Dominican Holidaze: The Ultimate Destination Festival
For us, the Dominican Holidaze Music Festival started at the airport. Flying into Punta Cana, you’ll start to notice that the boarding area has been taken over by circle logos (a.k.a. the Disco Biscuits symbol), Grassroots hats, and plenty of other heady swag. It’s where strangers became friends and drinks already started to flow.
Fast forward a couple of hours later, we’ve survived one of the most entertaining flights of my life, made it through customs, and boarded the shuttle headed for the Breathless Resort and Spa in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. You could feel the energy and excitement from everyone as we blasted the Disco Biscuits’ sets from the most recent Camp Bisco in anticipation of their opening performance at this year’s Dominican Holidaze festival. There were smiles for miles from everyone on board.
After being assigned our room keys, it was time to settle in. The rooms at the Breathless Resort and Spa were spacious, each came with an outdoor hot tub on the private porch, a minibar that was kept stocked at all times, flat screen TVs, and the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in. The resort staff was very pleasant and happy to keep a drink in your hand at all times. There was rarely a line at any of the bars, including both swim up bars located in each of the large pools onsite. Another gem of the resort was not having to leave where you’re standing at the Main Stage to get drinks. Servers brought them right to you, took your trash when you were done, and even got down with us when their tray of beverages was empty. It was pretty amazing seeing the joy on their faces as they grooved to the music. It seemed as if they were having just as good of time as we were–even though they were working!
Now for the music, I came for the Disco Biscuits, and they brought it in each and every one of their sets, but I definitely left with a new found appreciation for Sound Tribe Sector 9 (aka Sound Tribe or STS9). The energy both on stage and in the crowd during their performance was mesmerizing. After Tribe’s set Friday night was Nightmares on Wax at the Wink Bar, which is my favorite DJ set from the weekend. The vibes coming from that area were so deep and dirty, it was impossible keep yourself from moving. It kind of felt like you were at an underground rave even though you were on a tropical resort in paradise. Another favorite was the Lee Foss poolside set earlier in the day on Friday. There’s no better feeling than being able to float around with your friends while vibing to some upbeat house music.
When asked about his favorite moment from the weekend, Dominican Holidaze attendee Nick Anthony explained, “There is just something special about dancing on the beach and experiencing the clouds break open to unleash a downpour right in sync with the peak of Magellan.” Later on in the conversation Anthony continued, “I had heard of Lettuce before. Just in passing. I was excited to have an excuse to finally catch what the hubbub was all about and man was it well deserved. Those guys bring some proper funk. Only took the first set for me to realize I was a fan.”
Another weekend highlight for me was raging Beef Science, a collaboration between Adam Deitch (of Break Science and Lettuce) along with Beef (of Tanzanite Productions and Hustle Logic), at the Wink Bar Saturday morning, then heading to the beach with a group of friends and watching the sun rise over the blue-green colors of the ocean. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect and the landscape couldn’t have been more stunning.
This is definitely a festival I’d recommend every live music fan to experience at least once in their life. Whether you’re a fan of the Disco Biscuits or really into Umphreys McGee, Dominican Holidaze has something to offer every one of it’s guests from the all-inclusive resort amenities, to the roster of musical talent and event production.