If the S.S. Coachella is going to last, it’s going to need its own rituals. On the night before the inaugural Coachella cruise sets off (I’m currently pregaming in a Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., hotel room) I’m missing all the usual signposts of an impending Coachella back in California. The buying of sunglasses, the selection of driving music for the 10, the debates about after-parties and the congratulations-you-made-it-to-Indio rounds at the Beer Hunter bar (OK, maybe that last one is just me).
Though absolutely nothing has happened yet, the opening night of the S.S. Coachella reminds me of how much else goes into making an event like this work, and much of the visceral memory of a music fest has nothing to do with the bands or the set designs. It’s really just an occasion to rally everyone you care about and go berserk for a weekend, and with that comes a host of small rites that signal the occasion is at hand.
Surely, if the S.S. Coachella is a long-term pursuit, this will happen naturally. The summer-camp-in-December aspects of doing this on a ship actually feel more conducive to spontaneity and delicious cabin-fever debauches than Coachella and all its attendant logistical challenges. But I wonder how the self-selecting aspects of the cruise will influence the dynamic. Between the ticket, plane fare and the necessary incidentals, this cruise can cost thousands of dollars per person.