Photos by: Juliana Berstein (Get Tiny Photography)
Story by: Avery Clear
The only thing rising quicker than the anticipation for Splash House weekend was the temperature as we headed east out of Los Angeles towards the Sonoran desert and Palm Springs, CA. Even though the festival was cut down to two days this year for the first time, Goldenvoice once again brought a stacked lineup full of local favorites, up-and-comers, and some already very familiar names.
The festival was once again hosted in three picturesque locations as it seemed the pool areas at The Saguaro, Hacienda Beach Club, and the newly renovated downtown Hilton Palm Springs could have been specifically built for this event. Although it was a crowd favorite, the Hard Rock Hotel took a step back from hosting duties this year, but the Hilton did an admirable job stepping in and picked up right where they left off as a perfect downtown venue for Splash House.
The midday heat on Saturday had many gathered inside cherishing the last moments in their air conditioned hotel rooms, but by the time Figgy started his set at the Hilton even the intense 110 degree heat couldn’t keep people away. Every square inch of open water in the pool area quickly filled in and by the time Anna Lunoe made her annual Splash House appearance, and a full dance floor quickly followed. The Australia by way of LA DJ made it known why she has always been a Splash House favorite, as her high energy set even drew people out of the pool and into the heat in order to find more space to dance. The only downfall of her set was that it sent our group scrambling for air conditioning yet again after bouncing around for nearly a full hour. But the Hilton’s dancefloor brought us back out again as Gigamesh got the night started with a slightly deeper house set and as the sun set over the mountains to the west, RAC came on and ended the night with a chilled out indie-electronic DJ set.
To make up for subtracting a day this year, Splash House had the Sunday lineup stacked top to bottom with an eclectic mix of DJs. By 3pm, everyone seemed to be, once again, drawn out of the air conditioning and into their respective pools across Palm Springs, many to see Hippie Sabotage at The Saguaro. The Saguaro's already vibrant color scheme was amplified by a sea of fluorescent tank tops, blow-up pool toys, and a various assortment of unique decorations that hung from the balconies that surrounded the pool. The Saguaro definitely drew the largest crowds of the weekend and for good reason, especially on Sunday with Hippie Sabotage, Justin Jay, SNBRN, and Thomas Jack occupying the stage from 3:15 until closing. The brothers of Hippie Sabotage got the party started and set the tone for the last day of the festival, followed by the local favorite from LA, Justin Jay. After closing out the Hacienda Saturday night, Justin Jay came right back with a light house/disco-y set that perfectly matched the vibes of the Saguaro.
It was difficult to leave the Saguaro after a start like that, but Bakermat was already playing at the Hacienda and although pronunciation of the Dutch DJ's name was debated, the hype for his upcoming set was not. As we emerged from another nicely air conditioned Uber ride, the already scorching air became even more alive as we could hear Bakermat's new single, “Teach Me” lead us into the Hacienda. With The Saguaro offering such a stacked Sunday lineup many festival goers remained there for the day, but those who made the trip to the Hacienda received a special treat. Bakermat's instrumental infused house music is the type that just makes you want to smile and dance with anyone and everyone around you. Nothing quite epitomized the entire weekend, including his own set, when Bakermat looked over to our photographer mid-set and exclaimed “how fucking hot” it was. The Dutch DJ then proceeded to bring out a live saxophone player in a successful effort to heat the day up even more. Our day brought us back to a packed Saguaro for the middle of Thomas Jack’s 2:15 long set. Filled with that tropical-house sound Thomas Jack had the Saguaro grooving for the entirety of his well-deserved long set.
To end our night and close out the festival we headed back to the Hilton as it was starting to fill up in anticipation for Cashmere Cat. Wave Racer was still playing when we arrived and his slightly more dubstep/electro-house set was one of the most upbeat sets of the entire festival. There was ample room available on the dance floor and it was needed for how much the Australian producer was demanding from the rowdy crowd. Cashmere Cat came on to close out the festival and started with a bit of a tease at the beginning of his set. He kept it very laid-back with a lot of build up, just to drop back down into the tropical house vibes he started with. This did not last for long though as by the end of his set the tropical house sound transitioned into a more trap-based set and the entire Hilton was bouncing. Spending more time in the air than on the ground towards the end of the set was the best way to close out Splash House. Fans did not want to leave as Cashmere Cat played well past his scheduled 9:00 end time.
This was not your typical “pool party” Splash House offers a unique and intimate setting spread across three beautiful Palm Springs resorts. Offering a stacked line-up year after year this festival serves as a springboard for local favorites and up and coming DJs. Goldenvoice has put a new spin on a classic concept and continually produces it to perfection. Lucky for us, it happens twice a year. You can get your tickets for the August weekend of Splash House here: splashhouse.com.