rios. Spend the day at sea dancing on the pool deck (or lounging in the pool or hot tub) to the DJs. Indulge in the spa, try your luck at the on-board casino, go bowling at sea, play the Wii on their two-story screen, or a strike up a basketball or volleyball match. Win or lose, you’re going to end up at a beach party, so everyone is a winner, really.
There’s decks on decks on decks of nonstop partying with people who are fun enough to follow through with embarking on a 311 Cruise. This year, the lineup will feature 311 (of course), Pepper, Dirty Heads, Rx Bandits and more. In addition to the endless activities, there are bars, restaurants, and jams that go ’til 4:00 AM and beyond. There will There will be a costume night and “311 Stylee” night, where you’ll have the opportunity to show off all of your sweet 311 merch.
7. 70000 Tons of Metal
A heavy metal cruise bound for Jamaica – it may sound to good to be true, but believe it. No expense is spared on the most brutal show on international waters – seats are removed from the theater (because who wants assigned seating at a metal show?), and each ticket provides an all access pass to 120 different shows of 60 different artists.
Artists this year include Ensiferum, Korkipklaani, Cannibal Corpse, Arch Enemy, Amorphis, and many more. The bars never close, so you can plan on getting Dethklok drunk ’til sunrise – which you’ll want to be for the Metal Karaoke. There are music workshops and All Star Jams with the musicians on board. It’s pretty much a metalhead’s dream, so pack your favorite black t-shirts and head on down to port in Fort Lauderdale to get on board this January for four days of heavy metal.
6. Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea
For four nights, dance the night away on the ship deck and the white sands of the Bahamas to the smooth stylings of some of the blue’s most legendary names and exciting upcoming artists.A�Musicians this year include Joe Bonamassa, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, John Hiatt and more. These artists will bring you the funky sounds of their soul and will jam long into the night.
This blues cruise sets sail this February from Miami to the Bahamas, making a stop at Key West. Get on boardA�for endless nights and fun under the Caribbean sun with other blues lovers. Jam your funky way to the morning light. This year’s theme nights are: Mardi Gras, Blues Brothers, Woodstock and Vintage Concert t-shirts.
5. My Morning Jacket’s One Big Holiday
Head down South of the border to beautiful Rivera Maya, Mexico for four nights in paradise with My Morning Jacket. The lineup for 2015 boasts My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses, Dr. Dog and more. Seize the possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of being in Mexico by exploring ancient Mayan ruins during one of One Big Holiday’s excursions. Climb pyramids, scuba dive, and snorkel in beautiful areas of Mexico unadulterated by the tourism of Cancun. While you’re there, indulge in the spa at Hard Rock Rivera Maya.
Don’t think that you have to miss the Superbowl just because One Big Holiday happens on the same weekend. They’ve planned for that, and offer One Big Football Party – a big screen football watching experience, so you can have your cake AND eat it too. Watch the game and get back to hanging out on the beach with your favorite bands.
4. The Falls Music and Arts Festival
The Falls Festival falls around New Year’s Eve, and is one of the most epic ways to ring in the New Year south of the equator. The festival changes locations from December 28th through the festival’s conclusion on January 3rd. This year, it will move from Lorne, to Marion Bay, to Byron Bay. Performances this year will include: Alt-J, The Black Lips, John Butler Trio, to name a few.
Falls is much more than just a music festival. It’s an experience of art, culture, unity, and a celebration of life. Sign up for art camp, circus workshops, participate in the parade, or just sit back and enjoy the music, the comedy and the burlesque. Falls is a unique experience of creativity and self-expression.
Credit: The Falls Music & Arts Festival
3. The BPM Festival
This electronic music festival in Playa del Carmen, Mexico rages for 10 days and 10 nights. Electronic music fans from all edges of the Earth make the journey to the picturesque beach town, Playa del Carmen. Dance parties go all day and all night on the miles of soft sand beaches of the Mayan Riviera.
With many affordable hotels and condos in the area, it’s a dance lover’s tropical paradise and winter getaway. Hundreds of DJs will take the stage to ensure that the party never stops. If you need to take a break from all of the music and dancing, take a moment to explore Mexico’s ancient Mayan ruins, swim in underground cenote caves, or explore the nightlife and local culture of Playa del Carmen outside of the gates of the festival.
2. Envision Festival
Every year, conscious people from around the world flock to Costa Rica to share the experience of culture, spirit, community, and of course music, in the pristine natural beauty of Uvita’s beaches and jungle. Performance art, yoga and art installations complement the musical performances. This year, Groundation, The Polish Ambassador, Phaeleh, and dozens of more artists will take the stage at Envision.
Relax under the stars, aside the rolling waves of the ocean as dolphins swim by, macaws fly overhead, and monkeys swing through the tree canopy. Take a break from the crowd for a kayaking excursion, a horseback riding trail or a jungle walk. The organizers of Envision are leaders in the movement of sustainable permaculture that is blossoming throughout Costa Rica, and this intention is the heartbeat of Envision.
1. Electric Daisy Carnival Puerto Rico
Over the past seventeen years, EDC has grown into much more than an electronic music festival. It’s a full entertainment experience with neon gardens, carnival rides, performers, and world-renowned DJs and artists that complete an experience of sight and sound that you have to see to believe. The tour makes its way around the world throughout the year, but its stop in Puerto Rico in February is one you wont want to miss.
Credit: Insomniac Events
This year, headliners include Steve Aoki, Afrojack, Kaskade Blasterjaxx, Bassnectar and the most important Headliner – yourself. Everyone is a Headliner at EDC, which seeks to create a community and environment that encourages positivity, and celebrating love, life, art. Set course for San Juan, Puerto Rico, just a skip and a jump from the beach shore, for body-shaking bass beats.
Featured Image Credit: adamjackson1984