LA Weekly’s Patrick Shannon explores the origins of Splash House, co founded by Tyler McLean and his older sister, Kelly. While observing his family’s vacation rental business, Tyler saw an age gap in Palm Springs vacationers. The city made lame attempts to lure college kids to spend their vacations in the resort town by taking out cartoonish ads in college papers, but still lacked the alluring debauchery of other popular spring break and summer vacation destinations like Cabo San Lucas or Vegas.
In his senior year at UCLA, McLean conceptualized a hometown, weekend event that drew inspiration from the Vegas resorts but fit the laid-back aesthetic of Palm Springs. McLean spent the first half of 2013 drafting a plan to convince thousands of young people to trek out to the desert in triple-digit heat for an event they’d never heard of.
The first-time promoter found a smart solution in dividing the talent buying between the dFm, LED Presents and Pacific Festival. Each company branded a stage and curated a unique lineup. While the first rendition was met with meager ticket sales, McLean’s. But McLean’s ambition caught the eye of Goldenvoice, the promotion company behind Coachella. Goldenvoice provided the resources for Splash House to persevere in 2014.
Now in its fourth year, Splash House attracts 5,000 attendees each of its two weekends, one in June (June 10-12), the other in August (August 12-14) . While attendees spend money in downtown’s merchant shops and restaurants, the festival itself is contained to two resorts, the Riviera and Saguaro Hotels.
In recent years there has been a shift in focus to the afterparty, a late-night, outdoor bacchanal on the tarmac of the Palm Springs Air Museum, with backdrops like two Vietnam helicopters flanking the stage all lit up.
What’s in store for the future of Splash House? Once it is sold out and people are just trying to slam down the door to get a ticket, Mclean’s focus will switch to scouting additional locations that can provide other vibes.
The first Splash House weekend is Friday through Sunday, June 10-12, and will feature sets from Odesza, Jai Wolf, Justin Marin, Lee Foss and Guy Gerber, to name a few. Tickets and more info are available at www.splashhouse.com
To read Patrick Shannon’s original article and view the accompanying pictures, courtesy of LAW Weekly, please visit: http://www.laweekly.com/music/splash-houses-palm-springs-parties-offer-a-cooler-closer-alternative-to-vegas-6993703