We spoke with the guy behind Asia's first party cruise, IT'S THIS SHIP, which is back for it's 5th edition this November. IT'S THE SHIP an all-out nautical party featuring big beats, great eats, and plush digs aboard a luxury cruise ship. The ship sets sail from Singapore on November 4th for the sunny shores of Phuket with non-stop music by world-class DJs like Paul Van Dyk, Showtek, our favourite local duo, Rave Republic and many more great acts. Read on to find out about what to expect, challenges on running an event on sea & more.
Urban Journey: What's a day in the life like on IT'S THE SHIP?
Iqbal Ameer: This is an interesting question because you can ask this to 10 different shipmates and they will give you 10 different answers! That’s the beauty of IT’S THE SHIP, it’s a 360- degree festival vacation experience that gives everyone the freedom to carve their own unique journey. Just like our tagline, ‘It’s not just a party, IT’S THE SHIP yo!’, you never know what to expect as there are so many things happening around the clock! We always try to provide a range of activities onboard including different themes parties and artist-led side activities, not to mention the random pop-ups happening around the ship like Twister in the lift and a DJ party in the bathroom! ou can opt to relax at the spa or catch a quick round of glow-in-dark bowling or simply chill in your cabinThere is no “average day” on IT’S THE SHIP... you simply have to experience it for yourself to understand.
UJ: We can imagine how difficult it is to put on such an awesome event - can you share one of your biggest challenges or your hardest moment thus far?
IA: One moment that is definitely hard to forget happened during the 2016 sailing. Due to bad weather, we had to quickly relocate our Main Stage headlining acts to a brand new, and mind you this was very last minute, indoor stage within the span of a few hours! Having to setup a brand new stage at the last minute was crazy but worth every second once we saw how much fun the shipmates had after that!
UJ: Where do most attendees come from?
IA: Our shipmates come from all over the world. In fact, IT’S THE SHIP last year welcomed shipmates from over 88 countries, with a few of them coming all the way from Alaska!
UJ: Do you get to let loose and have fun?
IA: My mind is always focused on making sure all our shipmates are having the best time they could possibly have onboard, and the team and I work round the clock to make sure the whole event runs perfectly! I do try to take some time to unwind with my team but only after IT’S THE SHIP is done.
UJ: What challenges come with managing parties on the sea versus the land?
IA: To be honest, we had no idea what to do and what we were getting ourselves into when we first launched IT’S THE SHIP. I believed in my team and their capabilities and within 5 years, IT’S THE SHIP has now become a blueprint! The main challenge has got to be the communication onboard. Imagine organising a music festival with limited Internet access and only a walkie talkie – trust definitely plays a big part here but I believe my team knows exactly what to do.
UJ: Did you always work in events? If not, what led you to where you are today?
IA; Personally, my passion does not lie in events but in the creation of experiences. I have always wanted to create new experiences and this can be seen in all my past endeavours; from running a restaurant in Australia, driving an ice cream truck, and now IT’S THE SHIP!
UJ: What are your other favourite music festivals worldwide you’ve gone to?
IA: I’ve always been a fan of the unknown and have tried to go to events that focus on the experience economy such as Splendour In The Grass in Australia and Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, but the biggest festival highlight of my life has got to be Burning Man. Imagine tens of thousands of people creating a city from scratch in the middle of the Nevada desert! This was definitely one of the best moments in my life and I plan on bringing a similar experience to life for those onboard IT’S THE SHIP this year!
Loving how this sounds? More details here.
When: 4 November - 8 November, 2018
Where: Marina Bay Cruise Centre, 61 Marina Coastal Drive, Singapore 018947