ANCHORED: Europe’s Ultimate Week Long Festival Cruise

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My summer plans just got a whole lot better. With the rise in popularity of throwing music festivals at sea, Unique Cruises announced their brand new 7-day nautical adventure called ANCHORED, and it looks almost too good to be true. From June 11th – June 18th, over 2,500 people will embark on the European vacation of a lifetime.

The 7 Best Music Festival Cruises To Experience Before You Die

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Attending a music festival on a cruise ship is definitely something you must experience at least once in your life.  However, I should warn you, that after you spend a few days raving at sea, the idea of going back to camping festivals might not sound too great.  It’s honestly the most comfortable way to enjoy a festival, because it’s also an incredible vacation.  The destinations are always beautiful, the cruise amenities are top-notch, and the sunrises / sunsets you’ll witness while onboard the ship will leave you speechless.  If you’re looking for the best cruise music festivals, I strongly suggest you add these to your festival bucket list.

1 ) Groove Cruise

When:  October 7-9, 2017 (Los Angeles) — January Dates TBS (Miami)

Departing:  (January) Miami, and (October) Los Angeles

Destination:  Various locations.  Bahamas, Grand Turk, Mexico, etc…


Groove Cruise is the OG festival at sea, and will definitely be one of the best experiences your life!  I’ve now attended two different Groove Cruises, and it’s simply unlike any other festival I’ve ever attended.  Check out my articles on why Groove Cruise is the Ultimate Festival Vacation & Groove Cruise Miami:  96 Hours of Atmospheric Bliss to get a better understanding why.  There are two separate editions every year, so start planning now and join the loving #GCFAM !


When:  Every January (2 Weekends)

Departing:  Port Canaveral, Florida  

Destination:  Various locations:  Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, etc.


Having just successfully finished their 8th and 9th voyages, HOLY SHIP has made some major waves in the cruise festival scene.  Their line-ups are always stacked with an eclectic mix of bass / electro/ G-House artists, and the previous destinations they’ve sailed to are absolutely gorgeous.  The main reason I want to go on Holy Ship is to witness the legendary Destructo Sunrise Sermon Set!

Photo via Facebook

Party on the back of the boat! #SpiceH2O #HolyShip #ShipFam

A post shared by Holy Ship (@holyship) on

3 ) Shipsomnia

When:  June 14-18, 2017

Departing:  Barcelona, Spain

Destination:  Ibiza, Spain


Unoffficially nicknamed “Tomorrowland Of The Sea”, Shipsomnia is guaranteed to be a party you never forget.  It’s maiden voyage sailed from Singapore – Thailand, and was one of the best festivals in South-East Asia.  They are now preparing for it’s second edition leaving from Barcelona, and making it’s way to everyone’s favorite party island. This event is likely to sell-out rather quickly, so plan well in advance to ensure your spot on the “Tale of the Kraken”.

4 )  Inception At Sea

The world’s first ever floating spring break music festival!

When:  March 13-17, 2017  

Departing:  Miami, Florida

Destination:  CocoCay & Nassau, Bahamas


“The second annual Inception at Sea Spring Break Cruise will be setting sail March 13-17, 2017 from Miami to multiple destinations in the Caribbean for a 4-night music festival experience, with 96+ straight hours of music and partying.”  I’m personally going on this festival in just a few weeks, and can’t wait to share my experience with everyone!

Photo via Website

5 ) Anchored By Unique Cruise

7 Days.  7 Events.  7 pool Parties.  2500 People!

When:  June 11-18, 2017  

Departing:  Rome, Italy   

Destination:  Santorini -> Mykonons -> Monte Carlo -> Cannes  


This week long voyage sounds almost too good to be true.  Sailing to four destinations, in three different countries, this will be a vacation of a lifetime  This is the first ever edition, so if you don’t have plans in mid-June, you should definitely check this out!  The line-up is looking amazing already, and I know this is going to be a full-week of nothing but groovy house and techno.

“A fresh and innovative cruise looking to combine some of the very best of the nightlife you would normally find in Ibiza along with all the glamour of yachting and cruising.  Our vision is to be an exclusive holiday choice for the influential and glamorous.”

Double tap if our line-up has got you buzzing to get #Anchored17 this year! Tag your shipmates!

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6 ) The Ark

When:  August 31 – September 3, 2017

Departing:  Barcelona, Spain

Destination:  Ibiza, Spain & Marseille, France


ELROW ON A SHIP FOR FOUR DAYS!?  Is this real life…?  This cruise simply looks like it’s be the experience of a life.  Take a look browse through the website and check out all the incredible stages, trip packages, and information about the venue of “the Feedom Of the Seas“.  It honestly won’t take you much convincing to start planning your trip!

“Four days long the ship will cruise the Mediterranean Sea in a tropical setting making sure mankind would not only survive, but to be fruitful, joyful and most of all: for mankind to create. To create an atmosphere in which any animal would duplicate. To create an environment in which everybody is loved, accepted and musically connected. To create conversation where likeminded people share stories and discuss the strings of life.”

7 ) Mdrinity Cruise

The First 100% Underground Electronic Music Cruise

When: September 16-20, 2017

Departing:  Genova, Italy

Destination:  Barcelona -> Mallorca -> Ibiza  


“Setting off from Genova, this wild 4-night Mediterranean voyage, with stopovers at Barcelona, Mallorca, and Ibiza, will soon be the exclusive settings for an unforgettable party experience!

Each of 5 stages, including the main dance floor which is located above deck, will have its own unique atmosphere and a befitting line-up to go with it, providing an insane 24h a day music offer!”


8)  It’s The Ship *BONUS*

When:  November (2017 Dates TBA)

Departing:  Singapore

Destination:  Langkawi, Malaysia


This is Asia’s largest festival at sea, and should absolutely be added to your travel / festival bucket list!  They’ve had two successful voyages in the past that both have had massive line-ups, and sailed to beautiful tropical destinations!  I spent almost two years traveling around South-East Asia, and one of my biggest regrets is not attending It’s The Ship!  While 2017 dates / information haven’t been released, you should definitely keep this in mind if you’re planning a trip out to South-East Asia!

Our Day 1 pictures from #ITSTHESHIP2016 are up on Facebook! Check it out shipmates! ⚓️

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Am I Missing Any Epic Cruise Festivals…?




Groove Cruise Miami: 96 Hours of Atmospheric Bliss

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Alright…so it’s been two weeks since GC Miami, and I’m finally finding the time / energy to write about my experience.  The question is, where do I start…?

To even begin explaining how truly special the 4 days spent onboard the Carnival Victory is near impossible. I sit here mindlessly staring at my computer at a complete loss for words… So before you continue reading it is important you understand that nothing I write nor photo I upload will ever completely capture the magical atmosphere that came to life during Groove Cruise Miami.

So now that you have been adequately warned – I am going to try my absolute best to paint this picture for you and give you an understanding why…

These really were 96 of the best hours of my entire life

However, first things first, I want to give the biggest shout out to EVERYONE who attended Groove Cruise Miami 2017. I think we can unanimously agree that it will live to be an exceptional highlight in all of our lives, and even though I obviously couldn’t get the chance to meet everyone on board…we are all part of one giant family!

If you’ve been following me on Facebook or Instagram for a while, you will most likely know that I was offered the opportunity to pop my Groove Cruise cherry in Cabo back in 2016.  That was an experience I will never forget, and it changed my life in multiple ways.  Not only was it one hell of a party, but I forged some strong connections with some of the most loving, incredible, and inspiring people I’ve ever come across, and I know that it was only the beginning…

Check out my article “11 Reasons Why Groove Cruise Is The Ultimate Festival Vacation“.

When I boarded my flight from Sydney to Miami, I was absolutely exhausted from the past 2.5 months of traveling around Australia.  While my life as a travel-blogger might look amazing on social-media…full-time travel takes a severe toll on your energy levels.  However, it goes without saying that when the opportunity came to hop-on Groove Cruise again, the only possible answer (as the Aussies would say) was “Fuckin Oath! YEAH!”.

I was no longer a Groove cruise virgin, so I knew exactly what I was getting myself into…

I was actually kind of nervous that it wouldn’t live up to my previous experience on Cabo though.  Have you ever had so much fun at one event, that you think that nothing will ever come close, or be able top it…?  Now, trust me when I say that in hindsight I have realized that thought process was severely illogical, because I’ve learned that Groove Cruise just gets better and better every year you go.

GC Miami 2017  exceeded my expectations in every single way, and these are my top highlights:  

1  )  The GC Fam Atmosphere

I remember reading a Facebook post from a GC Veteran explaining the mentality on Groove Cruise, and how (unlike many other events) “there are no “cool kids” or “losers” on this boat… just family.”  I have never heard truer words spoken. This universal sensation offers the perfect atmosphere for everyone to let their guard down, meet new people, and just enjoy the party.

Everyone I met while on GC Miami were nothing but unbelievably friendly, and I honestly never experienced a single negative vibe.  I would walk past people I had never met, and they would just come up, introduce themselves, and give me a hug without hesitation.

While this can be rather standard at music festivals, the connections you make on Groove Cruise surpass normal fleeting “festival friendships”.  This is a rather intimate event with only 2500 attendees, so the people you meet and party with on Day 1, you will inevitably keep running into around the ship.  This is especially true for all you after hours addicts and “We’re Never Going Home” squad – you know who you are!  If you don’t run into GC Miami MVP Bryan Lubliner at least once or twice a day…you’re doing it wrong!

What makes the GC Family so incredibly unique is that it’s a community that has blossomed over the past decade.  There are people who have been attending every year since Whet Travel began, and it really makes this festival stand knots apart from the other parties at sea.

With the average age of Groove Cruise attendees being around 32-33, it’s a much more mature and respectful crowd who embrace the “work hard, play hard” mentality…

“There’s doctors, and lawyers, and business executives”  *Cue Weeds Theme Song*…. and they are all on board for the same reasons: great music, amazing vibe, and to escape the real world for a few days in paradise.   

It’s difficult to explain, but walking around that cruise ship you just feel this energy that is unlike any other place in the world.  You can go ahead and tell our pal Walt I said this because I will shout it from the top of Magic Kingdom if I have to…

F**k Disneyland…Groove Cruise is the happiest place on earth!

2  ) Engagement & a Wedding

Love truly was in the air on the Carnival Victory.    

During Sam Feldt’s set on night 1, my good friend Joe had an important question he was dying to ask his beautiful girlfriend Melissa.  As he grabbed the microphone, got down on one knee, and proposed…the crowd anxiously waited for her reply:

“Yes! Abso-fucking-utely!”

Photo via Adam Hahn

I was stoked to be there to capture the moment they Skyped Melissa’s mother to share the happy news.  <3  If you didn’t get the chance to meet these two, keep an eye out for them on future Groove Cruises!  They are absolutely amazing, and spread nothing but love and good vibes to everyone around them.  I can’t wait to fly to Thailand for their wedding !!

Next — it was 6 A.M, and UMEK had just finished his monster techno set at the AFT Pool Deck.  I was snapping some photos of the sunrise, and someone came up to me and asked if I was going to go the wedding…?

I’ll admit I didn’t even know there was a wedding scheduled — so I quickly scurried over to the other side of the ship, and fortunately had arrived just in time to witness the magic!  It was a beautiful ceremony, of an even more beautiful couple.  Officiated by DJ Mimosa, and with a massive crowd of GC FAM, it was definitely a special moment onboard GC Miami.

  As the sun pushed up over the horizon, the confetti canons went off, and they shared their first kiss as husband & wife.


3 ) Every Set at the AFT Pool Deck

While the hard-core trance fans may argue with me over this one, the best music on Groove Cruise was definitely heard at the after-hours parties at the back at the ship on the AFT Pool Deck.

Anthony AttallaLee Foss, Cocodrills, Chus + Ceballos, and Roger Sanchez had me completely in awe.  Real proper underground house and techno blasted from the speakers, and as as the sun slowly began to appear each morning, there were beautiful party people dressed in their elaborate costumes spread out on both levels of the AFT pool deck.

OH…and can I just take a moment to discuss how much of an absolute legend DASH BERLIN is!  One of the best aspects about Groove Cruise is being able to party with the DJ’s, but I never expected Dash to be such a rager, lol.  He was up with the rest of the after-hours animals and was getting after it.

Photo via Veranmiky

When you look ridiculous as fuck, but still need to take a picture with DASH BERLIN

4 )  #TranceFamily in the Theater

While I haven’t listened to too much trance in recent years, the trance line-up on Groove Cruise Miami was undeniably stacked!  With heavyweights like Markus Schulz, Andrew Rayel, Cosmic Gate, Jochen Miller, and of course Dash Berlin all playing sets in the theater, I knew I was going to hear nothing but the best from these trance legends.

As usual, I was completely correct, and every time I wandered into the largest indoor stage, I was pleasantly surprised with some hard-hitting yet emotional music.  I wasn’t a big fan of the set-up of the theatre because there were all these rows that inhibited any sort of dance floor, but the production and sound were truly epic.  THOSE LAZERS!!

5  )  Beautiful People in Crazy Costumes

Last but certainly not least – one of the best parts about attending Groove Cruise is that it is perhaps the most impressive costume party you will ever witness.  There were two different themes every day, and people seriously go above & beyond with their themed attire.  

(Since I flew all the way from Australia, I didn’t really have enough time to properly prepare for all the costumes, but I still did my best at looking festival ready)






Photo via Adam Hahn


Photo via Adam Hahn


Photo via Veranmiky


Photo via Adam Hahn

Groove Cruise Miami really was the most insane ending to my recent 3-month adventure, and while it has quite literally taken me weeks to recover (which is why it took me this long to write this article), I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Check out my full Groove Cruise Miami Facebook Album for all of my pictures from the festival!

I swiped my V-card boarding the Groove Cruise Cabo…but Groove Cruise Miami turned me  into a life-long GC devotee. 



October 6-9, 2017.

Tickets go on sale February 16th, and this event will sell-out!

Follow Groove Cruise:

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Youtube



The 10 Best Music Festivals in Sydney, Australia


When it comes to music festivals in Sydney, there really are so many incredible ones to choose from.  I lived in Sydney for a year, and made it my mission to attend as many music festivals in Australia as I possibly could.  While I haven’t been to ALL of these on this list, I’ve actually been to my fair share of them.  The Australian festival culture is alive and vibrant, and I can guarantee you’ll love all the music and atmosphere at these fantastic events!

So check out my list for what I think are the 10 Best Music Festivals in Sydney, Australia:

1 )  Lost Paradise

Located just a short 80 minute ride from Sydney, this 3-day camping festival is hands down one of the best New Years Eve Festivals in Australia.   Three incredible stages are spread out in the Glenworth Valley, all with a diverse line-up of live-music and proper underground electronic dance music.  I’ve personally attended this one, and it became my favorite of all the music festivals in Australia!  They just finished their edition, but you honestly would think it was their 10th.  It’s a perfectly executed music festival with comfortable camping, incredible stage production, and delicious food and beverage.  Skip the fireworks — head to Lost Paradise.

Read my full festival review:  Lost Paradise:  Truly a Hidden Wonderland

2 )  Return To Rio

I’ve now attended two different Return To Rio’s, and I would 100% recommend it to everyone looking for an epic weekend of camping, dancing, and boozing.  There’s two every year marking the “beginning and ending of summer” parties, and I promise it will be 3-days you will never forget.  Located about an hour north of Sydney in Wiseman’s Ferry, Return to Rio provides a much needed escape for fans of proper underground house music to come together, dress up in crazy costumes, and forget about the stress of everyday life.

Read my full festival review — Return To Rio; The Ultimate Weekend Away

3 )  Subsonic

When it comes to 3-day camping festivals located just a bit outside of Sydney, Subsonic is the absolute best one to attend (from what I’ve heard).  While I haven’t had the opportunity to check it out for myself, all my favorite festival friends swear by it.  The venue, Riverwood Downs Mountain Valley Resort, is absolutely gorgeous, and perfect for an event of this size.  The music DOES NOT STOP, so you better be ready for a proper bender #TeamNoSleep.  Everyone is also all about the community, and it’ll be hard to find people at Subsonic that will not greet you with a smile and a huge.  Subsonic happens every year at the beginning of December.  Check it out!

Photo via Facebook

4 )  Days Like This

When it comes to one-day festivals in Australia, you’re going to have a hard time finding one with as good of a line-up as Days Like This.  While the line-up has elements of diversity, it’s clear that the main focus of this is quality underground house  & techno. With heavyweights like Dixon, AME, DJ Tennis, and Recondite — this is guaranteed to be one of the best events musically in Australia.  If you find yourself in Sydney on March 11th, make your way to the Randwick Racecourses, and don’t forget comfortable shoes!

5 )  Electric Gardens

Having just successfully finished it’s 2nd edition, Electric Gardens has shown it’s a festival that’s here to stick around for many years to come.  The 2017 Sydney line-up had big names like Eric Prydz, Jamie Jones, and Sasha — just to name a few.  While Electric Gardens does throw editions in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane as well, Sydney will always be it’s home base.  I attended the 2016 edition, and had an absolutely incredible time.  It’s well organized, excellent production, and it attracts the perfect Sydney party crowd.

Read: Electric Gardens Festival Review 

6 )  St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival

This Asian & Australian touring festival needs no introduction, but the Sydney edition definitely needs to be on your Australia Festival bucket list.  Every line-up I’ve seen from Laneway has been so diverse and unique, and could only imagine the soundtrack of the day is nothing but perfection.  It’s a one-day festival right in the city, and definitely shouldn’t be missed.  Laneway Sydney happens every year in early February.

Photo via Facebook

7 )  Field Day

What are your plans for January 1st…?  Well, if you’re smart, you’ve booked your tickets to Field Day well in advance, because this one-day Sydney party is the absolute best way to start off the year.  This one-day mega festival is spread out over 4-5 stages at the beautiful venue, The Domain.  Every year the line-up will impress you with top-notch international artists, as well as plenty of domestic talent.  I went to Field Day in 2016, and it was definitely a good time.  It was a bit overcrowded at times, but the production was fantastic, and it’s proper Aussie festival vibes.

8 )  PURE Festival

Carl Cox, the king of techno, is back once again for his one-day festival at the Hordern Pavillion.  With support from techno champions Adam Beyer + Noir, this is an event that should not be missed.  If you’re looking for some real proper techno, this where you need to go.

9 )  HarbourLife

“Since 2003 Harbourlife has become Sydney’s premiere dance music event. This spectacular Sydney party will return to its spectacular waterside venue at Mrs Macquarie’s Point in Sydney. You can celebrate the start of summer in beautiful green surroundings, the perfect view of the Sydney harbour / skyline and party with a carefully hand-picked selection of quality house acts providing the perfect soundtrack.”

Tickets sell out for this event fast, but if you don’t manage to snag some, you can still make your way over to the Royal Botanical Gardens and listen to the music from the top of the festival.  That’s what I did one year, and there were plenty of people enjoying a free-party with top-notch music.

Photo via Facebook

10 )  FOMO Festival

Do not MISS out on FOMO when it comes to Sydney!  This one-day mega party in Parramatta is absolutely fantastic.  While the line-up is a little bit mainstream / hip-hop for my personal taste, it’s still an incredible day of partying in Sydney.  The whole purpose of FOMO is that it’s only one massive stage, so you don’t “miss out” on anything!  The sound is great, the venue is ideal, and it’s just a really fun day.

Those are what I believe to the best music festivals in Sydney!



Travels, Festivals, & Photography: 2016 In Review

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We’re now two weeks into 2017, and I’m just finally posting my annual round-up article.

Sorry for the delay, but the past couple months I’ve been traveling, festivaling, and photographing Australia — and I’ve barely had any time to slow down and catch up on work.

2016 was a huge year of growth for me — both personally and career wise.

From beginning the year living in Sydney, traveling through Sri Lanka & Europe, spending a couple months back home in California, and finally exploring Australia — this year has definitely been full of adventures.

Countries Visited:  13

Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, France, Belgium, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, U.S.A       

Festivals Attended: 13

Field Day, Electric Gardens, Yacht Social Club, Return to Rio, Groovin The Moo, Voodoo Village, Balaton Sound, Brussels Summer Festival, CRSSD Festival, Dirtybird Campout, Groove Cruise, Return To Rio, and Lost Paradise

If you haven’t already, take a read through my Highlights of 26 Months of Travel post.  This goes into much more detail about the earlier months of 2016.

And if you want to stalk me a bit further, feel free to read my 2014 Annual Review & my 2015 year in Review

January – May  (Living in Sydney)

I started out the year finishing off my Working Holiday Visa in Australia, and to be honest — I wasn’t quite ready to leave Sydney.  As I discuss in my blog post about long-term travel and saying goodbye, this city has become much more than another stop in my nomadic life — it’s my second home.

The only reason I left the country was because of this “backpacker tax” that the Australian government decided they would enforce, which I even got interviewed about in the Australian Financial Review.  You can read that article here.  That was a really cool opportunity for me, and it opened up some doors for future travels (long story).

Everything happens for a reason though, because leaving Sydney ended up being a very important deciding factor for the rest of the year.  I had made enough money working full-time to fund my summer travels, and I was ready to hit the road again.

June in Sri Lanka + TBC Asia

This was my second trip to Sri Lanka, and was definitely one of the highlights of the year.

The main reason for it being so influential was it gave me the motivation to continue on with Jones Around The World.  

The truth is that travel-blogging takes a lot of damn time, and I had lost some of the original spark I had for this site.  I had a full-time job while in Sydney, and whenever I got home from work I just didn’t have the energy to write new content.

So attending TBC Asia and having the opportunity to network and travel with like-minded bloggers was exactly what I needed.  I learned quite a lot about the business side of blogging, and found some much needed inspiration.

Read all about my Sri Lanka adventures:

Beach life is the best. Especially when there is warm water, soft sand, and beautiful blue skies. I'm gonna miss these Sri Lankan beaches.

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

Two Months Traveling Europe (July-August)

At the beginning of June, I hit the 2-year mark of being away from California (the longest I have ever spent away from home).  I actually was meant to fly back to Los Angeles, and spend the summer in the States…but when I was selected to be apart of TBC Asia, that included a free-flight to Europe, so I couldn’t say no to that.

Where did I go?

Paris -> Brussels -> Budapest -> Balaton Sound (Music Festival) -> Belgrade -> Bosnia & Herzegovina -> Montenegro -> Albania -> Greece -> Brussels

These were two of the most-action packed months of travel.  I’ve already written extensively about how much I enjoyed Balaton Sound, but the real highlight had to be the Balkan road trip.

If you’re thinking of the best places to go in 2017, then I would strongly recommend visiting The Balkans in Eastern Europe!

I think I'm gonna move to the mountains in Montenegro, build a house, and adopt 12 dogs. Yeah…that sounds like a good plan.

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

Shoutout to Dan Flying Solo & Lili’s Travel Plans for an epic road-trip!  

UBERing, FESTIVALing, and EXPLORing CALIFORNIA (September – October)

First stop:  In-N-Out

I was back home in California for about 2.5 months, and they honestly flew by so quick.  I had one main goal:  save up as much money as possible.  I didn’t have time to get a “normal job” because of interviews, training, and putting in “two weeks notice” before embarking on my next travels — so I signed up to be an Uber & Lyft Driver in California.

I actually loved my time being a driver!

C-A-L-F-O-R-N-I-A Oh, how I've missed you….

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

I would honestly say that 95% of the people who got into my car were really great, and it was also a really fun way to tell people about my travels, and make some new friends!  Yes, I made friends with my passengers!

With Lyft — there was a $2,000 Sign-Up Bonus if you complete 500 Rides in the first 60 days, and I was completely committed to reaching that goal.

It was a lot of hours on the road, but I saved up enough money to buy a new iPhone, Nikon D750, 2 FX Lenses, and a Drone.

Mmerica. #California #PCH #RoadTrip PC- @danflyingsolo

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

I also had the opportunity to attend 3 incredible music festivals!  You can read the reviews of each of these by clicking the links:

CRSSD Music Festival

Dirtybird Campout

The Groove Cruise

When it comes to The Groove Cruise, this was honestly one of the best experiences of my entire life.  Not only was it one epic party, but it was when I discovered my passion for festival / event photography.

Check out my Groove Cruise Album on Facebook.  I think I got some pretty epic photos, and love that I was able to capture some beautiful moments on board that ship.

 I’m slowly starting to book some more work as a photographer, and can’t wait to improve my skills!

Finally Traveling Australia (November – December)

G’day Mate!  How ya going…?

If you’ve been reading my blog and following along on social-media for awhile, you probably already know that I was working my ass off my entire time while living in Sydney.  I moved to the country with basically zero money, and heaps of credit card debt.  Over the first few months in Sydney, I was able to pay off my debt, and slowly begin to build up my travel fund.  The plan was to travel the country during my working holiday visa, but I never got the chance.

So I emailed YHA Australia and asked if they’d be interested in partnering up and sponsoring me for Australia trip.

This was the first big sponsored trip I’ve done as a professional travel-blogger, and it really taught me a lot!

My trip along the east coast of Australia was truly incredible, and I’m completely in love with this country.  There really is so much to explore, and I met some really awesome people.

Read all about it:

What’s Next in 2017…?

If you asked me this a few months ago, I would have responded that I’d be moving to New Zealand…

"I don't know where I'm going from here…but I promise it won't be boring" — David Bowie

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

But now…I don’t think that’s happening just quite yet.

Since I’ve discovered that becoming an official festival / event photographer is something I want to pursue (as well as being a full-time travel blogger)…New Zealand just isn’t a place that is known for it’s mega festivals or vibrant nightlife scene.  So I’ve decided to put this idea on hold.

I’m planning on spending February – May in California.  I’ve been a traveling nomad for so long, and I’m ready to spend some time back in America.  I am hoping to do a couple mini trips to Colombia, Arizona, and maybe a couple countries in Central America.

During June & July, I’m hoping to fly over to Europe to check out a couple more different music festivals.  But we’ll see if that ends up happening, and if the USD is still relatively strong after Trump takes office, haha.

In August, I’m coming back to California, and will be trying to attend Burning Man.  I had tickets to go in 2016, but had to sell them due to being financially responsible.  I’m happy about that though, because in the past few months I’ve met a ton of inpsiring people that I’m planning on going with this year.

SYDNEY. One of the best cities in the world, especially for photography! Have you ever been?

A photo posted by Dave ✈️ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on

September & October I have no plans, but in November I’m going to Mexico to shoot my first wedding!  Then I’m hoping in December I can return to Australia for another Christmas / New Years Eve festival?

With all that being said — my plans are constantly changing, and I highly doubt these plans will stay in tact.  I’m always open to new adventures and seizing opportunities when they arise. 



Lost Paradise: Truly A Hidden Wonderland

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While most tourists and travelers who flock to Sydney over New Years Eve come for the spectacular firework display over the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House — I knew that the only place I wanted to welcome in the new year was at Lost Paradise.

This is THE festival I had been dying to attend ever since I started researching the best music festivals in Australia, and now that I’ve experienced it for myself, I’m actually still in awe about how incredible these 3 days were.

This was only the third year that Lost Paradise has been thrown, and it doubled it’s attendance numbers from 5,000 up to 10,000 tickets sold.  When most festivals would struggle with that level of rapid growth, Lost Paradise delivered a perfectly executed music festival experience complete with an amazing crowd, gorgeous venue, and carefully curated line-up.

Besides the overwhelming heat, and the rather long entrance queue into the festival — Lost Paradise was truly “your hidden wonderland”, and the perfect ending to 2016.

Welcome to Glenworth Valley

The entire time when I was walking around Lost Paradise, I kept thinking to myself — this venue could not be more perfect.  The picturesque valley lined with tall trees, the peaceful creeks for daytime swimming, and the large open fields that were easy to navigate were simply ideal.

On the outskirts of the all the campgrounds there were plenty of trees which provided much needed shade for people who didn’t want their tents to feel like saunas in the morning (especially for the camping rookies who didn’t bring a gazebo).

The Lost Disco Stage

For fans of underground house and techno, this stage was popping off all three days!  

The Funktion One sound system was heard loud and clear from all areas, there were four different stands to dance on and enjoy a view of the crowd, and the LED screen / lighting brought everything to that next level!

Whoever designed this stage must be a festival angel, because it really was beautiful…but more importantly had a vibrant cover which gave us protection from the relentless Australian sun.

Arcadia Stage

If you prefer your music with a bit more live-instruments, then you probably spent quite a bit of time here at the Arcadia Stage.  While I myself didn’t listen to many sets here, the stage had plenty of wide-open space, excellent sound, and incredibly talented musicians perform throughout the day and night.

Paradise Club

Nestled on top of a hill in the corner of the festival was this third and final stage of Lost Paradise.

As far as scenery and atmosphere goes, Paradise Club was uniquely awesome.  Complete with the DJ’s playing in a log-cabin, decorative spider webs, and colorful trees lit up at night — I fell in love with the vibe at this stage.

During the day you could escape the sun, relax in a hammock, and groove to some quality house music.

Paradise Club was also the only stage that played music until 3 A.M, so it was poppin’ off for all the late-night party people.

Completely Cashless

Lost Paradise is the first music festival in Australia I’ve attended that has implemented this amazing system!

This payment method has become increasingly popular in the past few years, and just about every festival in Europe I’ve been to has utilized this cashless system.  It makes everything so easy and simple, and waiting for drinks never took more than a few minutes.

You also never had to worry about losing your cash / wallet, because your money is attached to your festival wristband.


Every purchase of a drink at Lost Paradise included a $1 can deposit, so if you returned the can to the recycle station they’d refund $1 per can.  To my surprise, everyone was still just finishing their beers and tossing them on the floor.

So the smart people at the festival were just walking around with a trash bag for an hour or two, collecting as many cans as they could find, and depositing a hefty drink balance onto their wristband.

If you left Lost Paradise with money remaining on on your wristband, check out this article on the Lost Paradise blog:

How To Get A Refund On Your Wristband 

Food & Drink

Located right in the middle of the festival is where you’ll find The Lost Village.

While the vendor lines did get bit a tad bit too long in the mornings / afternoon, the attendees of this festival were given quite a large selection to choose from.  A few of the popular vendors were the Turkish Gozleme, Cuban Cantina, and the delicious asian burrito known as a “Spurrito”.

Prices ranged at each vendor, but for a decent sized meal you should be prepared to pay between $13 – $21 dollars.

Lost Paradise does not allow you to bring in your own alcohol into the festival, and drinks will cost you between $9-13 dollars.

The Lost Feast

This long-table communal dining experience is something I would strongly recommend to everyone attending future events.  While I didn’t get to actually taste it for myself, I was there to photograph the Lost Feast on Saturday and everything looked / smelled incredible.

Complete with excellent music provided by a one-man band, delicious beer & wine, and a beautiful ambience — it’s well worth the $65 per-person cost.

 Yoga & Workshops


A trip out to Lost Paradise wouldn’t be complete without making your way over to the Shambhala Fields for some yoga, relaxing massage, or listening to one of the thought-provoking speeches.  There are plenty of yoga sessions to join in on from 8:00 A.M – 8:00 P.M, all ranging in various styles and practices.

I was also there to listen to some of the “Lost Paradise: Rites of Passage Talk”, and it was really great!  It was something I’ve never seen at any other music festival, and you could really tell that Lost Paradise works really hard to make this an all-encompassing 3-day experience.

Top 8 Sets

I’m a big fan of underground electronic music, so I was pretty much just loving every artist at the Lost Disco (TRIANGLE) stage.  Yes, I did hear that acts like Sticky Fingers, Flight Facilities NYE set, and Gang of Youths all played incredible sets, I unfortunately did not witness them…

1 ) Tristan Case ->  2 ) Robbie Lowe  (Day 2:  15:30 – 18:30 A.M)

These two local Sydney legends played one after the other on Saturday, and every single track I heard was superb.  I’ve seen both these guys play at Return to Rio, and they absolutely slay it every time they hit the decks.  I actually didn’t even know they were on the line-up until a couple days before the festival!  So if you’re in Sydney and looking for a proper party, take a look at when they’re performing next.

3 ) Doorly ->  4 ) Eats Everything (Day 2:  22:30 – 2:00 A.M)

This was easily the best 3.5 hours of music I had heard during the festival.  It was my first time seeing both of these DJ’s play, and they completely crushed it!  The lighting was out of this world, the bass was loud, and the song selection was nothing but the best.  I was standing right behind Eats Everything while he impressively managed playing all-four CDJ’s to a massive crowd, and that was an experience I’ll never forget.

5 ) HEIDI -> 6) Kolsch ( Day 3 20:30 – 00:00)

The last four hours of music of 2016 were simply incredible.  I had seen Kolsch at a festival in the Netherlands back in 2013, and have been dying to see him again ever since.  Heidi warmed up the crowd extremely well, but Kolsch brought it home with an epic house and techno set.

7 ) Young Franco & 8) Set-Mo

Both of these acts might not have the world-wide recognition that they deserve, but they have grown absolutely massive down here in Australia.  Their sets were both fun, energetic, and played to massively supportive crowds who were dancing the entire time.  Kudos to these Aussie legends!

Lost Paradise TIPS

1 )  Arrive a Day Early

Lost Paradise gives it’s attendees the option to buy an “extra-day” ticket, and that allows you to arrive to the festival one-day early.  While it will set-you back around $50, I think it’s definitely worth it.

2 )  North Campground

This is the main reason I’d recommend buying the extra-day ticket, because it will allow you to camp in the north campground, which is right next to the festival!  I was actually in the south campground, and it wasn’t that far of a walk (but if I had a choice, I’d definitely choose the north).

3 ) Fancy Dress is Important

Australia festival people take fancy dress very seriously, and you have to dress up to be apart of the fun!  Just go all out!  Coordinate a costume / shirt design or something with your friends to become the ultimate festival squad.

4 ) Sun Protection + Staying Hydrated is Vital

This probably isn’t news to anyone who has attended a music festival before, but I have to reiterate how extremely hot and sunny it can get at Lost Paradise.  Protect yourself, party safe, and bring a reusable water bottle.

5 ) Bring Food to Save Money

You can bring in as much food as you want, so unless you want to spend $45 on food every day, then bring your own grub.  I would strongly recommend sampling some of the food items though, because it is pretty damn great.

6 )  Be a Festival Camping Pro

The most important things to bring are gazebos (multiple for shade), one table, folding chairs, portable music player, power chargers, water, gatorade, fruit, sleeping bag, tent, blow-up air mattress, and shade for your tent as well!

7 )  Bring a Spray Bottle

The (amazing) people I camped with brought a couple spray bottles, and I had no idea how much it would help to keep us cool during those hot festival days.

8 ) Collect Beer Cans for Recycling

I honestly can’t recommend this enough!  If you put in just a little bit of work, you won’t have to pay for a single drink while at Lost Paradise.  You will earn $1 per can collected…it’s so easy!

9 )  Leave No Trace

There are plenty of areas to leave your trash before leaving the festival, so be a respectful festival attendee and properly clean up your campsite before leaving.  It’s our duty to keep this venue beautiful!

10 )  Read The Lost Paradise Blog

Seriously.  It’s amazing.  The best posts are “The Lost Paradise Bible” which is filled with heaps of important information, and “The 10 Festival Camping Commandments“, which is just important common sense rules, tips, and guidelines for camping.

Lost Paradise completely exceeded all my expectations, and it’s probably the best organized and entertaining festival I’ve attended while traveling through Australia.

To conclude this festival review…I have to give a massive shout-out to everyone who attended this 2016  edition of Lost Paradise!   The crowd and energy at this festival was simply spectacular, and there wasn’t a bad vibe in all of Glenworth Valley.  I had so much fun running around and taking photos of everyone, and I’m looking forward to seeing you guys at another festival soon!



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The Best New Years Eve Music Festivals in Australia

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Bust out your fancy dress outfits, camping gear, and get your squad together — because New Years Eve is upon us, and there are some epic festivals in Australia to choose from!  

In my opinion, there is no better place to party than at a music festival.  The energy and atmosphere that’s created when you’re surrounded by friendly people, incredible music, and beautiful scenery is simply unbeatable.

When it comes to music festivals in Australia, there really is no shortage of quality events.  So since I’ve found myself in the country for another NYE, I decided to do some research and find out the best festivals in the country to celebrate the new year.  If you don’t have your new years eve plans sorted yet…definitely look into one of these awesome events!

These are my top 5 New Years Eve Music Festivals in Australia!

1 ) Lost Paradise (December 29-31)

Glenworth Valley, NSW (75 minutes outside Sydney)


One of Sydney’s most popular music festivals is back for another 3 days of camping, music, food, art, and yoga.  The festival community you’ll find while at Lost Paradise is what makes this event so special, and from what I’ve heard it’s actually one of the best music festivals in Australia.  Every year they bring a top-notch line-up, and with artists like Flight Facilities, Fat Freddys Drop, Eats Everything, Kolsch — I know the 2016 event is going be absolutely amazing!

I’m personally attending and photographing this festival, and I can’t wait to experience it for myself!!

While tickets for this festival have been sold-out for a few weeks now, you might be able to snag a couple tickets on GumTree by asking people on the Facebook page.

WebsiteFacebook Event

2 ) Beyond The Valley (December 28 – January 1)

Lardner Park, Victoria (90 Minutes outside Melbourne)

WOW!  Just look at that line-up!!

“Beyond The Valley, now on the way to delivering it’s third successful annual event, is a distinctive, unique and most of all carefully curated music festival over the New Years’ Eve period.”

This 4-Day festival is guaranteed to be an experience you’ll never forget.  I personally think that Beyond The Valley has the best line-up of all the festivals on the list, and if I were down in Melbourne over NYE — this is where I would be…

My Top 10 Artists to see:  Guy Gerber, Hermitude, ZHU, Carl Craig, Eats Everything, Kolsh, What So Not, Claptone, Safia, and Skream.


4-Day General Admission + Caming:  $420 + $14.70 Service Feee

3-Day General Admission + Camping: $380 + $13.30 Service Fee

New Years Eve Only Pass:  $189 + 6.62 Service Fee


WebsiteFacebook Event

3 ) Fall Festival (Various Dates)

 Lorne, Victoria — Marion Bay, Tasmania — Bryon Bay, NSW — Fremantle WA 

“The Falls Music & Arts Festival has been at the forefront of the east coast Australian festival scene, defining the real different between a mere music festival and a true festival experience. Capturing the essence of the Australian summer spirit, Falls embraces diversity, sustainability and community within a contemporary music event like no other. Transcending the common festival model, taking the time to curate a sophisticated experience that properly respects and honors time, people and place.

Falls Festival is one of Australia’s longest running music festivals, and each edition they seem to manage to top the previous years.  The festival always provides incredible line-ups, massive stage productions, and a solid festival atmosphere.  What’s even better is they have four different events throughout the country, so they make is pretty easy to catch at least one of the events.

Tickets only Available for Marion Bay location

3-Day Festival Ticket (Camping Included):  $289 + Booking Fee

2-Day Festival Ticket (Camping Included): $249 + Booking Fee


If you’re looking for tickets for the sold-out events, I’d recommend checking out GumTree or the Falls Festival Lorne or the Falls Festival Byron Bay events..


4 ) Origin NYE (December 31)

Claremont Showgrounds, PERTH

 “Since 2006, Origin has pulled together some of the top underground performers, DJ talent and house music for the biggest new year party in Australia! Celebrating Ten Years in 2016, Origin NYE returns to Claremont Showgrounds, in what is set to be the biggest year yet.”

For the all the Perth party people — there’s no better place to ring in the new year than at ORIGIN.  The line-up has got a little bit of everything, but seems to be a bit more Hip-Hop & Drum & Bass heavy, so this is event is going to be a pretty hectic party.

Final Release:  $179 



5 ) CODE NYE (December 31)

The Greenwood Hotel, SYDNEY

When it comes to New Years Eve in Sydney, there really are just so many different venues to choose from.  I think it all really just depends on your preferred style of music / atmosphere you’re looking for.  With that being said, for all those underground house and techno fans — you’d be a fool to miss out on CODE NYE at the Greenwood Hotel.  The line-up is absolutely stacked for this one-night event, and I’m really bummed I’ll be missing out.

I’ve seen the headliners Guy Gerber, Mano Le Tough, and Umek before — and they’ll smash their sets.  With that being said, make sure to check out local Sydney favorites like Tristan Case, Robbie Lowe, and Ed Wells!  I’ve seen these guys crush it at events like Return to Rio + Yacht Social Club, and they always deliver top-notch sets..

This event is thrown by the same people who put on Electric Gardens, so you know it’s going to be a damn good time.  With 4 different rooms, and 30+ DJ’s — this is the place you want to be if you’re staying in the city for New Years Eve…

Second Release:  $85.00 + Booking Fee



This is the first year this event is happening, so I’ll just leave you with this incredible Guy Gerber Essential Mix from 2013.  FUEGO!!

So where will you be spending New Years Eve…?

I’ll be partying it up for 3-days at Lost Paradise, but I really wish I could attend every single one of these!  New Years Eve is defintiely one of the biggest festival times of the year, and Australia is ready to bring in 2017 with some epic events…

  If you’re coming to Lost Paradise, look out for me!  I’ll be wearing my signature Zebra Onesie & Cat In The Hat top during the majority of the festival, lol.


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Featured Image via Lost Paradise

The 10 Best Music Festivals in Melbourne, Australia

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Melbourne is easily one of the best cities in the world I’ve ever visited!  I could definitely see myself living there someday, especially because there are so many incredible music festivals in Melbourne!  If you haven’t visited yet, then do yourself a favor and plan a trip soon.  Whether you come to explore the beautiful graffiti found on the various laneways, soak up the coffee culture, or party it up at one the amazing clubs — you’re guaranteed to fall in love with Melbourne.

Check out my list of what I think are the Top 10 Music Festivals in Melbourne, Australia

1 ) Beyond The Valley

  • When:  4 Days over New Years Eve
  • Where:   Lardner Park, South-Eastern Victoria, 75 minutes outside of Melbourne
  • Website:  
  • Why:  “A distinctive, unique and most of all carefully curated music festival over the New Years’ Eve period. From December 28th to January 1st, thousands upon thousands of people make their way to the spectacular site in Lardner Park, Victoria to see what’s in store for them each and every year.  Our beloved main stage is a whopping 60 metres in width, housing truly breathtaking visuals, lighting, stage production and decor to bring the performances by our nationally and internationally acclaimed artists to life.”

Photo via Facebook

2 ) Rainbow Serpent

  • When:  Every year at the end of January
  • Where:  Lexton, Victoria  (2 hours outside of Melbourne)
  • Website:
  • Why:  “For many of the 15,000 people that attend each year, Rainbow has become an institution, and annual reunion, a marker in the year that’s looked forward to for months in advance.  For others it’s a fresh discovery of opportunity and escapism, a chance to connect with like minded individuals and to celebrate nature, community and harmony.  No longer just an electronic music festival these days you can expect to experience a unique combination of music, art, performance, spiritual discussion, relaxation and healing.”

Photo via Micah Dunshea

3 ) Strawberry Fields

  • When:  Every year Mid-November
  • Where:  Australian Bush, 2-3 hours outside Melbourne
  • Website:
  • Why:  Strawberry Fields is an annual celebration of art, sound and creative expression held for three days each November, a few hours outside of Melbourne, Australia. Each year we bring you a diverse selection of both renowned and breakthrough electronic music from both Australia and overseas.  Indulge yourself in a sensory feast, including soul shaking sound, world class decor, dozens of eclectic market stalls, artistic installations, live performance art, workshops, forum discussion and more.

Photo via Facebook

4 )Babylon Festival

  • When:  Mid March
  • Where:  Carapooee West, Victoria
  • Website:
  • Why:  “Babylon is an enchanting music and lifestyle camping festival that will be set deep in the heart of the Australian wilderness; taking place across three days. Featuring an inspired curation of local and international live and electronic music artists, alongside a unique world of art, mindfulness and community exploration.”

Photo via Facebook

5 )  Earthcore

  • When:  Annually at the end of November
  • Where: Pyalong, Victoria  (80 Minutes North of Melbourne)
  • Website:
  • Why:  “What is this Parallel Universe that beckons beyond the darkness?” Set on 1500 acres of pristine land one hour drive from Melbourne feat 5 epic stages across 5 days, Boutique Camping, Worlds Beyond Speakers Forum, Fractured Reality Art Zone, Yellow Sunshine Chill Out, Muffplex Cinema, Elemental Planet Lifestyle City, District 13 Theme Camp Zone, DIY Social Calendar, Kinky Karnival Freak Show, Mind Bending Art Installations, your closest mates and you!

Photo via Facebook

6 )  Let Go Fest

  • When:  Beginning of February
  • Where:  Mornington, Victoria
  • Website:
  • Why:  A Festival For The Mornington Peninsula, With Multiple Stages and Multiple Genres, Nothing But Great Day Out With Friends!  The 2017 edition had Australian heavyweights like RUFUS, Set Mo, and Hayden James to name a few. Pure

Photo via Facebook

7 )  Electric Gardens

  • When:  End of January
  • Where:  Moonee Valley Racecourse, Moonee Ponds
  • Website:
  • Why:  Electric Gardens just made its Melbourne debut on Australia Day 2017.  Featuring a staggering lineup, full to burst with international house and techno legends!  The open-air event is bridging the gap between the Australian and European style festival experience, packed full of top tier artists from all around the globe.

Photo via Facebook

8 )  Maitreya Festival

  • When: Every year, Mid-March
  • Where:  Lake Wooroonook, Charlton, Victoria
  • Website:
  • Why:  Maitreya Festival emerged from the cosmic counter culture organic superfood soup bowl ten years ago!  The ultimate intention was to provide a global platform for investigation into the self, the setting within which we live, and the places we might be able to go together as a species of intrepid travellers and explorers! Any revolutionary platform without art and dancing is definitely not one worth having, so we wanted to present you with an immersive visual and aural experience as well!

Photo via Facebook

9 ) Golden Plains Festival

  • When:  Mid March
  • Where:  Meredith, Victoria (110 Minutes from Melbourne CBD)
  • Website
  • Why:   Firstly, and Eleventhly, Golden Plains will Happen, on an Epic Long Weekend, as usual, in the Meredith Supernatural Sweetspot.  Secondly, GPXI will take place under a Full Moon.  Playing at the fulcrum of the Supernatural Spectrum is an astronomically talented troupe of Full Moon Partyists from across the universe divine, some in the glow reflecting off the Moon and arriving 1.26 seconds later into The Sup’

It is staged in Autumn so the weather is warm and stable. Afternoon goes on all day, the sun like honey on the trees, then a giant spike of excitement goes kabloooey at nightfall.  Join for an electric line-up, amazing food, and solid festival atmosphere.

Photo via GP Website

10 )  The Town

  • When:  Over Easter Weekend
  • Where:  Strathbogie Ranges (2 Hours Outside Melbourne)
  • Website:
  • Why:  ‘A place of like-minded folk who’ve declared the real world a joke. We’re heading back to bikes and letters and the simplest of pleasures. From sustainable partying and funky-ass tunes, we invite you to get wild under the Easter full moon’.  Welcome to our interactive Village, part parodying every-day life with absurd theatrics and awesome set design, and part exploring what makes a healthy sustainable Town, all to a soundtrack of incredibly fun music. We aim to deliver a wacky new experiment never before seen on our Festival circuit.

Photo via Facebook



11 Reasons Why The Groove Cruise Is The Ultimate Festival Vacation

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It’s been one week since I got off The Groove Cruise, and I’ve have had a bit of time to reflect on what just happened.

I feel like I’ve said this quite often — about a lot of different experiences…but I think it needs to be said once more.

The Groove Cruise was by far the best music festival experience I have ever attended…

But to be fair — I don’t even think you can call it a music festival, because it’s just sooo much more than that.

It’s a Family.  It’s a Festival.  It’s a Cruise.  It’s a Vacation.

And it’s truly magical…


I’ve been to my fair share of music festivals around the world, and nothing can even compare to what I just experienced.  

Normally after attending events, I review them and discuss things like the venue, the best sets, and various other aspects, but today my goal is to share with you what made this experience so unique and incredible!

1) The Groove Cruise Family #GCFam

I’ve honestly never felt a stronger community vibe…

I went on Groove Cruise completely alone, and I left that ship with countless new amazing friends.  By the end of Day 5 — there were no longer dance floors packed with strangers, but rather my various groups of “family members” spread throughout different areas of the stage.

Everyone was just extremely happy and positive all the time, and were sending their love in all directions.  


There was something special in that ocean air that is unexplainable.  Awkward elevator silences were non existent, and you would never make eye contact with someone without greeting them with a smile.

Even if people didn’t know each other, we all understood that we were apart of this legendary experience together.

I’m getting goosebumps as I write this, because it’s just so damn true.  Anyone who was on Groove Cruise will agree with me, that the energy that we created together on the Norwegian Sun for those 5 days was something truly magical.  I’ll honestly never forget it.

I might have been a Groove Cruise virgin going into this, but now my cherry is popped and I am a loud and proud member of the #GCFam!


2) Artist Interaction

You’re in the buffet line – creeping on Sunnery James while he gets an ice cream cone.  You’re walking to a different stage, glance to your left and there is Fedde Le Grand right next to you.  You timidly walk up to Orjan Nilsen and ask for a selfie, which he of course agrees to because he’s one of the friendliest DJ’s you’ll ever meet.

The artists are all about this experience, because they too can feel this special atmosphere just like everyone else.


I actually heard that it’s in their contracts that the DJ’s have to be onboard (get it?) with the artist/guest interaction that occurs during Groove Cruise.  I mean unless the DJ’s just want to stay in their rooms the entire time, it’s pretty obvious that they are going to run into their fans in the hallways.

I had the pleasure of meeting so many amazing DJ’s.  These are artists that I’ve looked up to for years, and have seen play to stadiums of 20,000+ people — and here I am just hanging out with them.  Pretty dope, yeah?

Fedde Le Grand

Fedde Le Grand

3) Non-Stop Music

Let that sink in.  This is 5-straight days of non-stop music! 

However, this goes hand in hand with the biggest struggle of all – dealing with the F.O.M.O (Fear of Missing Out). Unfortunately, it’s simply impossible to catch every set you would like to see, no matter how hard you try.

The party was always pumping.  You wake up, fall out of bed, head to the buffet for some morning grub, and you can already see the Pool stage going off.  Grab yourself a piece of bread, a cuppa’joe, and then get after it!


4) Themed Parties

I have to give major props to everyone who attended Groove Cruise Cabo, because you all showed ready to go with suitcases full of elaborate costumes and accessories!  I didn’t fully understand this before hand, but dressing up is half the fun of GC!

Check out my Groove Cruise Album on Facebook for more photos of everyone’s amazing costumeS!



Saturday: Baby Blue & Pink Party ///  YOU CELEBRITY








Groove Cruise Miami Themes (January 23-27, 2017)

These sound incredible!  Wouldn’t mind being there to photograph everyone’s costumes!


5) The Cruising Convenience

As much as I love camping festivals, nothing will ever beat the convenience of having your room just a short walk away.

Want to take a shit in the privacy of your own room?  Go for it.  

That tequila shot not sitting well and think you need a vomit?  Head back to your room.  

Need a quick little disco nap to recharge your batteries for the sunrise techno sessions?  That’s easy to do.

It honestly was so damn convenient being on a cruise ship, because you could always go back to your room and chill whenever necessary.  Better yet – when you decide you’re ready to emerge from your room the party was still poppin’ off just a few steps away somewhere around the ship.


6) Cruise Activities & Amenities

Ever wanted to sit in a jacuzzi, sip on a cocktail (or five) on the side of the ship watching the sun set to some sick techno beats? You can do it!  Feel like a bit of competition? Go ahead and sneak away from the stage and show your sporting prowess with a quick game of basketball, ping-pong, or soccer.  Love a cheeky punt? Well you’re in luck – there was a full casino on board for the gambling addicts and card counters who just can’t resist that blackjack table.

I actually had never been on a cruise before!  So I was in awe of all these cruise amenities.

You see…?  Much more than a music festival.


7) The 24/7 Buffet

You know what tastes amazing at 9:00 A.M when Mendo is finishing up his absolute monster set?


When it comes to parties that last for 5-days straight, remembering to eat is of the upmost importance.

Food = Calories = Energy

I absolutely loved the buffet on the ship, and I always found myself going back for seconds and thirds.


Hey Mendo…want some bacon?

8) Incredible Organization

I have to give a massive shout-out to everyone at Whet Travel for organizing this event.  From a first timer’s point-of-view, everything went absolutely perfect!  I thought that every email we received with information prior to the event was really helpful, and while we were on board we were always kept up-to-date with the important changes to stages, set-times, and activities.

Oh, and a crowd favorite — every morning we were greeted with the incredible “GOOOD MORNING GROOVE CRUISE” by CEO & Founder Jason Beukema who would tell us what we had in store for the day.  I believe there are many of us who are still waiting for a recording of this to use as our alarms.


9) The Destinations

For this year’s west coast edition, The Groove Cruise decided to make it’s way down to Cabo San Lucas, and it was a phenomenal choice!  I had never been to Cabo before, and let me tell you – it’s truly gorgeous.  I’ll admit that I actually missed out on a lot of day-time exploring due to catching up on sleep, but the city was lovely, and the nightclubs were awesome.




This is where the pool party was held all day long, and this venue honestly could not have been more perfect.  With the massive pool, swim-up bar, and beachside location with the view of the cruiseship in the distance — everyone had a blast at ME Cabo.  The highlight of the night would definitely be Dubfire, because he absolutely destroyed that place.




After ME Cabo ended, everyone made the short trek over to the afterparty at this beautiful venue called Breathless.  The music was on point, the atmosphere was quality, and everyone was looking sexy as hell in their various costumes.



10) The Sunrises & Sunsets

There really is nothing better than watching the sunrise or set while you’re on a boat and listening to quality music.  I made it my mission to watch and photograph as many as I could, and I think I did a pretty damn good job!  I will never forget watching the sun come back while on the top of the cruise listening to Prok + Fitch play one of the best sets of the festival.  It was surreal.

My favorite Instagram photo of the first sunset!


11) The Facebook Groups

Hands down one of my favorite aspects of joining the Groove Cruise Family, is being able to take part and interact with everyone before / after the trip.  It was really helpful before-hand because first timers could join the Groove Cruise Virgins group and ask all their questions about what to expect.

The best part though was after the festival because people write the most beautiful and heart-warming posts about their experiences on board.  You can really feel the love in this Facebook group. I’ve literally checked in on it everyday, and it’s all positive vibes.

Thanks to everyone for sharing their pictures, videos, memes, etc.  It’s helping me cope with my post holiday depression and separation anxiety!!  Easily my favorite group on Facebook now.  The GCFAM love is real.

Don't even try to join unless you were apart of the Groove Cruise Cabo Fam

Don’t even try to join unless you were apart of the #GCFAM


The Aftermovie


This was so much more than just another music festival…this was truly a life-changing vacation.

The people I had the pleasure of meeting during these 5-days will forever be apart of my life, and I consider myself extremely lucky to have been initiated into this loving and accepting Groove Cruise Family!

If you’re reading this, I invite you to keep up with my travels around the world.  I’ve got some really exciting plans coming up in the next few months, and am pretty much always traveling and raving in different countries.  🙂

Follow along here:   

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Groove Cruise Miami

January 23-27, 2017

If you’re looking for one of the best parties and have some vacation time saved up, I would strongly recommend you fly out to Florida for Groove Cruise Miami!  I’m not sure where I’ll be in January (possibly Australia, New Zealand, or back in America), but I’m definitely trying to attend, because I know it’s going to be an another life-changing experience!  They will be on the largest cruise they’ve ever sailed, and are going to the gorgeous island of Grand Turk.


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Top 10 Artists To See During Groove Cruise Cabo

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Just a few days ago I announced that I’ll be attending Groove Cruise Cabo, and ever since I literally can’t stop thinking about how insane this experience is going to be.  I’ve always dreamed of attending a music festival at sea, and I know it’s going to be 5 epic days of superb music.

The Groove Cruise just announced the schedule + set-times for this upcoming Cabo edition, and it’s honestly just too insane for words.  It truly is 120 hours of non-stop tunage.  I’ve been to a few 5-day festivals before, so I’m well aware of the party marathon I’m about to embark on…

The line-up is stacked with 50+ world-renowned DJ’s, but these are my top 10 acts that I know I’ll be checking out…

The Full Line-Up


1 )  Lee Foss

Having just seen Lee Foss absoltuely crush it at CRSSD Festival in San Diego, I couldn’t be more excited to see him spin once again.  This Hot Creations founder really knows how to keep a crowd dancing throughout an entire set, and his song selection and mixing skills are truly fantastic.

2 ) Uner

This is an artist I’ve wanted to see ever since living in Barcelona back in 2012.  This song below was one of the anthems of my time in Spain, and got me truly hooked on that sweet tribal tech-house sound.  His productions have earned him world-wide respect in the underground scene, and I’ve heard his DJ sets are something special.

3 ) Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano

Having seen this Dutch duo twice before, I know that they put on one hell of a show.  They spin really fun and heavy house music that is built for the big room without the mainstage EDM feeling.  Their Sexy By Nature parties are something special, and I’m looking forward to seeing them crush it on the Groove Cruise.

4 ) Dubfire

Dubfire is another DJ whom I recently saw just a few weeks ago at CRSSD Festival, but I’ll never pass up the opportunity to see this techno legend spin.  He plays some really heavy tracks and I know he’s going to destroy his set at the ME Resort pool party in Cabo.

5 ) Mendo

Funky, groovy, tribal tech-house.  This is exactly the kind of style that makes me miss raving in Barcelona at ELROW events.  I’ve heard a few of Mendo’s tracks and they are always dance-floor killers.  I’ve never seen him play, and actually very rarely notice his name on line-ups, so I’m particularly excited to see what he brings to the decks.

6 ) Mark Knight

Toolroom Records has always been one of my favorite labels when it comes to proper house tracks, so whenever Mark Knight comes around you know I’ll be catching his set.  I saw him play once a long time ago at Sensation White, and have just been waiting for the day to catch him again.

7 ) Pirupa

Pure sounds of the underground tech-house that I love so much.  I’ve been jammin’ to a few of Pirupa’s tracks for years, and it’s going to be my first time seeing him play.  This Italian born DJ has made a massive splash on the underground dance music scene, and I know he’s going to absolutely destroy the place.

8 ) Pierce Fulton

Not to be “that guy”, but I’ve been a fan of Pierce Fulton for a long damn time.  I remember when he was just getting started and had only a few thousand Facebook likes.  I’m even friends with the guy on his personal account, and it’s been really cool to see his progress in the electronic dance music industry.  He seems like he’s just a really chill dude who’s a truly talented musician.  With all that being said, I’ve never seen him actually perform, but that all changes during the Groove Cruise.

9 ) Gareth Emery

This man is simply a legend.  “Concrete Angel” will always be one of the most beautiful vocal trance songs that’s ever been produced, but Gareth Emery is no one-hit wonder because his productions just seem to be getting better over the years.  As well, I think he might be one of the funniest people in the industry, because his fake EDM duo “CVNT5” is absolutely hilarious.  Did you know Gareth could act…?  Because holy shit… 10/10 skills right here:

10 ) Audien

Last but not least, I couldn’t leave Audien off this list.  His style is unique and beautiful, and his set will leave you happy and dancing the entire way through.

I had to leave a few artists that I know are going to play great sets, but I wanted to keep this to my personal Top 10 List.

Check out the individual day-schedules below for when these artists are playing below.

Day 1| Friday


UNER: 2:00- 4:30 A.M

PIRUPA: 4:30-6:30 A.M

MENDO:  6:30-9:00 A.M

When are people supposed to sleep…?


Day 2| Saturday




Day 3 |Sunday


DUBFIRE – 8:30 – 10:45 P.M

SIAN – 10:45 – 12:00 A.M


MARK KNIGHT – 2:30 – 5:00 A.M

PROK + FITCH – 5:00 – 8:00 A.M


Day 4 | Monday


PIERCE FULTON – 4:00 – 5:00 P.M

GARETH EMERY – 12:30 – 2:30 A.M

LEE FOSS – 3:00 – 7:00 A.M


Day 5|Tuesday


PIERCE FULTON 9:30 – 11:00 P.M

ARTY B2B AUDIEN – 1:15 – 2:00 A.M

AUDIEN – 2:00 – 3:30 A.M


This is going to be hectic…

If you take a look at these schedules, you’ll notice that the party really never stops…

It’s going to be a really difficult task to see all of these artists play, but I’m definitely going to try my best…

No matter what — I know this is going to to be the experience of a lifetime..


Groove Cruise Cabo: The World’s Largest Floating Dance Music Festival

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San Diego to Cabo ->  5 Days ->  120 Hours of Non-Stop Music.

Sounds like a good time, yeah?  Well, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing over Halloween weekend!

This all just happened out of nowhere, but I couldn’t be more thrilled to share that I’ll be attending the legendary event known as THE GROOVE CRUISE.

This is the World’s Largest Floating Dance Music Festival, and I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for one particular festival in my entire life…

If you have never heard of The Groove Cruise before, take a look at this small preview for what I’m about to embark on…



This is a very special event as it’s the first time The Groove Cruise is making the journey down to Cabo, and because it’s actually the longest festival they’ve ever thrown.  After looking at the itinerary and line-up, I know this is going to be a party I’ll never forget.

This is absolutely the perfect event for me.  It’s combining my passion for travel, music festivals, and photography all into one epic experience!

The Music

The line-up for this year’s GC Cabo is absolutely spectacular, and I know the soundtrack for this cruise is going to be nothing but the best electronic music.  While it might be a little more EDM / Trance focused than many of the other festivals I’ve attended recenntly — there are actually a ton of quality underground house & techno artists as well.  The main acts I’m looking forward to seeing are Dubfire, Mark Knight, Mendo, Uner, and Lee Foss.


I’m also particularly excited for the Sunnery James’ and Ryan Marciano Sexy By Nature pool party.  I’ve seen these Dutch legends play twice before, and both times they’ve crushed it with some epic tribal house.  I’ll be rocking my Zebra Onesie and dancing like a mad man.

The past month in California has been musically phenomenal as I recently attended CRSSD in San Diego, and spent 3 crazy days at Dirtybird Campout.  So I’m looking forward to continuing my time back in the U.S.A with non-stop incredible dance tunes.

The Venue

The Norwegian Sun Cruise Liner.  

Confession:  I’ve never been on a cruise before!  It’s always been something I’ve been wanted to do, but my family never takes cruises, and I never really had the opportunity to go on one with friends.

From what I’ve heard — you simply can’t beat the combination of a music festival + the cruising experience.


I’ll never forget when I was doing research for my article on the Top 25 Music Festivals in America To Experience Before You Die , and discovering The Groove Cruise.  It seemed like the ultimate festival experience, and now I’ll be getting to do understand what it’s all about.

 The Norwegian Sun Cruise Liner has a capacity of 1,936 guests, so this festival is definitely going to have that intimate feeling that I love so much.  Since everyone is on the same ship, it gives the chance for the attendees to interact with the artists, and become one big Groove Cruise family.


The Scenery

Did I mention that I’m going to CABO!!!?


While the majority of this epic 5-day festival is held on the ship, the cruise does dock in Mexico overnight for one epic day of dancing.  We’ll make our way to the incredible ME resort for an all-day pool party, and then continue the festivities on up a private beach with attendees dancing under the moonlight.

Check out this Instagram video from ME Resort for an idea…

Deep House Yoga

While I may not be the biggest fan of Yoga, this would definitely be my preferred style of music to listen while striking a warrior pose.  There will be three Deep House Yoga sessions, and I hearby vow that I will attend at least one.  It might just be exactly what I need to keep the party going…


Follow Along


While this particular edition of Groove Cruise is all sold out, you can still follow me on the nautical adventure of a lifetime.  I’ll be posting tons of epic videos from the DJ sets, beautiful photos of the ships, and there will be plenty of gorgeous sunrises + sunsets!

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Snapchat

Warning: intense feelings of jealousy may arise 😉

V-A-M-O-S !


Groove Cruise Cabo is competely SOLD-OUT, but if this sounds like a party you’d like to attend, than start planning your trip for Groove Cruise Miami which sails in January!

Follow Groove Cruise:  Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Youtube

Dirtybird Campout: The Ultimate Festival Summer Camp

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As Claude Von Stroke accepted his award for America’s Best DJ before his set on Friday night, I thought to myself…it won’t be long until Dirtybird Campout starts receiving it’s own awards for becoming one of the best festivals in America.  While this was only the 2nd edition of DBC, everything went without a hiccup and rewarded it’s attendees with one fantastic festival experience…

Dirtybird Campout was hands down one of the most ridiculously fun & epic weekends of my life. 


As a music festival addict and underground house and techno enthusiast, I knew that Dirtybird Campout was going to be a good time…but now I realize, that I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  

Dirtybird Records is more than just a record label…it’s a family, and Dirtybird Campout has become the event where all it’s extended family members come together for a weekend of childish games, quality underground dance music, and pure Dirtybird debauchery…

The Venue

Located at the Oak Canyon Park in Silverado, California — I can’t think of a more perfect venue for an event like Dirtybird Campout.

While I would say most of the attendees have actually been to this venue before for events like Lightning In A Bottle & Woogie Weekend, it was my first time making the journey out to Oak Canyon Park.

The land is large and flat which make it perfect for walking around a festival.  The small lake provides a serene escape that you can sit by while you can still hear the sound of booming bass in the distance.  There’s also plenty of trees which provide much needed shade from the relentless Southern-California sun.

All-in-all — its exactly what you’re looking for in an event of this size.  Not too big, not too small — just right.


Music Highlights

I don’t think I’ve ever been to a festival where the music was so consistently on point throughout the entire event.  Besides the catastrophic closing set by Reggie Watts (see below), every single artist played nothing but the dirtiest, funkiest, grooviest house tunes.

Each member of the Dirtybird crew I saw absolutely slayed it, and I couldn’t have been happier with the soundtrack of the weekend.

Take a look at the line-up / set-times:


One of my favorite aspects of Dirtybird Campout is that there was only one stage playing music at any given time:

The Birdhouse which ran until midnight every night, and the Late Night Lodge which ran until 7 A.M.

That meant no set-time clashes, no difficult decisions, and no missing any artist you want to see.

Everyone was listening to the same music, and it really added to the intimate festival atmosphere.  Finding people was as easy as heading to your usual squad spot, or looking into the sky for your groups totem pole.  Follow the Unicorn!


 While I’m not technically a music journalist, all I will say is that the music heard at Dirtybird Campout was out of this world.  I have been a fan of the Dirtybird record label for quite awhile, so it was pretty awesome to be surrounded by that specific sound all weekend.

But the real magic strangely all happened on Sunday Night…

Will Clarke -> Marc Houle -> Kill Frenzy -> Green Velvet -> Family Set

This is without a doubt the best 7 hours of music that I’ve ever heard…

I can’t explain it, but I’m still in shock about what happened on that closing day at DBC .  It was a proper ending to a ridiculous weekend.


Camping + The Dirtybird Campers

Walking around the campsite, I’ve never felt a stronger sense of community at a festival.  You look up in the sky and you’ll see flags waiving  that represent the different festival squads and crews at the event.

As the saying goes — “there are no strangers, just friends you haven’t met yet”.

Photo Credit: Juliana Bernstein

Photo Credit: Juliana Bernstein

The atmosphere at Dirtybird Campout was definitely something unique.  Everyone was just the happiest versions of themselves, and were so open to talking to and meeting new people.

I had only known one person going into this festival, but left with an amazing group of new friends that I can’t wait to party with again in the future.


While the campgrounds were basic, everyone in attendance were festival pros.  Everyone’s campsites had ample room of shade from the countless EZ-UPS and scarves, blow-up coaches, plenty of chairs, trunks full of food, and coolers everywhere with chilled beverages.


This is the best part about camping festivals.  You come fully prepared to survive for 3 days, and really don’t have to spend too much inside the festival.

Easily  the best part about the campsite though were the after-parties.  

There so many impressive camps with full-on equipment to keep the party going 24/7.  It was also epic hearing that all the Dirtybird campers have quality taste in music, as I was thoroughly impressed with the music in the campsites, as well as the festival grounds.



Kickball, Archery, and Ultimate Frisbee were just a few of the 50+ different activities you could find yourself joining at DBC.

This is what made this weekend the ultimate adult weekend summercamp…it’s a place where you feel like a kid again, and play all the games that bring you straight back to your childhood.

It took me about 10 minutes to walk around the entire festival the day I got there, and I was stoked to see people playing basketball and ping-pong, with the loud sounds of Dirytbird house music playing from the stage.

Photo Credit: Watchara Phomicinda

Photo Credit: Watchara Phomicinda

“Tribes: DIRTYBIRD” Documentary

After Claude Von Stroke’s impressive set on Friday night, everyone’s attention was drawn to the side TV screen for the premeire of the Smirfnoff Sound Collective documentary  about Dirtybird.

This is a must-watch.  

It gives you an amazing background of how Dirtybird got to where they are today, and will definitely have you wishing you were worked with them.

“The Dirytbid fan is someone whose just is opened mind to music, and looking to have a good fun time, that’s all you gotta do, and you’re accepted.”

“It’s just love, and fun, and dance”

The Catostrophic Set from Reggie Watts…

I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to disagree with Claude Von Stroke about this one.

This was by far the biggest disappointment of my entire weekend, and almost of any festival I’ve ever attended.

Reggie Watts, who may be a very talented musician and comedian, was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

You can’t play the closing set at the Birdhouse stage with whatever strange spacey / comedy / hip-hop or whatever genre you want to call his music.

It was a complete and utter buzzkill.


During his set, I actually found myself walking around asking people their thoughts, and everyone agreed it was simply a travesty. 

This is Dirtybird Campout, a boutique and intimate festival for fans of underground electronic music.  We come here to dance, and at no point during his 60-minute catostrophic set did he play anything resemblant of a dance-worthy tune.

While I do respect him as a musician, he just should not have been closing down that stage for the night.

Dirtybird Campout Tips

  • While most parts of the country are starting to cool down in Mid-October, it’s still hot as balls in Southern California.  Bring plenty of water and sunscreen to protect yourself and stay hydrated!
  • Come prepared with all the booze and energy drinks you’ll want to consume during the festival.  The campsite is never too far from the festival, and it’s easy to head back for a cheeky drink in between sets.
  • Make new friends.  This obvious, but I’ve never been to a a festival with such an amazing community like feeling.  Everyone here is so genuinely nice and beautiful.  Talk to strangers…it’ll pay off!
  • Showers cost $7, so unless you’re willing to pay that — bring baby wipes to keep yourself clean.
  • Your campsite should be pimped out.  This goes for any camping festival.  If you don’t have all the necessities, make sure you go with people who know what they’re doing.
  • Get involved.  Play games.  Do Yoga.  Climb trees.  Throw waterballoons.

Photo Credit: Julia Bernstein

The  Dirtybird Campout 2016 Aftermovie

Dirtybird Campout Spotify Playlist

You better believe that this playlist has been on repeat ever since leaving Campout.  It’s full of nothing but the best tracks and remixes from the artists that played over the weekend.  Do yourself a favor and check it out!  You’re guaranteed to find some quality tunes…

As a nomadic travel-blogger, I never really know where I’ll be in one year’s time…but I honestly don’t think there’s even the slightest chance that I won’t make the journey back to California for next year’s edition of Dirtybird Campout.  I don’t care how long the plane ride is…I’ll be there…

Follow Dirtybird Campout: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Huge thanks to everyone over at Dirtybird Records & Do Lab for organizing this amazing weekend!  It was a festival for the record books, and I’m officially hooked on all things Dirtybird.

Dirtybird Campout was one of the best weekends I've had a in a long time. This was only the second year they've thrown it, and it was a massive success. It was the ultimate summer camp for adults. I met some truly incredible people, and danced like crazy for 3 days of non stop quality music. The Dirtybird crew really know how to throw a party. See all you campers next year! [email protected] ? @dirtybirdcamp

A photo posted by Dave ~ Jones Around the World (@jonesaroundtheworld) on