Splash House is like a much needed kick-off cruise to Summer without the need for sea legs or the risk of being stranded in the great blue. We went in with our questions: How will this operate between three pools? What will the crowd be like? What debauchery would take place? Now that we’re back, we highly recommend Splash House for anyone searching for a more intimate vacation where a less hectic pool vibe (see: Vegas) and music are the centerpiece. Add squirt guns, floaties, awesome views and architecture, beautiful people, and hammocks and you’ve got the one-of-a-kind experience that is Splash House.
The shuttle system was the first question to leave our thoughts. They literally came one after the other so waiting was a non-issue; they even had free water, red bull, and shade for attendees throughout the festival. As it turns out, the shuttles were also my favorite part of the festival. Traveling from the 6 various stages (I’ll get to that) in tight seating allowed for a more personal touch to the festival and made for a great way to organically meet people. Everyone surely came away with new friends, at the very least.
Onto the venues. Where to begin? The daytime setup of each location fit so well with the artist placement. At night, when we finally stepped out from our sun soaked stupor (that 8pm-10pm rest period works wonders), we had no idea where the after parties would be. They couldn’t have made it any easier because everything was right there in the lobby. The new surroundings definitely helped to add a night-time vigor to the scene.
The Saguaro was a colorful blast-from-the-past getaway that screamed 70’s disco and relaxation. Poolside, Kygo, and RAC played exactly what we expected and it fit well with the vibe. There was only one Friday after party here and the carpet and cold air for Colour Vision‘s set added a nice touch.
The Hard Rock Hotel was modern, angular, and rockish with pop-art on nearly every surface. Genre-bridging sounds from Giraffage, Little Boots, and Lemaitre fit perfectly. Lemaitre even turned up and threw down heavy techno (with a bit of goading from our end) and everyone loved it. The night scene at Hard Rock gave off a Hollywood lounge feel. Pool tables, svelte couches, star-studded art pieces, and an awesome speaker laced centerpiece drew the place together.
The Hacienda’s open areas, thatched roofs, and flagstone details had us caught in a desert oasis. Dirtybird bass from Justin Jay and Claude Vonstroke had the crowd bouncing on Sunday. The indoor cantina had a dimmed, underground feel. The walls were rife with crosses and sugar skulls. Dark and deep tech house from Mossberg Pump and Amtrac shook the walls and had us feeling right at after-party home.
We left Splash House blown away (and miserably hungover) by how well put together the event was. That desert sun sure takes a lot out of you. For those that missed out or need one last ‘hoorah’ before summer closes, they’re adding an August session to the festival circuit. Expect some chilled out but lively sounds at round two of Splash House 2014.