Whenever I drive into Palm Springs I can’t help thinking that the windmills are waving to me, beckoning me deeper into the desert. Their cartwheel-like dance moves remind me of Coachella, the only time I usually venture into this area of California. But this past weekend was Splash House, a bi-annual pool party that is spread over three Palm Springs resorts, and I was lucky enough to attend.
Unlike Coachella, Splash House is an intimate gathering of revelers who bounce between pools and hotels rooms, meeting new friends wherever they end up. It’s a huge Las Vegas pool party with a less serious Spring Breaker attitude. The tickets are cheaper than buying a table in Vegas or L.A., and the DJs are known to kick it with fans in hotel room after parties. The camaraderie that Splash House fosters makes it a unique experience, and I met attendees who fly from New York twice a year to attend.
In addition to the fun-loving and friendly partiers, the four venues Splash House uses to host the event also adds a unique element. The Saguaro, the Renaissance, and the Riviera are the three hotels used to host the day parties, while the Air Museum is used for the after-hour sets.
The weekend officially started Friday night at the Air Museum, with Mister Blaqk starting it off. I was immediately impressed with the sprawling air-field-turned-venue; its old planes scattered throughout the grounds. One of the main bars was in a hanger with several fighter jets and a huge plane was the backdrop for the stage.
I made it just in time for Fritz Carlton, who’s known to always throws down a fun tech-house set. The standout of the night for me was Malaa, an artist I had yet to see perform. I was completely unprepared for his set and would highly recommend seeing him the next time he comes to town.
On Saturday I spent the day at the Renaissance Hotel, where I was staying. The Renaissance had the largest stage and I was able to catch a lot of the sets from my balcony, which overlooked the pool. One of the greatest aspects of Splash House is the amount of options you have- there were three pools, late night options, and thousands of rooms to explore. If I was enjoying a set from my balcony, I could easily run down to the pool to get a better view. But honestly, I think seeing Thomas Jack from a birds-eye view is about as good as it could get.
After Thomas Jack we took a quick break and headed to see Oliver at the Air Museum. He played one of my favorite songs, Ooey by Vitalic, so his set was a winner in my eyes. Next up was a live show from Classixx; the live instruments were a nice change of pace. Although my friends and I thought Classixx was fantastic, we were itching for Lee Foss’s heavier sounds by 12:30pm. Lee Foss did not disappoint and was one of my favorite sets of the weekend without a doubt.
Because I spent most of the day on a balcony Saturday, I made it a mission to jump into the action on Sunday. One of the most colorful hotels was the Saguaro, so we headed there to see Sacha Robotti. An amazing DJ who releases a lot of tracks with DirtyBird, Robotti recently released a new EP titled Melato Nina. After splashing around Saguaro, meeting a bunch of new friends, and catching the end of Amtrac, we went back to the Renaissance for Nora En Pure. Once again enjoying the view from the balcony, we even had some neighbors join us for Hot Chip’s set. We did make it down to the dance floor for Bonobo’s DJ set, which was an amazing end to the weekend.
Splash House is a great place to go if you love house music and meeting new people from all over the state or even the country! It’s a lot more personal than Coachella as meeting a performing DJ not uncommon. Luckily, if you missed this weekend Splash House returns to Palm Springs the weekend of August 11-13. Hope to see you there!
CAROLINE LASERSOHN, DJ
PHOTO (#1): JULIAN BAJSEL
PHOTO (#2): QUINN TUCKER
PHOTO (#3): JACQUELINE LEANNA
PHOTO (#4): MIRANDA MCDONALD