Have you ever gone to a music festival without knowing its lineup?
That’s the case for holders of tickets to the 2023 FriendShip event, a floating festival featuring a “surprise lineup” that won’t be revealed prior to its start.
In fact, attendees won’t discover the lineup or performance schedule until they board the Norwegian Pearl and enter their cabins, according to FriendShip organizer Gary Richards. The festival’s founder, who also DJs and produces electronic music as Destructo, took to social media to reveal the news after hosting a poll.
“The results are in and the majority of you are on board with my dream of finally having a surprise lineup for ship! For those of you who are on the other side of the poll I promise 100% the surprise will be worth it,” announced Richards, who said he’s been working on the surprise lineup for a year.
“Much love and Respect for always supporting me and my crazy ideas,” he added.
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The response was largely positive considering the renown of Richards, a seasoned music executive and festival organizer who founded HARD Events prior to the company’s 2012 acquisition by Live Nation. He’s now the President of one of the world’s largest music event producers, LiveStyle, who organizes Electric Zoo and Tomorrowland Brazil, among other major electronic festivals.
On the other side of the coin, however, some chimed in to bemoan the concept of a surprise lineup.
“I wanna know the artists I’m paying to see,” wrote one commenter, with another likening the move to a “bait-and-switch.”
FriendShip is scheduled to kick off on February 27th. The fest will depart from Miami and sail through the Bahamas to the private island of Great Stirrup Cay before returning on March 3rd. You can find out more about the event here.