All aboard It’s The Ship! Our Sassy contributor dishes on all that happened at the festival.
When they talk about It’s The Ship being a festival at sea, they meant it. We woke up to dubstep and went to sleep with that same incessant rhythm playing in the background. Not that we’re complaining, because, with 3800 fellow party folks on board, how often do we get to be on board a party cruising along at such massive scale?
Other than docking itself very briefly along Langkawi’s shores, it was three days of non-stop partying aboard Royal Caribbean’s massive Mariner of the Seas. Night turned into day and day tumbled into yet another hazy recollection of easily the craziest bender we’d ever been on…
Equipped with a shopping mall, tennis courts, gym, dining rooms, casino and everything under the sun, it’s hard to imagine how this hulking mass could stay afloat. It was mighty swanky too. We were pampered with excellent service on board, with a crew that managed to smile in spite of one-too-many drunken degenerates running amok every now and then. Those of us lucky enough to get an attached balcony had the luxury of gazing out at the glittering blue sea from the comfort of our own beds. Though in all honesty, what really took the cake was the free buffet available round the clock at Windjammer’s: a game changer as far as post-party noshing goes (a 4am mid-party spread became a thing).
Incredible facilities aside, the stellar lineup goes to show what the Ship was genuinely about — the music.
Having recently just wrapped up his North American tour, the legendary trance DJ Ferry Corsten brought the much anticipated Full On brand to this year’s iteration of ITS. Together with Mark Sherry, Thomas Newsom and Marco V, Ferry christened the Main Deck on the very first night with that patented Ferry Corsten sound. Seeing as the Dutch DJ has been known in recent years for his forays into mainstream EDM, the promise of pure trance drew the crowd in flocks. While sticking to a slew of EDM tracks, possibly to match the energy of the crowd, there were a few golden moments of trance here and there. All in all, it was a hypnotizing set that went on till the wee hours of the morning, and as Mark Sherry wound the night to an end with a mellow, pulsating blend of tech-trance, the crowd had already slowly begun dissipating.
Kaskade’s set was surely an event that was worth building up the hype for. After all, his was the headlining act on the Ship’s one and only stop at Langkawi. Due to some delays, most of us only arrived on shore in time for Easy Star All Stars to wrap up their reggae-infused set and the stage to go dark in anticipation for the House maestro’s imminent takeover. Fog bellies out from the stage, blinding the euphoric crowd momentarily as a bright set of lights dance across our eyes. A few bars of synth cuts through the chatter as the fog clears to reveal a silhouette at the decks. The crowd went wild, girls atop shoulders started boisterously waving flags high in the air. Everyone was there to see Kaskade (aka Ryan Raddon) and he knew it. For the next hour or so, Raddon enchanted the mass of beach revelers with pumping deep house beats, peppered with enough modulated vocals for everyone to sing along as one.
But contrary to what it may seem, it wasn’t all an alcohol-fuelled EDM rave — the Ship had so much more to offer. Folks at Livescape Asia went out of their way to ensure there was a lil’ something for everyone. With at least 3-4 different ‘stages’ scattered across the sprawling complex, there was always a party going on. While the onesie-themed soiree was good fun, and Rave Republic’s set was swarming with Playboy bunnies, ZoukOut’s St Tropez stage and Loco’s Hot Tub Time Machine offered a refreshing alternative to the constant frenzy at the Main Deck:
Hailing from the +60, DJ Biggie and crew’s on the first night proved a treat for any Hip Hop enthusiast. His infectious energy alone was enough to get everyone grindin’ away and jumping into the pool. Just when we thought we’d heard about everything, Singapore’s very own RAH slayed with an entirely fresh ammo of ‘choons on the last night.
Perhaps the sole hidden gem in a lineup chock-full of Dance and House heavyweights, the Black Butter showcase stood out as a conciliatory respite from the fist-pumping ravers. The label is known for the commercial success of Clean Bandit, Gordon City and Rudimental but stays true to its relentless championing of the underground scene back in the UK. We got a chance to speak to Tommy and Jammo from My Nu Leng on the first day and the duo affirmed us they were not planning on tweaking their set one bit. Used to playing intimate venues back home in Bristol, the duo, who describe their music as “UK, underground, bass” asserted that they were planning on taking a chance at showing a different crowd what they’ve always done. Having played at in Singapore earlier this year for Super0, the Bristol natives expressed their optimism, stating “Asia is more receptive to new things than a place like USA”. Together with fellow label mates Woz and Applebottom, the Black Butter crew ruled the St Tropez decks with their distinctly guttural sound two nights in a row. On the last night, in efforts to keep the party going, the crew delivered a set to upstage all sets as they spontaneously took over the decks after Blastique, carrying the party on to its final moments before disembarkation. Judging from everyone’s more-than-enthusiastic response, here’s hoping we’d get to see more Grime or Techno acts in future editions of It’s The Ship (Asia’s ready!).
And Everything Else in Between
Even if hardcore partying isn’t your thing; an entire day’s worth of entertainment was at disposal — pilates with Tigerlily or mini-golfing with Autograf — but there was really no need for that. Most of us found ourselves lounging by the deck, ogling at an endless stream of impossibly taut bods, or just catching some valuable shut-eye in lieu of another long night ahead.