Jam Cruise is one of those events that no matter what you write, you cannot do it the justice it deserves. It is not any one thing that makes it special, but the sum of all things that makes it an EXPERIENCE. It seems as though in every crevice of the ship, every musical performance, and every conversation is a moment of serendipitous existence. Where the lines between performers, Jam Cruisers, and staff blur into the one giant performance that is Jam Cruise. There are no bystanders allowed. Everyone is a participant. And everyone participates.
Nowhere else can you eat a late night snack with your favorite musician, get a chance to play music with them on stage, and then participate in a giant sing-along with Zach Gill in the foyer with the grand piano, all in a matter of a couple of hours. Precious moments abound around every corner as you run between the venues to catch the different bands. Most of those moments can only be responded to with a smile, hearty laugh, a hug or a great photo with a story. It is impossible to catch all of the music going on, but I have found you will always end up where you need to be.
We were grateful to be invited back on Jam Cruise again, and truly appreciate all the kind words from all you Jam Cruisers. It was a heartfelt moment pulling into the boarding area in the ice cream truck to drop of the crew and to receive a roaring cheer from the 1000 people waiting in linethat was awesome and thank you.
This being my second time on the boat, I realize the strong sense of community that has blossomed around Jam Cruise. Returnees are affectionately know as Repeat Offenders and there are many of them. The opportunity to become instant friends with Cruisers from all over the US. And what it truly means when someone wishes you a Happy Jam Cruise. So thank you to Cloud 9 for giving us such a wonderful event on an awesome venue.
I would like to give a shout out to the woman who gave us the Friendlys dragonfly ice cream cones to hang over our ice cream cart, to the Hippy Gourmet doing a piece on Zero Hero and the Greening Crew on sustainability, Lebo for awesome live painting, and to all of you who stopped by for some cream. A special thanks to my photo crew Mat and Keith for running around that massive ship, and Burgundy for helping around the cart.
By the way, this year we were on a new boat, the MSC Orchestra, with a capacity for 2,800 Jam Cruisers, up from 1,500 last year on the MSC Lirica. I would be remiss in not mentioning that Jam Cruisers once again shattered the alcohol sales record on a MSC cruise ship. This year on the Orchestra by 500%, while doing similar last year on the Lirica. There are better words from Burgundy below. Happy Jam Cruise!
Im still basking in the glorious afterglow of Jam Cruise 7! It was an amazing celebration of music from incredibly talented artists including Michael Franti, Les Claypool, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Bonerama, The Lee Boys and so many other exceptional musicians!
Jam Cruise is so much more than just a music festival: It is an amazing celebration of music, dance, life, beauty, friendship and inspiration! I cannot commend the staff at Cloud 9 Adventures enough. Jam Cruise is not just an exceptional music festival, but a community that embraces the very best of the human spirit. The playfulness and silly fun among musicians and participants was a joy to behold! There were so many countless magic moments, I dont know where to begin, but for starters, how many other places would I be able to rest my tired dancing toes and (literally) sit at Les Claypools feet during his outstanding set, watching him work his slap-bass funky magic from no less than five feet away?!?! (For me, this was better than ANYTHING I ever learned at my mothers knee! Sorry mom, but its true!) Each musician had something very special to offer. But importantly, there is something so unique about Jam Cruise, I want to spend a moment to acknowledge this special festival.
Even as I write this, I know that my words are inadequate to describe the experience. The experience is multi-faceted and profound. Jam Cruise was like having the very best of what Burning Man offers combined with the very best that music has to offer. More than 2,800 people came together to celebrate music, the people who create that music, and to celebrate each other. More than that, Jam Cruisers are not there merely to be entertained by music, but rather are active participants in creating the experience: Radical self-expression, creativity, inclusion, and art by Jam Cruisers themselves combined with exceptional musical performances create an environment of contribution, free-flowing creativity and no-holds-barred giggly good times!
In addition to great audience participation were a number of volunteers who donated their time and resources to educate fellow Jam Cruisers on environmental and humanitarian issues. Zero Hero provided several highly visible pop-up recycling tents for Jam Cruisers to recycle glass bottles, plastic cups and other materials. The Greening team provided outings and educational information to participants, including a beach clean-up in Costa Maya, Mexico and a visit to a Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary a self-sufficient green educational facility in Belize City as part of its Leaving a Positive Legacy program. There were many other volunteers and organizations who also contributed in meaningful ways, enhancing everyones experience. Once again, kudos to Cloud 9 Adventures and to everyone who participated for creating an event that included excellent music and soooooo much more!
The sheer fun, human interaction, playfulness of the musicians and Jam Cruise participants is something that any music lover should experience. But until you actually feel the energy, experience the unique environment, and are able to share the very best of yourself with your fellow Jam Cruisers, these are merely just words on a page. Music, like philosophy, friendship, and art has no survival value. Rather it is one of those things that gives value to survival. For me, Jam Cruise has become the annual event that makes me excited to be alive! Check out our photos of Jam Cruise 7 for the pictures that say a thousand words, and go to www.jamcruise.com for updates and information on the magical music adventure that is Jam Cruise!
Check out our Jam Cruise 6 review