Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 100: The Ultimate Drum ‘n’ Bass Playlist

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 100: The Ultimate Drum ‘n’ Bass PlaylistDeters Beat Lab@0.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.

There’s just something about drum ‘n’ bass that’s always spoken to my soul. I remember hearing my first Pendulum song a decade ago and thinking “what on earth is this, and where can I get more?”

The genre began making its way into the electronic music sphere in the early 1990s, right around the time I was born. Its rapid breakbeats took over London and Bristol, ramping up the jungle and rave scene to 160-180 BPM. While still more widespread in the UK to this day, the genre has slowly trickled into the United States EDM scene. We still have a long way to go before drum ‘n’ bass artists are regularly installed as main stage performers at major US festivals, but there’s so much to discover and embrace in the US drum ‘n’ bass scene (I see you, Flite and Boxplot). There’s also an endless stream of quality dnb being churned out overseas, with imprints like RAM Records, Hospital Records, and Liquicity Records as strong as ever in their supporters and fan base.

I regularly tell people that have never really gotten into drum ‘n’ bass to just try. It’s a diverse and ever-evolving genre, full of sub-genres and offshoots. I guarantee you’ll find something you like in some format. Dig through the 100-song playlist I’ve compiled to celebrate 100 installments of this series to see if there’s something there for you!

Thank you, drum ‘n’ bass, for your tireless energy, emotive vocals, and the ability you always have to yank me out of a bad mood and reignite my love for electronic music in today’s day and age. Here’s to you, and the brilliant artists who create you.

Tycho Debuts New Album ‘Weather’ & Live Show @ The Independent SF 7.16.19

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The post Tycho Debuts New Album ‘Weather’ & Live Show @ The Independent SF 7.16.19 is published on LIVE music blog.

“We wanted this record to be really different.”

The post Tycho Debuts New Album ‘Weather’ & Live Show @ The Independent SF 7.16.19 appeared first on LIVE music blog.

Sunday Morning Medicine Vol. 170, featuring Bob Moses, Kasbo, Hot Chip, and more

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Sunday Morning Medicine Vol. 170, featuring Bob Moses, Kasbo, Hot Chip, and moreSMM 2400

Sunday Morning Medicine is a feature from Dancing Astronaut’s Bella Bagshaw, dedicated to the mellower side of electronic music. She brings you her favorite therapeutic selections—old and new—in attempts to alleviate the often agonizing effects of a long weekend of partying.

Bob Moses has that rare amorphous sound that makes listeners want to dance, cry, and wonder all at once—which is oddly perfect for Sunday morning restlessness. “Enough To Believe” will surely offer its consumers bouts of all three.

Beach House singer, Victoria Legrand may be a jack of almost all trades, but she’s certainly a master of one: dispelling end-of-weekend woes with her dream-pop croons.

One of the earliest San Holo-sponsored bitbird offerings, Kasbo‘s “Found You” is a like a one-way flight to the sonic heavens—expedited.

Taken straight from Hot Chip‘s latest LP of the same name, “A Bath Full of Ecstasy” is an indie dance track in the iridescent, off-kilter vein Hot Chip has remained renowned for throughout their tenure in the studio. The track’s whimsical guitar strums and quixotic vocals catapult a sea of swimming colors through the listener’s unsuspecting psyche: a paragon hangover cure, if one ever existed.

ALT:Vision’s Laxcity is all too adept in the art of chill-out. Taken straight from his brand new EP, “Refined” is the nuanced, sonic equivalent of letting your hair down and getting lost inside some sunny Sunday musings.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 99

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 99Deters Beat Lab@0.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.

Listen in playlist format here. Stay tuned for next week’s special Vol. 100 edition!

Last Island and Alex Martyn are a match made in heaven. Their new joint endeavor, “Miles Away,” recently debuted on their own Island Life collective. The tune got its start from a simple jungle sample, and the two artists then built the song around it. It’s effortlessly groovy and makes for the perfect summer anthem with its funky guitar and drifting vocals.

Liquicity RecordsReflections compilation came out last month, but many of the collection’s songs are still making their way onto SoundCloud. One of these is Dualistic‘s remix of Edlan‘s “Dreamcatcher.” Dualistic has put a beautiful spin on this already-otherworldly song, allowing the listener to float above the earth on a cloud of melodic drum ‘n’ bass.

Netsky has teamed up with t1r to prepare his latest sun-soaked tune to hit the festival stage. The two producers have opted to remix Jon Lemmon’s “It’s Gonna Be Alright”—something Auckland producer t1r calls “a definite career highlight.”  This lighthearted remix focuses on Lemmon’s vocals, as the two producers complement his voice with subtle dance production.

Marc Madness recently unloaded a moody retrowave tune by the name of “1986,” hearkening back to the ’80s with its wistful guitar riffs and forceful vocals. Its dark and mysterious atmosphere takes the listener on a journey through the night, enhancing the mood with racing synths. The Polish producer holds nothing back here, and it’s thrilling to hear.

July 12 brings with it the arrival of Tycho‘s new album, Weather. It’s a gorgeous, contemplative venture comprised of previously released tracks like April’s “Easy” and May’s “Pink & Blue.” The album’s eighth and final track shares its name with the LP and is a perfect summation of the compilation with its breezy, relaxing melodies and beats.

Good Morning Mix: Revisit Adventure Club’s explosive ‘Superheroes Anonymous 6’ mix

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Good Morning Mix: Revisit Adventure Club’s explosive ‘Superheroes Anonymous 6’ mixAdventure Club Facebook Official

Anyone who knows Adventure Club has heard or has at least vaguely associated them with their mixtape series, Superheroes Anonymous. The duo released the first edition of Superheroes Anonymous back in 2013; the rest is history. Since then, the mixes have grown virtually synonymous with Adventure Club themselves, with the two producers putting forward the best of melodic dubstep, electro-house, trap, and hip-hop into one hour of cathartic heaven.

Now, we revisit one of Adventure Club’s most iconic mixes, Superheroes Anonymous 6: Road to Red Rocks. Road to Red Rocks showcases Adventure Club’s versatility at its best, with each track traversing through a sonic journey. Starting off with proper intensity, the mix delivers bass music from Barely Alive, Zomboy, and NGHTMRE and trap tunes like Styles&Complete & EXSSV’s “Starstruck” and Father’s “Wrist” before leveling out into melodic picks from San Holo, Sweater Beats, and Cashmere Cat. Adventure Club takes the opportunity to shift the momentum from filth to feels and energy to stillness over the course of the mix, incorporating their beloved signature sound throughout and gracefully closing out with Gallant‘s “Open Up”.

Photo credit: Adventure Club/Facebook

Orbit Playlist: get weekend ready with sensational selects hand picked by Cheat Codes

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Orbit Playlist: get weekend ready with sensational selects hand picked by Cheat CodesCheat Codes Live Credit Chris Gateley At Mustang News

The hottest collaboration of the year won’t be found on any major music streaming platform, but rather right here on Dancing Astronaut. Dancing Astronaut teamed up with Cheat Codes to bring listeners an exclusive new Orbit Playlist curated by the triple-threat electronic trio. The result is a goody bag of sensational selects that will power streamers straight through the weekend, and for those in the Tri-state area, straight to Cheat Codes’ July 6 show at New York City’s Marquee Nightclub.

Cheat Codes intersperse their own original productions throughout the diverse playlist, to treat listeners to a tasteful balance of Cheat Codes sound and other musical styles. The Ina Wroldsen-assisted I Feel Ya is the first Cheat Codes cut to grace the track list. Danny Quest‘s remix of Cheat Codes and Kaskade‘s Be The One follows suit, as do “Ferrari,” “Feels Great,” and the live edit of “NSFW.” The animated outfit also spotlight a series of fellow artists’ efforts, case in point UOWEME’s Rich The Kid feature, “No Texting,” with which the Orbit Playlist opens. Afro Bros and Sean Kingston‘s “How Many Times,” Sam Feldt‘s “Be My Lover,” and CID‘s “Night Service Only: are a sampling of playlist inclusions that capture the variety of Cheat Codes’ playlist.

Streamers can secure tickets to Cheat Codes’ Marquee event here, and can read Dancing Astronaut’s recent interview with the trio, here.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 98

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 98Deters Beat Lab@0.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.

Listen in playlist format here.

In mid-June, Liquicity Records continued the celebration of its 10th anniversary with the release of Reflections Pt. 2. One of the album’s eight tracks—Shock One’s remix of Ekko & Sidetrack‘s “Long Summer”—recently made its way to SoundCloud. It’s a gorgeous drum ‘n’ bass piece, featuring the heavenly vocals of songstress Reija Lee. She sets the mood for the emotive song with a silky introduction, paving the way for the pure, soulful energy that is to follow.

Black Caviar have gracefully morphed Bazzi‘s trap-infused “Paradise” into an upbeat house remix in their latest release. The Pennsylvania natives maintain the original’s smooth-flowing vocals and prep the instrumentals for the dance floor by adding a steady-grooving beat. They keep the mood light with a piano melody that reflects the easygoing simplicity of summer nights—which this tune seems to have been made for.

Fresh off a remix of Local Dialect’s “Poseidon,” Gorgon City have returned to deliver a brand new original, “Elizabeth Street.” The UK duo pay homage to the birthplace of house music, Chicago, in this new piece of work, luring listeners in with a somewhat dark atmosphere and an irresistible bassline. “Elizabeth Street” makes an excellent addition to the pair’s 2019 discography, which at only halfway through the year is already impressive.

I wrote about StayLoose and Fatherdude‘s “Illusions” in May, and my obsession with the tune carries into the remixes of it that’ve followed. One of the latest is from an Australian producer by the name of Dream Fiend. The artist takes a retro approach to his take on the track, bringing in elements of nu disco and synthwave to deliver listeners to the past. Bright synths elevate the song to new levels, and it’s addicting.

Pittsburgh synthwave duo Arcade High recently released their 10-track New Impressions LP, giving fans a taste of the ’80s over the course of the album. The last track before the digital bonus track is “Only Memories,” which harkens back to simpler times with a moody synth melody and a retro beat. It’s wistful and nostalgic, sprinkled with elements of a beloved decade that’s seeing a resurgence in recent years.

PREMIERE: FIGHT CLVB deliver double-sided debut album, ‘RVMBLE IN THE JVNGLE’

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PREMIERE: FIGHT CLVB deliver double-sided debut album, ‘RVMBLE IN THE JVNGLE’FC Press Pic

For the past two-years, SAV and Mystero of FIGHT CLVB have industriously invested their time in an electronic endeavor that is now finally ready to land on streaming platforms, the duo’s debut album, RVMBLE IN THE JVNGLE. After getting their start in 2014, FIGHT CLVB fluidly engaged a variety of sonic aesthetics, ranging from dancehall to pop to bass, and in the midst of it all, managed to earn their status as key contributors to the development of the Moombahton genre.

The dynamism that has distinguished FIGHT CLVB’s sound reflects in RVMBLE IN THE JVNGLE’S double-sided format. The cuts that FIGHT CLVB deem decidedly radio friendly figure on Side A of the LP, while the inclusions primed for festival play comprise the album’s formidable finale on Side B. Together, both sides bring listeners a total of 12-tracks. Speaking to Dancing Astronaut on the new record, FIGHT CLVB explain,

“The first half of the album should transport you to a party on a secluded island somewhere in the far reaches of the world. The second half should drop you smack in the center of a crowded festival on the dark side of the same island. Here, you’ll find aggressive, percussive sonic frequencies running rampant throughout the night”


As FIGHT CLVB’s first-ever longform outing, RVMBLE IN THE JVNGLE represents a musical milestone for the dance music duo, while simultaneously functioning as a retrospective nod to SAV and Mystero’s Caribbean and Latin roots. FIGHT CLVB describe the new collection as a body of work that draws inspiration from Major Lazer, as well as the dutch house sound that lies so closely to moombah sonics. FIGHT CLVB mingle these influences on RVMBLE IN THE JVNGLE and urbanize the sound that results to effect a distinctive style of music that sets their new LP apart.

“Growing up we would frequent dingy clubs in Queens, NY that would play dancehall, reggaetón, and hip-hop records throughout the night. This is our love letter to that time period, with a revisionist spin on it,” says SAV.

RVMBLE IN THE JVNGLE is FIGHT CLVB’s formal sonic statement, thoughtfully formulated, and vibrantly bodied: the duo has worked hard for their biggest moment yet, now upping the ante with a creative re-envisioning of electronic music animation. RVMBLE IN THE JVNGLE will officially release on July 5 via FIGHT CLVB’s very own FIGHT FREE imprint. Until then, listeners can stream RVMBLE IN THE JVNGLE exclusively on Dancing Astronaut. Listen to the album below.

Spring Awakening 2019: takes from the talent, with What So Not, Nora En Pure, Destructo, and more

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Spring Awakening 2019: takes from the talent, with What So Not, Nora En Pure, Destructo, and moreWhat So Not

A thick cloud of uncertainty loomed over the months leading up to the 2019 iteration of Spring Awakening Music Festival. A venue change for any festival leaves a precarious taste on a prospective attendee’s tongue. With one location swap already in recent memory (the move from its iconic Soldier Field footing to Addams Medill Park in 2016), organizers of the Midwest’s largest strictly electronic music festival had plenty of work ahead them following the announcement that Spring Awakening would not only be on the move again, but would be altogether leaving Chicago: its longtime, hallowed home. The somewhat nebulous news of the upcoming edition landing about an hour outside of Chicago, in Hoffman Estates, was at first daunting, as seen in the discordant social media reactions from repeat patrons of the festival. There were quite a few qualms to assuage—indeed.

Though, with the latest chapter of Spring Awakening, React Presents proved that its hallmark event has deservedly endured the treacherous festival front, where so many promising productions have folded in recent years.

The most apparent ingredient in the June affair’s success was a lineup that obviously spoke to its audience. Trend-setting talent from the bass-centric house domain came in droves, compliments of quintessential electronic curator, Gary Richards, and his All My Friends stage takeover, while deeper, melodic appetites found plenty of fuel from a long length of Anjunabeats‘ renowned repertoire. All the while, scene staples like REZZ, Chris Lake, Rusko, Illenium, and last-minute addition to replace an injured Martin Garrix, Kaskade, made the 2019 ticket all-the-more difficult to turn down. In its aftermath, the bygone roster of this year’s Spring Awakening echoes the famed Field of Dreams adage: “If you build it, they will come.”

But besides a robust, wide-reaching lineup, Spring Awakening saw its 27-acre Poplar Creek festival grounds succeed in rectifying much of the sound-bleeding issues it’s experienced in past years. Some traffic stoppages at the entrance and exits (mostly confined to the event’s first day), and a smattering of mud (mitigated partially by organizers as the festival stretched on) throughout the venue proved to be the primary, isolated complaints from the 26-30,000 attendees the festival amassed each day of its three-day run.

This year, Dancing Astronaut sought to get the artists’ perspectives on not only the newest chapter of Spring Awakening, but its legacy in the national and Chicago event spaces. We sat down with both first-time performers at the fest and well-oiled veterans, rounding up talent from different ends of the map, including native Chicagoans (Porn and Chicken), Aussies (Dom Dolla and What So Not), even a Frenchman (Shiba San) for good measure. Here are their takes:

Nora En Pure

Spring Awakening 2019: takes from the talent, with What So Not, Nora En Pure, Destructo, and moreNora En Pure

Real name, Daniela Di Lillo, En Pure has traversed the Chicago club scene quite extensively over the years, though 2019 was the South African-Swiss artist’s first Spring Awakening. The “Come With Me” producer has been a revered name in the deep/melodic four-by-four realm for years, touting a length of accolades for her mixing proficiency, ever-apparent in her radio show/event series, Purified.

I love playing Chicago. It’s a great city for me to play: very music-driven. It’s very rewarding. You can play more elaborately and really try things.

Of the 2019 lineup:

…very diverse, I like that there are not too many similar acts to me, so I can play my sound and people can appreciate it. It’s a mix between that really uplifting stuff and deeper stuff… sticking to the melody.


Spring Awakening 2019: takes from the talent, with What So Not, Nora En Pure, Destructo, and moreGary

All My Friends label head and taste-making guru, Destructo (Gary Richards) returned to Spring Awakening this past year, with a trove of on-the-rise talent in hand. As one of the first festival organizers to book acts like Diplo and Skrillex at his Southern Californian and now-ubiquitous brainchild, HARD Events, Richards is certainly no stranger to simply figuring out what’s cool from the underground, and feeding it to the masses.

My parent company, LiveStyle, owns the festival. It was a natural fit to bring an All My Friends stage here. But also too I feel like every one of our festivals we do needs that bass-house lane. It was fortunate enough that we got our hand in Spring Awakening. It’s just really worked out. I think it’s important for the scene as a whole to make sure this festival stays healthy.

On what goes into curating a stage takeover:

Finding the new breed of producers, trying to showcase new talent and bring up new people. Dance music’s all about the new. I think the masses only know the tried-and-true names, and I’m trying to break through new people to keep it fresh, but also to help those young producers really shine.

What So Not

Spring Awakening 2019: takes from the talent, with What So Not, Nora En Pure, Destructo, and moreWhatSoNot3 1
Photo: Luke Eblen

One of the most omnipresent talents in the electronic ether, Australian-born What So Not was another familiar face at the most recent Spring Awakening effort, having played the fest in 2017. A driving source of innovation not just in his cross-genre niche, but the scene at large, What So Not’s most prominent cuts — like “Gemini” and his “Innerbloom” remix — continue to resound throughout festival grounds across the globe.

It’s a great festival to come out for. Last time I played, I think it was at 3 pm; really hot. They were struggling to move—staring into the sun. I remember being like, ‘Come on guys, let’s dance.’ They all just kind of laughed like ‘We’re trying!’ I’ve got some friends coming on a little bit later I’m really excited to catch, like [DJ] Snake. The Bass Tent looks like it’s going crazy. I want to go in there, put on a hoodie, and go get sweaty.

Shiba San

Spring Awakening 2019: takes from the talent, with What So Not, Nora En Pure, Destructo, and moreShiba San

A Dirtybird crown jewel and more-than-seasoned purveyor of infectiously animated deep and tech-house, Shiba San returns to Spring Awakening as one of the lineup’s most coveted acts. Having established his very own label, Basement Leak, along with several acclaimed EP releases, the Parisian producer has certainly been busy since his last Spring Awakening stop.

Spring Awakening was one of the first festivals I played in the US, around the time I played HARD. It was so packed, and very special. I started my house music with the ’80s house music of Chicago. Each time I play in Chicago, I remember where house music came from. Chicago is house music. I’ve been waiting on an offer to play Spring Awakening again for a while.

I think they do a good job of placing up-and-coming artists at good times and fair stages. It can be hard for smaller artist to play a big stage at 2 PM, and then no one shows up.

Dom Dolla

Spring Awakening 2019: takes from the talent, with What So Not, Nora En Pure, Destructo, and moreDOM DOLLA
Photo: AleksandarJason

Another Aussie, by the name of Dom Dolla, made his Spring Awakening debut this year. The “Take It” artist is quickly proving himself one of the most enticing propagators of the forward-thinking tech-house sound that’s taken American festival stages for ransom of late.

American audiences are super excited: house music is evolving so fast for them. Australia has quite a few established cultures. We’ve got our tech-house scene, a bass-house scene, a progressive/melodic scene, and all these established artists who tour within them. But dance music really only started to hit America in a commercial sense a few years ago. It’s been a really interesting tipping point observing what I can get away with in a set.

I’m performing a lot tech-ier here than I was a few years ago. I think the focus [at Spring Awakening] is very much on dubstep, trap, and that EDM sound, but I think they’ve picked their house artists really well, Shiba San, Chris Lake. It’s a distinctly American house sound, that Blackbook Records, Dirtybird sound, which I love.

Porn and Chicken

Spring Awakening 2019: takes from the talent, with What So Not, Nora En Pure, Destructo, and morePorn And Chicken

Having played the festival every year since its inception, Porn and Chicken are the invariable authorities on all things Spring Awakening. Known for their outlandish and voraciously attended event series (of which, unsurprisingly, visuals of porn and chicken are a cornerstone), the Chicago-based “dubstep-rock” crossover outfit has had one the most intimate vantage points of Spring Awakening’s progression.

We first played the festival on the Red Bull truck, which is no longer here. The stages are 10 times the size. This festival has grown as much as we have over the years. I feel like we were babies when we first played it. It’s been very interesting to see how the festival has matured, as we have as performers over the years. The festival’s identity is almost parallel to ours. [Spring Awakening has] faced so many challenges… But it’s bigger than it’s ever been.

The curation of the festival has always been electronic dance music, but throughout the years I think the sub-genres have been represented equally. You can find dubstep, you can find techno, you can find house, and everything else in between. It brings together all the best the world of dance music has to offer. I remember one of the first years we played: You could walk over and see Green Velvet on one stage and see Skrillex just across the way.

From the local level to the headliners, the festival takes care of you. They make sure that the local artists get a chance to shine.

Featured Photo: Rob Mondo

How Gary Richards’ FriendShip cruise is sailing ahead of the pack

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How Gary Richards’ FriendShip cruise is sailing ahead of the packFriendship1

Gary Richards (widely known as Destructo) has proven time and time again he can curate a festival with uncontested competence and flair. Though he’s remained humble enough to know even he can outdo himself. From his decisive efforts in erecting the first iteration of Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) to forging the most formidable dance music brand on the West Coast, HARD Events (HARD Summer/HOLY SHIP!), by now, Richards’ emblem is synonymous with success in the national festival circuit.

His latest and most personal entrepreneurial endeavor yet, his All My Friends label/event series, truly comes alive through its sea-bound fixture: the FriendShip cruise. With the unsullied success of HOLY SHIP!—which bred the feverishly familial “Ship Fam,” the festival’s subsequent seafaring sense of community—under his belt, Richards has sought to bring the intimacy of his previous endeavors to newfangled heights aboard FriendShip. And the Navigator of the Seas, touching off in Miami and coursing through the Caribbean, is the vessel fit for the venture.

With fun firing on all fronts, the Navigator of the Seas is a festival-goer’s utopia. From glow-in-the-dark laser tag, to surf simulation, to its sprawling 17 on-deck bars, the ship is stocked to satiate virtually any itch that may arise aboard its four-night (January 6-10, 2020) charter. But aside from the full-scale waterparks and fully loaded culinary accommodations, music is paramount—of course.

Richards requires that each artist enlisted for the maritime mission embrace the experience as the ticket-holders do. Immersion is key. This mindset comes alive in his newly incepted “Dial a DJ” attraction, in which attendees can quite literally order a DJ to their rooms like On Demand. Plus, with two private island anchor drops at Coco Cay on the 2020 FriendShip agenda, more music and more AMF-approved nonsense aren’t just expected, they’re guaranteed.

The last installment of FriendShip saw an unorthodox, genre-traversing musical makeup, ranging from Boys Noize to Busy P, RÜFÜS DU SOL to Rico Nasty. His towering tenure both behind the decks and in the studio has equipped him with the aural awareness of an entrepreneur, an attendee, and a musician alike. Though Richards has yet to officially announce the 2020 cruise’s lineup, it’s safe to assume an all-bases-covered unveil.

With a 90% return rate for FriendShip alone, and over two decades of experience in the exceedingly competitive event arena, Richards sat down with Dancing Astronaut to expound on his vision for FriendShip, what to expect, and paramount updates he and his team secured for the affair’s upcoming voyage.

Tickets to FriendShip are still available here.

In what ways does FriendShip eclipse other festival cruises? 

The fact the we are able to use so many unique spaces on the boat to have shows really makes it special. We have a service called ‘Dial a DJ’ that was a massive hit with the fans where people can order a DJ to the room like room service. For 2020, shippers can expect a more enlarged menu to choose from. The community that we all have all built over the years with Shipfam is incredible. The bonds are strong and always continue to thrive and live on well past the events.

What do you think Navigator of the Seas and Coco Cay offers that prospective attendees should keep in mind? 

Navigator of the Seas and Coco Cay have received a combined 365 million dollars in upgrades this year. Royal Caribbean delivered something so over the top.

The improvements for FriendShip are going to be felt throughout the entire experience from better venues on board to longer hours spent at Coco Cay (private island) complete with massive water slide parks, wave pools, and swim-up bars. The Sunrise Sermon will take place on Coco Cay this year so we can all watch the sunrise together from the private island. I could not even have dreamed of something this amazing to present to the family. We get to stay at Coco Cay two days in a row and have the island all to ourselves with with longer hours and so many so many fun things to do.  I cannot wait for everyone to experience it.

What goes into curating an atmosphere for a festival cruise?

The key ingredient on the ship is amazing music and most important the people who attend the event. FriendShip family are the ones who make the party so special and are always on the same page. Last year we had zero damage to the ship. I appreciate so much that our group is so respectful. We have a plus 90% return rate so we are doing something right.

What’s your vision for the lineup?

The main key is booking artists who are going to immerse themselves in the event. People who I know are going to get involved with Shipfam and be part of the party. We want artists who are excited to DJ in peoples cabins just as much as the main stage. If they just want to hide in their room then they should just stay at home. I am also looking for a variety of styles music. Obviously the main style is always electronic, house, and, bass but this year we are going to add a little more hip-hop and even some reggae. I have been really getting into the reggae vibes lately. We are also going to expand with other types of entertainment with burlesque, comedy, and maybe even a little magic.

Would you consider FriendShip the cornerstone AMF event? How is it emblematic of your brand as a whole?

Yes it really embodies the essence of All My Friends. People meeting new & old friends through music and events. There is no better way to do that then on FriendShip.

How Gary Richards’ FriendShip cruise is sailing ahead of the packGary
How Gary Richards’ FriendShip cruise is sailing ahead of the packFriendship
How Gary Richards’ FriendShip cruise is sailing ahead of the packFriendship Island