(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) –Fans of The Rock Boat, the annual cruise hosted by rock band Sister Hazel and Atlanta-based event producers Sixthman, snatched up over 2,200 tickets as soon as they went on sale, making this the fastest sell-out in the event’s five-year history. Billed as “The World’s Greatest Floating Music Festival,” The Rock Boat is a four-day cruise where fans get to see a number of like-minded bands while cruising the Gulf of Mexico with all the amenities of a luxury ship. The growing success and fast sell-out of “TRB05” have prompted organizers to add a second event in 2006 with a winter version of the cruise confirmed to depart January 14. That cruise will include Sister Hazel, Better Than Ezra, the Pat McGee Band and more.
Since its debut in 2001, The Rock Boat has evolved from a grass-roots casual trip into a can’t-miss event for music fans, many of whom have made it an annual rite of passage. . Previous excursions have included bachelor parties, weddings, proposals and lots of wild stories of people making new friends and living it up on the ocean.
Launching from New Orleans September 29 and making a stop in Mexico, The Rock Boat ‘05 will host 20 bands including, O.A.R., Cowboy Mouth and Marc Broussard and event host Sister Hazel. Fans get to hang out with and see their favorite groups, while being introduced to new artists. “It started out as a thank-you to our hardcore fans,” says Sister Hazel singer/guitarist Ken Block.
“But it has grown into something so much more: there’s a real camaraderie among the groups and we get to spend time with and really get to know our fans.” Broussard says, “If it were any more fun, it would be illegal.”
Bands on The Rock Boat perform several sets, impromptu shows by the pool and late-night all-star jam sessions. Tickets are approximately $700 per person and include everything a luxury cruise ship has to offer, access to all shows and meals–gambling in the ship’s casino and alcohol are not included. “There’s a real sense of community on the Boat,” adds Block. “It’s really just an excuse for us to go on vacation and play music.”
“It’s the kind of place where strangers become friends and friends become family,” says promoter Andy Levine.
The Rock Boat ’05 (September 29-October 3 visiting Progresso, MEX):
David Ryan Harris,
The Rock Boat ‘06 (January 14-19 visiting Costa Maya, MEX and Cozumel, MEX):
Better Than Ezra,,
Pat McGee Band,
Josh Kelley ,
Five Star Iris.
–Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen