Saturday splashing at Margaritaville. Credit: Guillermo Prieto/

After a fun first weekend of Splash House, I was excited to return for Weekend Two.

The COVID-19 protocols were still in place, requiring that attendees be fully vaccinated or have proof of a recent negative test. Splash House added a double-check system, requiring that two different people at the Palm Springs Convention Center saw proof—and making sure wristbands were placed snugly on each attendee’s wrist. (Veteran festival-goers know that if the wristband is not snug, it can be removed and given to someone else.)

The first shuttle to the Palm Springs Air Museum for Friday’s show unfortunately did not arrive until after the start of Bones/Lee Wells’ 9 p.m. set. However, the opening act crushed it, mixing in a little “California Dreamin’” by the Mamas and the Papas.

Option 4 was up next, starting off with an unreleased Dillon Nathaniel track. Jaime Jones closed out with a midnight set.

Saturday at noon, I started at Margaritaville to see Alex Harrington—a local DJ and former Independent contributor—I first met at Splash House back in 2014 while watching Gorgon City play to a small crowd in the lobby of the former Hard Rock Hotel (now Hotel Zoso). Harrington was all smiles, introducing a new song he jokingly called “Guillermo’s Groove.” (I hope I see a royalty check soon.) Alex is always fun to watch, and attendees enjoyed his performance. A DJ named Trouble was up next, and she delivered subdued beats to the sun-kissed crowd.

Saturday evening was all about seeing Gorgon City at the Renaissance. A member of the duo started by hitting a button and greeting the audience with a pre-recorded seductive voice, stating, “Welcome to Gorgon City!” The first track was “House Arrest,” a mix with SOFI TUKKER (themselves Splash House alums). Gorgon City’s remix of “So Hooked on Your Lovin” by Selace got the audience dancing.

With little rest, it was time to jump on the shuttle to the Palm Springs Air Museum to catch Cloonee. His mix of Abba’s “Voulez Vous” caused a serotonin release one could smell in the desert air. Marc Kinchen, aka MK, closed out with an incredible performance.

Sunday started off easy, with Maximo at the Saguaro. The balcony decorations were awesome, outshining the dismal decorations of the week before. I then drove over to Margaritaville to catch the festivities; everyone was definitely enjoying themselves by the pool.

Finally, I rushed to the Renaissance to catch Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. Unfortunately, there were no dinosaurs … just a guy behind a turn table. On the plus side, plenty of people had inflatable dinosaurs in the pool. Luttrell followed; his set included a well-received new track, “Fill My Heart.” Yotto warmed everyone up for the stoic CamelPhat, who closed out Splash House 2021.

Founder Tyler McLean has perfected the EDM staycation, which was just as great as ever after a pandemic-forced break in 2020. Perhaps he can work some magic and get the price of a carne asada taco down to a reasonable level. Some of us Splashers are not worried about getting beach-body-ready, after all.

Pandemic willing, see you in June 2022, Splash House.

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Guillermo Prieto

Guillermo Prieto is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine. That also happens to be the location of his first concert—which cemented his love of live music. A desert dweller for a quarter-century,...