JAM CRUISE 3: GOOD TIMES ON THE BOAT!

When the hotel/airport shuttle driver in Jacksonville, FL asked me what bands were playing on this cruise, my answers were met with a blank look until I said, "How about Les Claypool? You may have heard of his band Primus?" I got a look of slight comprehension from my new friend and he said, "So, this is an underground kind of thing." This made me realize the extent to which I live in a bubble and how much that really means to me. I had a similar feeling when I had to convince my sister that no, I wouldn't need fancy clothes to wear to dinner on the cruise. How did I know this, she wondered? Well, I just knew. 1800 of the jam scene's finest were about to board Jam Cruise 3 and we had a pretty good idea of what we were getting ourselves into.


Jam Cruise at sunrise | Photo by Dave Vann

Upon embarkation, it quickly became clear that bands, staff, fans, and crew alike were all in this together. While we were bound by the edges of the boat, there were no more limitations. We once again entered that festival space where individuality is celebrated, music is cherished, and sleep is the enemy. We were headed for international waters and there was no place we'd all rather be. I feel obliged at this point to say that, yes, there were drug arrests at embarkation. But why dwell on this? That is what mainstream media is for.


Hula Hoop Deck | Photo by SuperDee
Back to my bubble that I so adore… With all the pain, fighting, disasters, accidents, and other horrible things that seem to keep happening in the world, it seemed a bit unsettling to be boarding a party boat for four days. Is it right to just tune out the world and escape in our own excess? What becomes instantly apparent upon entering this bubble is that it is way more then a party. In our bubble, we heal, we grow, we interact, we inspire, and we get inspired. Our internal batteries get charged up and prepare us to spread this energy to everyone around us. "What happens on the boat stays on the boat," is what they told us as we set sail, but really, the result of what happens on the boat is felt by the rest of the world. There were a few quiet moments spent looking at the endless water and the ripples of the ocean. The ripple effect of what happens at an event like Jam Cruise where like-minded, peace-loving souls gather is infinite.


Galactic with Skerik | Photo by Adam Gulledge
Once The Celebration set sail, my festival jitters began. Music! Must see music! Must see it now! Must get a drink! Must meet this one and that one! The beginnings of these events can be overwhelming but I soon found myself at Galactic's set in the Astoria Lounge, swaying to the motion of the rocking ship, and my jitters melted away the moment Skerik took the stage with the band. The intricate musical web that would be weaved throughout the next four days had begun. Skerik would soon be on stage with the Benevento/Russo Duo, Joe Russo would soon be on stage with Marc Brownstein and Jake Cinninger, Jake would soon be on stage with North Mississippi Allstars, Cody Dickinson would soon be on stage with Perpetual Groove and so on and so on and so on…

Read on for the accolades:


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