Splash House Brings Its A-Game Poolside in Palm Springs

Splash House Brings Its A-Game Poolside in Palm Springs

Rachel Novosad


Ok so, Splash House is next level.

If 115 degree weather can’t keep the ravers away, I’m not sure what can.

Say goodbye to bandanas and dust-filled lungs, because even though this fest is held in desert-surrounded Palm Springs, the organizers essentially picked up all the good parts of a music festival and plopped them down poolside. Produced by Goldenvoice, the event is held twice a summer – one weekend in June and another in August. And to be honest, I’d recommend you attend both because once just isn’t enough.

If you live anywhere in the vicinity of SoCal, you don’t even need to take off work to attend. Friday night, after our surprisingly short road trip over to Palm Springs from LA – post-work – we arrived to find Palm Springs taken over by colorful banners in the sky and the buzz of vacation in the air. We beelined it to pick up our wristbands, our room keys and rolled on into our room at the Riviera, ready to start the night. After all, we had no time to waste given the first of the weekend festivities were about to begin: After Hours at the Air Museum.

We shuttled on over to the Air Hangar to find the coolest venue I’ve quite possibly ever seen. Surrounded by actual airplanes, the bars and stage were tucked away under the night sky (yes, outdoors). Sounds from Klatch, Elderbrook and then Sofi Tukker filled the venue with a great crowd to match. Crowded enough for anyone to let loose and dance, but not too crowded to breathe. A seemingly unanimous opinion? Everyone couldn’t wait for Bob Moses to take the stage. And he didn’t disappoint.

Though Friday turned into quite the late night, we were up and ready to go Saturday morning. Our wish list of acts to see was not short – Splash House consistently has one of the most high-quality lineups, catching some of the most talented artists right before they blow up. We kicked off our day at the Riviera, hearing vibey beats from the likes of Flamingosis, Vindaya and Jay Prince. It was hard to drag us away, but we were on a mission to catch Gigamesh at the Renaissance, so we hopped on a shuttle and went on over.

The Renaissance is the big man on campus of the three pools – the giant pool is complemented by a dance floor right in front of the main stage as well as a bottle service section. (Note to self: Have my bachelorette party at Splash House.) It’s a fairly large space and the beats are loud enough for all to hear, but not too loud you can’t have a conversation – and the level of friendliness from the attendees at Splash House is way beyond any other festival I’ve been to, so you’ll have a few!

Gigamesh, ‘Master of the Remix’ – check. Croatia Squad, ‘Tech-House Badass’ – check. Justin Jay, ‘Meteoric Infectiously Groovy Raver’ – check. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, ‘(Finally!) Resurrected Fan Favorite’ – check. Then I get a text informing me that Justin Jay would be taking over a hotel room at the Renaissance, um yes please. Unfortunately it eventually got broken up by hotel security…but it was oh-so-fun while it lasted.

After daylonging in the sun and 110+ degree heat all day (which I totally forgot about given the pool access), I will admit to slight defeat and did not make it to the Air Museum again that night for round two of After Hours. However, I heard great things about James Murphy’s five-hour set going B2B with Lovefingers.

Waking up Sunday, I was ready to go. This time, we wanted to check out the Saguaro. Each hotel brings something new to the table, and the Saguaro was no exception. With 50% of the balconies facing pool side, you walk in and are literally surrounded by the party. Jamie Prado, Bones, and Eli & Fur kicked off the day and managed to kick even the most hungover of people into gear.

Splash House also provides some of the most premium people-watching opportunities. Between the swimsuits, the costumes, the themed balcony ragers, and best of all the floaties – there’s something interesting every way you look.

Before we left for the Renaissance we had one more set to catch at the Saguaro: Desert Hearts. Oh man, did they have a good set. The PLUR was real.

Pool hopping is surprisingly easier than one might expect, given the regularly running free shuttles – plus it’s an amazing reset button as you’re gifted with ice cold water bottles from Splash House staff as you get on the bus.

We had such a good time at the Renaissance yesterday that we just had to go back. We caught the end of The Him and SNBRN. Though it was hard to leave, we were on a mission: getting back to the Riviera to close out the festival with Big Gigantic.

And here we arrive at my number one set I was looking forward to all weekend. Now, I’ve seen Big G a few times in my day, but absolutely nothing compares to their Sunday set at Splash House. With the Riviera pool practically touching the DJ booth, we had prime spots right in the front of the crowd – in the pool, of course. Big Gigantic always puts on a good set, but there was something special about this one. A combination of the enthusiastic attendees, the sun setting behind the pool, it felt like it was an intimate concert being put on at a summer backyard pool party surrounded by friends. It was a perfect summation of a perfect weekend.

In the end, there was really only one thing left to say:

“Can we come back next weekend?”