Splash House 2023: Making Waves Despite the Storm

Courtesy of Splash House // [Mike K – @mikeeekimchi]

Written & Interviewed by Eric B. Thornton // Edited by Bernadette 


The beat goes on! Not even Hurricane Hilary could interfere with the spirits of partygoers at the second weekend of this year’s Splash House. Despite the local government’s warnings of winds and rain, the show must go on. 

This year’s festival, which also marked its 10th anniversary, took over three hotels’ pool locations all nestled in the heart of Palm Springs, California – Renaissance, Saguaro, and Margaritaville. The three chic hotels within a 10-minute car ride, were also accessible using shuttle service provided by the festival. What made this year’s event all the more impressive was the way the organizers smoothly pivoted the event due to the storm that loomed over California residents the days before. 

The annual festival is held mostly in the month of August, when the blistering temperatures of Palm Springs reach 110 degrees, but Palm Springs makes it the perfect place to splash around. Though Hurricane Hilary was a surprise some thought might interfere with the good times, the second weekend of Splash House brought a refreshing exception. Let’s dive into our experience:


Rain or Shine, Keep on Dancing

Courtesy of Splash House // [Mike K – @mikeeekimchi]

As Southern California residents braced for Hurricane Hilary, Splash House literally braved the storm and didn’t back down. Despite storm warnings and text alerts buzzing, the organizers announced on social media on Friday that rain or shine, the show would roll on. They even prepared a backup plan ready to switch the party indoors if the rain entered the desert. 

Saturday went on and no drops of rain could be felt at any of the pool parties, unless it was the splash of water from someone doing a belly flop into the pool. Instead of the usual 100-degree-plus heat, the weekend temperature settled into a comfortable 80s range even though it was a cloudy Saturday – a much-needed break for everyone. 

As anticipation of the impending rain grew, it finally made its appearance around 11 pm during the after-hours party, as it drizzled overnight and into the next day. 

When Sunday arrived, the organizers showcased their adaptability and commitment to the attendees’ experience. Preparing for the worst, they shifted the festivities to the conference rooms of each host hotel. It was a pivot that allowed the music and energy to go on despite the storm. Whether it be poolside or the unexpected setting of a hotel conference room, the fun times carried on. 


Poolside Hopping and Then Some

Courtesy of Splash House // [William Song – @willysong]

Flashing back to a decade ago, Splash House was a revolutionary concept. Elevating pool parties to the next level, Splash House hosted the event across three distinct hotel pool locations. Saguaro was at the birth of the festival and is the hotel that has hosted Splash House since its inauguration. The festival has since expanded to include Renaissance and Margaritaville this year. 

Balconies and patios were full of guests who had booked a room in one of the hotels. If you were lucky enough to get a room with a balcony that faces the party, it’s a front row seat from the comfort of your own pad and if you wanted to join the party, it’s a hop away from the dance floor. 

The fun didn’t stop there. As the cloudy night rolled in, the action moved to the Palm Springs Air Museum for the After Hours part of the festival. The aircraft hangars and tarmac became dance floors, illuminated by vibrant strobe lights. The crowd danced the night away next to several vintage 1940s airplanes. It was indeed an amazing sight.

Sunday’s event took a twist. At first, it felt like a scene from an alternate reality, but as the beats reverberated the hallways of the hotels, partygoers kept the good vibes going as they entered the hotel conference rooms. It felt a bit like the hippest prom you’ve ever seen, so major props to the organizers who set everything up overnight. 


Groove On, Party On

Courtesy of Splash House // [Gina Joy – @ginajoyphoto]

However, the essence of Splash House is the music. All three stages hosted a wild array of up-and-comers and headliner DJs who spun House and Techno all day. Early birds and local talents set the tone, gracing the decks as the day unfolded. LA native, tobehonest, spun chill out beats at Renaissance, meanwhile UK’s very own Sosa had the Saguaro crowd on their feet. Margaritaville was up next, where Ship Wrek owned the stage, and Bleu Clair, hailing from Indonesia, injected electrifying energy into the drenched crowd. Post-set, Bleu Clair shared candid insights with us. Read all about it below.

The hitmaker, Matroda, wrapped up the day with a sunset performance at Margaritaville that couldn’t have been more fitting. At the After Hours party, Bones played a b2b set with Lee Wells followed by the Norwegian brother duo  KREAM, who played a melodic and energetic set. Despite the rain beginning to start to pour, festival goers entering the venue remained ongoing. Rapper Channel Tres played a soulful house set to close the night beautifully. It’s worth mentioning that Chris Lake, Lubelski, and Franklyn Watts also graced the After Hours Friday night.

Despite the change of locations and the heavy rain, Sunday’s lineup did not disappoint. In the events team’s morning announcement on social media, the organizers updated in a post that the lineups for the Renaissance & Margaritaville artists were switching locations with one another, assuming some artists required more space for their set. The London based German DJ; Sidney Charles pumped up the crowd at Margaritaville in the later half of Sunday. With the rain pouring hard late in the afternoon, the streets across Palm Springs started to flood. Moving from Margaritaville to Renaissance, we stayed at Renaissance when at 9 pm, Matroda announced making a surprise guest set to satisfy the attendees providing sunshine through music on a literally cloudy day. Bleu Clair jumped on stage with Matroda and played a song in addition to two of their collaborations. 

***Check out Frank151’s interview with Bleu Clair below:


Left: Bleu Clair / Right: Eric B. Thornton


(this interview has been translated from Bahasa Indonesia to English)

Frank151: Thanks so much for doing the interview.

Bleu Clair: Yeah, you’re welcome.

Frank151: Your set earlier was lit! A bit different though from your set at Academy (LA Music Event) a couple months before (in June)? I feel it was more pumping this time around. 

Bleu Clair: You think so?..I guess I had a lot of new songs like my unreleased songs. 

Frank151: Ahh that makes sense.

Bleu Clair: Yeah seven or eight songs that I recently made a couple weeks ago. Just to test out the songs with a crowd testing their reactions. .

Frank151: How do you feel it turned out?

Bleu Clair: It went well. Some songs were a hit with the crowd, some were just okay. It was good because now I could go back and reevaluate it.

Frank151: Were they in the beginning or middle of your set?

Bleu Clair: I think the last 30 minutes or so.

Frank151: We have a Frank 151 question that we always ask: If you had your own dream festival, who would be your top three headliners? Dead or alive.

Bleu Clair: That’s a tough question, but I’ll say Chris Lake, and Michael Bibi. Shout out to Michael Bibi. Hope he gets well soon.

Frank151: What happened to him?

Bleu Clair: He has cancer.

Frank151: I didn’t know. Hope he gets better. 

Bleu Clair: And then for the third headliner, probably Marco Carola.

Frank151: Your list leans more to the tech house side..

Bleu Clair: Yeah I’m currently into the deep sounds… the tech house banger is a bit saturated at the moment. My releases from one or two years ago felt more of a tech house banger-style but now I’m wanting to try out more of the minimal side of it, kind of more of an underground feel.

Frank151: Like the vibes of your new releases?

Bleu Clair: Yeah, pretty much.

Frank151: This is the second time you’ve played Splash House – first you played the After Hours and now the Pool Party. How is your set different when you play in a club versus at a festival?

Bleu Clair: When I play a festival I feel like I probably have more chances to introduce my music to people who haven’t heard of me. Whereas, when I’m playing in a club, that’s more for a crowd who came to see me. Festivals are different. People probably go to festivals to see other artists too. Like the artist before or after my set or any other so I have more chances to introduce myself at festivals, like this is me, this is my music. 

Frank151: And with a club set?

Bleu Clair: In a club it’s more like there is more of a chance to play the songs that we make or tracks I like and more.. I want to say clubs are fun?!– Well, festivals are fun too, but it’s a different type of fun, you know?  Like club sets you rely on people digging your songs more. I personally, maybe in a club, play one & a half to two hours and wouldn’t play full Bleu Clair tracks. It wouldn’t fill enough time. 

Frank151: Not yet.. You don’t really plan your sets beforehand do you?

Bleu Clair: No, I don’t.

Frank151: Even at festivals?

Bleu Clair: No.

Frank151: You recently played at Tomorrowland too, how was that? Was it your first time playing there?

Bleu Clair: Yeah, it was my first time in Europe as well and the crowd was fun. The festival had this magical theme like a fairytale. It was a new experience for me. 

Frank151: Did you have a chance to see any other artists?

Bleu Clair: Had a chance to see James Hype.. Acrazze, Wax Motif…had a chance to say hi to them and also, Mau P. 

Frank151: Will you be opening for Wax Motif later this year in New York?

Bleu Clair: Yes but not in New York. It’ll be in Raleigh, Atlanta, Detroit, Toronto, Montreal and those spots are all with Wax Motif. For Noizu, it’s in Las Vegas, I think September 16th if I’m not mistaken and I’ll play back to back with San Pacho as well. September 23rd I’ll be with J. Worra at Vanguard Orlando, and on the 24th, I’ll fly to Bali.

Frank151: So, you will not go back to Jakarta until then? 

Bleu Clair: I actually just arrived from Bali last Friday afternoon. Thursday night was the flight from Bali to New York and arrived on Friday then flew here this morning. 

Frank151: When you tour, what’s your schedule like? How and when do you rest?

Bleu Clair: At this point you just sleep whenever and wherever you can. 

Frank151: (laughs) I saw your post about that DJ life behind the scenes. 

Bleu Clair: (laughs) Yeah I haven’t touched my bed since Wednesday I think because I was in Semarang on Wednesday and haven’t really slept since. I slept on the plane Thursday on the 30-hour flight. When I landed in New York I couldn’t sleep and the next day I had the flight to LA and slept on the plane again. 

Frank151: That’s amazing. 

Bleu Clair: You have to do it I guess. 

Frank151: You’ve collaborated with a lot of different artists like with Matroda – and have some tracks with San Pacho, correct?

Bleu Clair: Yeah, I believe I have one.. well two. The other one’s still in progress. We just haven’t really found the click yet, but we’re getting close. 

Frank151: How does it work when you collaborate with another artist?

Bleu Clair: Basically everything is online like through WhatsApp and emails. Sometimes I submit my demo and sometimes he sends his demos. If we both mutually like the demo, we’ll continue our project and if not, we’ll send one another other stuff. 

Frank151: So everything is remote?

Bleu Clair: Basically, it’s remote. 

Frank151: Any three artists that you would love to collaborate with? Could be anyone – a singer or any artist really.

Bleu Clair: Probably Michael Bibi, Chris Lake, and who else…

Frank151: It could be a singer or maybe an Indonesian artist?

Bleu Clair: Maybe Jorja Smith.

Frank151: Any Indonesian artists?

Bleu Clair: I was with Teza. The track “Hyperspace.” Teza Sumendra. The last track I played. Who else.. Probably Teza again (laughs)

Frank151: When did you realize, “I have made it in this business?” What point in your career would you say was the turning point?

Bleu Clair: I think I can’t say I really have. I feel like there are still a lot of things that I could achieve but I am really grateful for where I am now. But to be honest, there are still a lot of things I want to achieve and maybe the turning point might be my tour in the US. I think after Anger Dimas if I’m not mistaken, I was the only other one that went on tour in the US. I think but don’t quote me on that (laughs). Maybe that’s it?

Frank151: Last question: For people who want to break into the (music/dj) industry, what’s your advice?

Bleu Clair: There are a lot of new producers that follow so much of the trends. It’s okay to follow trends but if you’re trying hard to be Chris Lake or Fisher, there are thousands of new artists that try to imitate these sounds. So really, what’s needed is for aspiring artists to find their own style and path. I know it’s cliche, but I think it works. 

Frank151: How would you describe your sound?

Bleu Clair: Before a lot of people would say my sound was more like an orchestra melodic vibe, like in around 2021. I feel like now I’m more into creating something that is more playable because I enjoy creating so it’s really nice to see the reaction of the crowd at a club or festival.

Frank151: What’s your signature sound?

Bleu Clair: I don’t know.. Like for vocals that are being played, I feel like I play more random vocal samples that I get either from YouTube or Splice or anywhere really. I get them and just play around with it (laughs)

Frank151: Just try anything?

Bleu Clair: Yes. Just mess around with whatever and see what feels right.

Frank151: Yeah, I feel that you have a signature hi-hat sound.

Bleu Clair: I guess so (laughs)

Frank151: Well, thank you so much for your time, I really appreciate it.

Bleu Clair: My pleasure. 

**end of interview

For more on Splash House follow:

Twitter @SplashHousePS

Facebook @SplashHousePS

TikTok @SplashHousePS

Instagram @SplashHouse

Courtesy of Splash House // [William Song – @willysong]

Courtesy of Splash House // [William Song – @willysong]

Courtesy of Splash House // [Mallory Turner – @mallorymturner]

Courtesy of Splash House // [Mike K – @mikeeekimchi]

Courtesy of Splash House // [Mallory Turner – @mallorymturner]

Courtesy of Splash House // [Mike K – @mikeeekimchi]

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