All Bands On Deck

All aboard the Holy Ship! A 4-day rave on a cruise ship, photographed for British Airways 'High Life' Magazine.

Each Spring, the MSC Divina sets sail from Miami on a 4-day cruise to the Bahamas.

This may sound pretty standard, but on the Holy Ship, the cargo consists of 3,500 clubbers from across the planet, and 40 international DJ's.

In February 2015, I boarded the Holy Ship alongside writer Ianthe Butt, to find out why festivals at sea are here to stay.

‘I came on the very first sail back in 2012, so I feel like a proud uncle coming back at Christmas. I’ve always felt that about the dance music industry — you come and see your nieces and nephews who have grown, developed and evolved. Despite the festival’s size growing, the sense of the crowd and artists being a gang who all know each other hasn’t. It's like Glastonbury or Snowbombing where regulars come year, in year out. It reminds me of the Northern Soul Brigade where we all found our kindred spirits and we’d meet up once a year and travel to these strange places, except in slightly nicer surroundings.’

‘The vibe here is like a summer camp: everyone is staying in the same place and eating together so you run into people and create little families. It’s nice to have one-on-one time with fans — we did a T-Shirt crafting session and people could create whatever they wanted. We’re all about finding different avenues to express ourselves. The ShipFam’s deigns were pretty impressive — side braids, halters, cool fonts and logos.’

‘The food here is 24 hours, the drinks here are 24 hours — what else can you ask for? It’s my first time and it’s like Vegas on a boat, except I’m having to have to wear one of these damn seasickness bands on my wrist.’