A SPLASHing Success: Splash House opens up summer with a bang

18 June 2015 - - The DJ List


Temperatures soared upward 110 degrees as house music revelers from all walks of life descended upon the desert last weekend to attend Splash House 2015. The dry, sweltering heat seemed as relentless as the music infiltrating our bodies each day; churned out from stages resting on three different pool decks, the [Splash] House that LED Presents built.

This was not my first time attending Splash House. I attended last August, boldly proclaiming it my favorite weekend from last year’s festival season, raising the bar incredibly high for all subsequent pool parties. Oddly enough, now that I write that last sentence, I think that may have been the last pool party I attended last year. Fast forward a few months, and I find myself yet again at another party thrown by LED Presents at the Hilton, the 2015 precursor to Splash House, LED Dayclub back in April.

The Hilton is the newest venue to join the Splash House trifecta, replacing the Hard Rock Hotel from last year, and while I thoroughly enjoyed the Dayclub party in April, I feel that the Hilton wasn’t quite colorful (read: festive) enough for Splash House, particularly in comparison to The Saguaro hotel, who embraced all things Splash House 155%.

From the balconies decked out in everything from Jurassic World décor to Christmas themed, to the rainbow ribbon awnings trailing overhead, to the lively colored hammocks swaying around the perimeter of the pool, the Saguaro became the unofficial-official haven for Splash House. Needless to say, my decision to book a room at the Saguaro most certainly did not suck, and I was supremely happy to be given a room right next to the stage. Arriving well before the rest of my crew, I took some me time handle the “priorities” of the weekend: beer run and blowing up our floatation devices. Having successfully killed a couple hours, curiosity got the best of me as I took in my surroundings for the weekend. This was the first time I found myself staying at a hotel hosting Splash House, and I took it upon myself to scope out the scenery, conveniently stumbling across the drum circle, a Splash House-sanctioned event, and making several new friends along the way. By 8pm on Friday, I had more or less set myself up for another glorious weekend in the sun.

SO did my weekend live up to the hype? Let’s get to the highlights (and some of the lows) from the weekend!

The People

You know, it’s sad to say that in my recaps of events I like to highlight particularly exceptional experiences with fellow attendees because in a PLURfect festival world, all of your interactions with people should be exceptional, but that’s neither here nor there. Maybe it’s something about being in the sun all weekend, or being surrounded by such cheerful colors and floaties and listening to amazing live music that puts people in great moods, or, secret option C: all of the above. Whatever the case may have been, the vibe level was 100 and I felt it. S/O to the first floor of the Saguaro, you guys were fun.*

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Easy Access

Last year, throughout the course of the weekend, I had the pleasure of running into several of the DJs slated to play Splash House. This year was no different. Many of the DJs playing on the weekend also walked around the pool, enjoyed drinks and interacted with fans. It was refreshing to be able to converse with amazingly talented artists in a somewhat “normalized” setting (read: not shoved up against a metal fence with 50,000 other people).

The Music

This is an obvious highlight, and was a huge selling point for many of my friends who attended. Who wouldn’t want to join in on the fun with THOMAS JACK, SNBRN, DR. FRESCH, WAVE RACER, SHIFT K3Y, ANNA LUNOE, CASHMERE CAT, ZIMMER, VANILLA ACE, JUSTIN JAY, CHRISTIAN MARTIN, LUCA LUSH and so many more, playing throughout the course of the weekend?

While we are on the topic, I have to give a shout out to my personal favorites from the weekend – some of which I knew I would enjoy, and a few pleasant surprises.

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Oh Justin, if you only knew the levels of obsession I have over your ‘Laffy Taffy’ remix…actually by now you probably do. I am almost embarrassed to admit that I listen to it every day before work. I was in the pool on Sunday (where viewing the stage/knowledge of time to see who is up is very limited) thoroughly enjoying myself when I heard a sudden change in music. Knowing someone else was on but not having any sort of idea of what time it had come to be, you can only imagine my surprise and sheer excitement when I heard the first beats of ‘Laffy Taffy’ float into my earbuds. Justin Jay, all taffy-ing aside, played one hell of a set.


Viceroy aka “Sultan of Summer” set himself up for some pretty high expectations from his audience this past weekend. Lucky for him, and us, he lived up to those expectations. Viceroy’s set was one of the few I was able to get up more or less within touching distance of the decks, and it was so worth it. Having watched most of the sets from the pool or from the very far back, I finally was able to feel the “festival” vibe, which is when the aim of Splash House was fully realized: a pool party and a festival. I was in heaven. Accompanied by a saxophonist, Viceroy played wonderfully summery sexy sounds, saving his version of ‘Remix to Ignition,’ for closer to the end of his set, to the delight of everyone. Seriously though, his “Jet Life” series should be listened to on repeat for the rest of summer.

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I have seen Dr. Fresch now a handful of times – the first being at CRSSD fest back in March. I am going to level with you for a second here: I had no idea who he was in March. My friend spent a decent amount of time trying to convince me that I would like him and what do ya know, I did. Dr. Fresch absolutely kills the hip-hop, R&B, rap remixes, which is right up my alley. Since CRSSD fest, I made a point to catch him a couple other times, Splash House included. I have to give MAJOR props to Dr. Fresch and his Saturday afternoon performance. At the peak of the heat on Saturday, Dr. Fresch came on to a massive crowd, only to realize that the heat would be the source of technical difficulties for about 30 minutes. Growing restless, the crowd began to jeer and heckle, and albeit no ones’ fault in general, Dr. Fresch took it in stride like a true professional. When he finally came on, he came back with a vengeance. Dr. Fresch: 1, Heat: 0.

The Delightfully Unexpected

I come from a background in heavy bass music so my experience with many of the DJs slated to play Splash House last weekend were very foreign to me. In no particular order, I have to give some props to the unexpectedly awesome sets I caught: GINA TURNER, MANILA KILLA, POMO, TEEMID and SAINT WKND.

A Few Notes …

It wouldn’t be a full recap without airing some grievances, and surprisingly enough, there are just a few. *Remember that asterisk a few paragraphs ago? I’d like to personally thank the random floatie-napper who stole Larry the lobster from the clutches of my hands and ran off...NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN! If you're going to steal a 6 foot tall inflatable lobster, at least USE IT! I was pretty bummed to lose Larry.

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On a more serious note , this is the second time I have attended Splash House and this is the second time that the heat-decks issue has arisen. It happened during CHROMEO last year to the dismay of many. Now, I am not technology-savvy so this may be an empty gripe, but I hope they can figure out a resolution prior to Splash House round 2 in August.


Did you like our photos from the weekend? STAY TUNED for our full album coming soon courtesy of DJ List Photographer Daniel Leist

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About the Author

Adria Smith
christian martin chromeo gina turner pomo zimmer anna lunoe vanilla ace justin jay viceroy dr. fresch teemid cashmere cat shift k3y wave racer manila killa thomas jack

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