For the past 3 sailings, Holy Ship! threw pre-parties that were, arguably, sub-par. Life on board seemed to be enough for the thousands of shippers. But not for one couple. As veterans to the most reputable and respected festival cruise to hit the high seas, husband and wife, the Buntings, decided to have a little party of their own. "We love this music. We consider it to be our religion." By the time the second sailing came around, they didn't know much Shipfam yet, except those they had been in contact with via social media. They couldn't wait to meet their fellow shippers, so they spread the word about a poolside welcome party they'd be hosting in Ft. Lauderdale prior to the ship's embarkment. "The Buntings like to have fun! We choose to be happy! We like the energy of having parties. We wanted to meet Shipfam!" Complete with an iPod hooked up to some speakers, about 50 people showed up to their room that day. "We couldn’t play very loud because security kept getting called to our room. But it was mostly Shipfam hotel guests congregating at our room and on the pool deck and since it was the pool deck they couldn’t really make us stop or leave just had to keep music lower."
By the third voyage, the scale of this party was off the charts. "The Bunting party exploded last year with over 800 Shippers attending. It was a party of epic proportion." They rented out a Jazz club called Avenue D in Downtown Miami and decided this time, shipper DJ's would be the entertainment. Submissions were collected and the lineup was organized by headlining DJ, Subset. Each with 45 minutes to spin, they turned this night into a 14 hour affair! "The party was super high energy! We were throwing fucking cats, dancing and jumping and shots were being poured into the audience. Shipfam was making fast friends & everyone was so happy!"
After such extraordinary success of last year's event, drawing THAT many shippers out, the Buntings knew they had to do it again this year. But what happened next was something they never imagined.
Gary Richards AKA Destructo AKA HARD Father reached out to the Buntings in an effort to join forces for the OFFICIAL Holy Ship! pre-party. "That was one of those bounce around your living room OMGing kind of things. That stuff doesn’t happen to the Buntings everyday. Trust us. Gary is very dedicated to the Holyship! community & he knew this would make them happy!" Since this party, official or officially un-official, had been in the planning stages since February, they had been collecting DJ submissions from those who attended, or heard about, last year. Unfortunately, 14 spots dropped to just 6 this year, "...but for those who do make the cut, how cool to say that you played the official Holyship! pre-party. This is the door to an opportunity for these artists and to think these things started out of something so small is really special."
Both held at Space Miami, the two pre-parties will feature two separate rooms; One will feature some of the artists who will be performing for us on each ship, and the other will be the lineup curated by Subset and the Buntings, composed of fellow shippers who will be joining us on each sailing!
January's lineup looks like this:
February's lineup looks like this:
In addition to the tremendous party that will be happening, the Buntings will also be hosting a silent auction in room 2 at Space. "All proceeds will be distributed by positive legacy and it will benefit the Miami based 501(c) (3) non profit organization Guitars over Guns. We really wanted to incorporate some aspect of charity to the party and again when we spoke with HARD they were right in line with it and it is their participation that is taking what we had envisioned to that true Holyship! level."
I can guarantee this is only the beginning for the Buntings and HARD's pre-parties and if you're on either ship, you're NOT going to want to miss out on either of these parties. "This is gonna be one hell of a kickoff! The shipfam has a saying- In Gary we trust."
Photo by RUKES
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