Groove Island Daily Lineup & Founder Interview

The first edition of Groove Island is less than 2 months away! The excitement is building for what is sure to prove a groundbreaking and unforgettable inaugural event. Groove Island 2019 takes place from September 27-30. The idyllic getaway on the beautiful Catalina Island is an immersive experience featuring world class artists Andrew Rayel, Chus & Ceballos, Mark Knight, Oliver Heldens, Sam Feldt, Shiba San and more. Now day-by-day breakdowns of the musical activities are revealed. Groove Island offers up an unbelievable value, buy your tickets today.

Daily Lineups

This bold, exciting, and ambitious new event from the scene-staple Whet Travel kicks off in spectacular fashion on Day 1. On Friday September 27, Deep Space will be hosting Spanish tech house titans and Stereo label bosses Chus & Ceballos, as well as Sam Feldt, Anthony Attalla, Adam Frek, Eve Mark, Keith Christopher, Liquid Todd, Malin, and Rizzo Vassalo, amongst many others. All will come together for an all-encompassing house music showcase.

Day 2, Saturday September 28, is when Wicked Paradise takes over to curate a delectable experience. Global icon Andrew Rayel, house innovator Shiba San, Mikey Lion, Sage Armstrong, Astley, Kristina Sky, Brian G, Bryan Lubliner, DJ Taz Rashad, Drums of the Sun, Jeremiah Red, and more join the Wicked Paradise on Day 2. This sharp edge of the scene brings experts who work the dancefloor into a frenzy.

The third and final day is another special one on Sunday, September 29. Dance titans DJ Mag, Deep House Brunch, Heldeep, and the mighty Toolroom label come together to offer sets from boss man and globe trotting tastemaker Mark Knight as well as Dutch superstar Oliver Heldens. In addition, Dillon Nathaniel, UK pair Leftwing : Kody, chart-topping house act Secondcity, Adam Auburn, Lizzie Curious, Adam Frek, and Tommie Sunshine, amongst more impressive talents taking the stage.

All of this action goes down at a unique mix venues that include the sun-drenched Descanso Beach Club (the only California beach where alcohol is permitted!), with blissful ocean views, palm tree lined beaches, and luxury teak chaise lounges, while The Catalina Casino boasts the world’s largest circular ballroom right on the seafront at the entry to the harbor, all finished with stunning art deco style.

Groove Island 2019 Daily Lineup Announcement with Founder Interview

Words From The Founder

Groove Island is set to be an event you do not want to miss. FestPop got the chance to interview Jason Beukema, founder of Groove Island and Groove Cruise. We received enticing insight from Jason on his time creating Groove Island and even what he has learned from Groove Cruise.

What was the inspiration behind Groove Island Festival?

After 15 successful years of Groove Cruise–including three previous beach parties on Catalina as a cruise destination stop–we wanted to expand the brand with this new immersive electronic music experience at one of our favorite places. The three-day immersive festival allows fans to participate in a wider variety of excursions and activities surrounded by the beauty of the historic island, while also enjoying sets from some of the best house, techno, and trance artists in the business!

The celebration of life, positivity, and dance music is a key part of this curated event. How are you including that when creating this immersive festival experience?

The great thing about our fan base over the years is their welcoming vibes to attendees from all backgrounds, demographics, and generations who have bonded over their love for the music. We even have an awesome retired couple in their ‘60s that are Oliver Heldens superfans joining us for Groove Island and all other attendees are stoked to meet them and hit the dancefloor!

Groove Cruise started in 2004 and has grown exponentially since then. Congrats on the 15-year milestone! What major things did you learn during your initial years of Groove Cruise that you hope to improve on with Groove Island?

From starting with 125 people at our first event to over 50,000 to date, We’ve certainly learned a LOT. Our award-winning team, processes, procedures, talent, experience creation, programming, branding, Captain Support, values, marketing, and finances are all night-and-day bigger and better. And the most important thing: Our safety and security plans have evolved to create the safest experiences possible.   

What makes Groove Island different than Groove Cruise?

While there are plenty of similarities to Groove Cruise regarding different music on multiple stages, a variety of activities–often including fan-vs-DJ challenges (like a ping-pong tournament, for example)–destination parties and more. Groove Island really allows fans the time to take in the beauty of Catalina Island and choose their own adventure, so to speak. Of course, the music is the No. 1 reason to attend, but Groove Island offers such a wide range of ways to curate an experience tailored to you. From thrill-seeking activities like the zip-line, parasailing, and scuba diving, to taking a more relaxing approach by pampering one’s self at the serene Island Spa Catalina, or taking time to chill with the amazing options at our Whet Oasis healing journey activation, staying on the island for three days allows for a more leisurely experience without having to worry about getting back on the ship by a certain time, while everything is still conveniently located within one square mile so no additional transportation is needed and within a short walk, which is unlike most other festivals.

How have you prepared for the attendance of the debut of Groove Island?

We’ve had a great working relationship with the Catalina Island Company for years, who are the ones that own most of the properties on the island. We’ve also had meetings with the City Council, Chamber of Commerce, Mayor, local community, and emergency responders. Plus, we’re keeping this an intimate experience with no more than 1,500 attendees per day. The great thing is not only are the Groove Island packages affordable, they include three-night accommodations, round-trip ferry transportation from Long Beach, and the three-day event pass. However, for those only able to attend for one day, we’ve chartered special late-night ferries to get them back to the mainland.

What makes Catalina Island the perfect place for this event?

Even though it’s in LA County and only 22 miles off the California coast, I’m surprised how many people have never been there–or even know about it! 100 years ago, chewing gum entrepreneur William Wrigley Jr. purchased the controlling interest of the Santa Catalina Island company and turned it into a favorite destination for stars of the silver screen, made it the spring training home for the Chicago Cubs, built the world’s largest circular ballroom–where we’ll be having a Roaring ‘20s theme party–and so much more rich history.

With all the existing infrastructure and professionalism of the Island Company, it makes our job so much easier to throw an event of this type rather than, say, an island allegedly owned by Pablo Escobar in the middle of nowhere! 😉 Plus, no passport needed!

So not only is there dance music playing throughout the weekend, but festival-goers will also be able to adventure throughout Catalina Island. What type of adventures can people enjoy? Is it all-inclusive or will festival-goers have to go outside the event?

Groove Island attendees will have access to all the costume theme parties (six total), late-night music, plus the Whet Oasis, as well as a stand-up comedy showcase. There will also be hosted activities and interactive experiences. We’ve worked with quite a few of the local businesses as well to offer special discounts to our fans on excursions so they can pick-and-choose on their own what they’d like to try the most.

Step Brothers did a hilarious job with welcoming the annual Catalina Wine Mixer. How will attendees be able to curate their own movie-like experience on Catalina Island?

Coincidentally, the actual Catalina Wine Mixer didn’t start until after the movie came out as they were inspired by it! The island has a rich history when it comes to Hollywood as it was the site of the first movie theatre with sound, a popular destination for movie stars like Marilyn Monroe, plus several films have been shot there and more. So Groove Island is basically going to be the Catalina Wine Mixer turned up a little bit! You can pull your boat/yacht right up to the festival or take a helicopter in from Long Beach for only $149 just like a movie star would. They may also be some celebrity guests. Additionally, we’re offering a Platinum Pass for special perks like open bars, VIP areas, premium hors d’oeuvres, private bathrooms, elevated viewing area, and more.

I am sure Foodies will be all over Groove Island. What type of mouth-watering food can attendees expect while dancing the days away?

The options on Catalina are endless! One of our favorites from when the Whet Travel team visited the island recently was definitely Original Jack’s Country Kitchen for the best breakfast. Then there’s Descanso Beach Club–one of the venues we’ll be taking over–that has fantastic fresh dishes with a Mexican flair, plus it’s one of the only beaches in California that lets you have alcoholic beverages and they have some great ones. We also really enjoyed the Lobster Trap and Cafe Metropole has great vegetarian options. My personal fav is the sand dabs at Blue Water Grill. Also, there’s a Von’s grocery store on Catalina for those staying in hotels, and attendees in vacation rentals can even whip up a family dinner in fully-furnished kitchens as a treat to their friends!

What is one part of the immersive Groove Island experience that you hope festival-goers really enjoy?

All the amazing options and experiences Catalina Island has to offer in one convenient location!

Catalina Island

Next to the carefully curated musical offerings, Groove Island is a feast for every sense. It is world-renowned for its mix of rare flora and fauna. All of which can be explored with hikes into the mountains or from air racing down a zip line. You will also be able to enjoy other fast-paced activities such as jet skiing, a rope course, ghost tour, escape room, parasailing, and golf / fishing tournaments. There will also be cooking classes, comedy shows, and silent disco. For a relaxing angle, the Whet Oasis: A Healing Journey curated by DJ Taz Rashid and Prana Warriors with interactive workshops. Furthermore, there will be workshops such as meditation, yoga, poetry, and a 3D sound experience that is utterly magical, and more. The Whet Foundation will also be volunteering at community improvement projects as a way to give back to the locals of Catalina.

Getting to Groove Island is all part of the experience as it is accessible by sea or air via ferries and helicopter. Ferries run from four mainland ports in Southern California: San Pedro, Long Beach, Newport Beach, or Dana Point and take about an hour. Meanwhile, a helicopter ride is just 15 minutes and available from Long Beach, San Pedro, Burbank Airport, and John Wayne Airport. The island itself is easy to traverse on foot, by bus, bicycle, or golf carts. The special packages for Groove Island include a round-trip ferry, three-night accommodations, and three-day immersive festival ticket with various hotels offering premium luxury and economy offerings. Vacation rentals are also an option for groups.

Festival Travel Booking

Need help booking your airfare and accommodations for the festival? Look no further! FestPop now offers assistance in getting you to any festival of your dreams. Just search the festival you want to attend on FestPop and let the booking begin!

As such, Groove Island is guaranteed to be a truly memorable experience filled with fun, dancing, and adrenaline-fueled activities. For more information on Groove Island, follow its’ socials.

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Katherine Bennett, Sr. Staff Writer 2019
FestPop Sr. Staff Writer, Katherine Bennett
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