[FESTIVALS] Splash House’s June Edition: Not So Tropical, But Damn Good
Palm Springs is a sleepy resort town in the desert outside of Los Angeles; for most of the year, its relaxed, slightly stuck-in-the-70s vibe is a welcome change from city life, a popular escape for couples or girls’ weekends, and a safe haven for those who want to get a little…weird. Last weekend this languid reverie was interrupted by thousands of almost-naked young people ready to f*cking party—but no, they weren’t showing up for Coachella two months late. The June edition of Splash House was about to commence, and this year attendees would find the pool party extravaganza had adopted a slightly different identity.
It’s always a pleasure to watch a festival in its youth blossom to its full potential, even if its evolution isn’t necessarily what you expected. Originally staged as a tropical house heavy multi-day pool party, Splash House has been slowing testing the waters by switching between venues, adding tech-house DJs to their lineup and experimenting with after parties. Last year’s event was one for the books in my personal experience, driven by the lineup, the vibe, and the venues. Although this year was far from disappointing, there were a few differences that changed the way I experienced the festival.
Previously, Splash House was hosted at three different venues—the iconic Saguaro, the Hilton, and the Hacienda Cantina. This round there was only two venues; of course the Saguaro was still present, with the iconic Riviera Resort as the new addition. While I enjoyed the Riviera much more than the Hilton, limiting the sold-out event to only two venues made it feel borderline claustrophobic at times, especially during the closing sets. As for the pools themselves, with so many bodies…I’m not a germaphobe, but let’s just say I wasn’t taking any chances.
It’s clear that organizers FNGRS CRSSD and Goldenvoice are trying to break out of the mold with this year’s talent roster, which leaned heavily toward the bass-ier and futuristic side of house music. Most of the crowd was clearly digging the tunes, but unfortunately bass music and future house just isn’t my genre of choice. However, with plentiful hotel room parties and flowing champagne, it certainly wasn’t hard to have a blast if you weren’t feeling the some of the sets. Lucky for little snobs like myself, some favorites like Lee Foss, Justin Martin, Nora En Pure, and Guy Gerber were present for all your house and techno needs.
Although it started out as a day event, the success of Splash House has led the organizers to throw increasingly impressive after parties for those animals who can rally after being out all day in the unrelenting desert sun. With temperatures capping around 100 degrees last weekend, this was a challenge—but well worth the effort. The Air Museum served as a unique, striking venue to host Flight Facilities on Friday night and Justin Jay & Friends on Saturday eve. The spacious hangar—complete with real planes and even a food court—allowed tired Splashers to take a breather on the picnic tables or dance far into the night. Never ones to stop the party, the surprise event “Last Splash” was hosted Sunday night at Bardot, where Cut Snake and Justin Martin provided the final (and FREE!) sendoff for attendees.
Who knows how Splash House will continue to evolve in the coming seasons, but one thing is for sure—I’ll keep coming back.
Photo Credit: Galen Oakes (@onenativeyouth); Jose Negrete (@_josenegrete)