GROOVE CRUISE RAISES $25,412 TO SEND OUT RELIEF GRANTS TO NOW OVER 150 OF THEIR ‘CAPTAINS’ FACING HARDSHIPS DUE TO COVID-19. WITH NEARLY 100,000 VIEWERS WATCHING, THE WORLD’S LARGEST FLOATING ELECTRONIC MUSIC FESTIVAL-GONE-VIRTUAL GRATEFULLY ANNOUNCES 100% OF FUNDS RAISED ARE BEING DISPERSED TO THE WHET FOUNDATION’S COVID-19 RELIEF FUND’S GRANT APPLICANTS. THEIR MEMORIAL DAY LIVE STREAM EVENT SAW HEADLINING TALENT FROM SAM FELDT, HALIENE, NIFRA, BLACKGUMMY, FOX STEVENSON, AND MORE.
The Groove Cruise Virtual Sail Aways live stream charity events continue to help as many people affected by COVID-19 hardships within the dance music community and their extended families as possible.
Miami, FL – (June 01, 2020) – Whet Travel, the leader in independent music cruise experiences, raised$25,412 over Memorial Day weekend May 21-24, 2020, for those in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their Groove Cruise Virtual Sail Aways live stream events have benefitted the Whet Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund with almost $40,000 raised to date. 100% of all proceeds go to easing the financial burden of artists experiencing hardships, health workers keeping us safe, employees and contractors that have been laid off, and to friends and family in the dance music community who are experiencing hardships. The COVID-19 Relief Fund provides tax-free funds for any number of hardships; including unanticipated healthcare costs, rent or mortgage payments, utility expenses, food, medicine, and other necessities. This second round of relief has allowed the company to send over 150 people relief grants. As of now, Groove Cruise has received nearly $150,000 in grant requests, and are openly stating they will continue onward to give their community of 16 years the essentials they need to get through this unprecedented pandemic.
Over the weekend, the Groove Cruise Virtual Sail Aways Live saw up to 100,000 viewers, alongside 55artists, performing live from all over the world, live mixed visuals, a virtual sleepover, a magic show with Carl Michael as seen on America’s Got Talent, costume themes, artist activities, and more. Headliners such as Sam Feldt, Haliene, Nifra, Fox Stevenson, and more, took the simulated stage with one focus, to help the Whet Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund raise as much as possible in order to help as many people as possible. By the end of the weekend’s festivities, there had been three all-nighters, a multitude of DJ donation incentives, and a whole lot of teamwork, capping their number at $25,412. The CEO and Founder of Whet Travel, Whet Foundation, and Groove Cruise, Jason Beukema states, “With the cruise industry locked down for the foreseeable future and many people in our community experiencing hardships and even deaths from COVID19, we felt an extreme urge to do something. It’s been heartwarming to see the artists, our Captains, and so many more from around the world join this mission and provide hope to those who are in desperate need.”
Thursday, May 21, 2020, was the Virtual Sail Aways Pajama Party theme kick off. Dose of Orlando opened up the weekend. Followed by Drums of the Sun, who performed live drums and DJing from two different locations thanks to Whet Travel’s super tech-hub in Florida. Then came a magic show from renowned magician Carl Michael, who can be seen on America’s Got Talent Season 9. The electronic music picked back up with Jeremiah Red, who for donations did things like wear an Avengers gauntlet, then came Shannon Williams including a virtual pillow fight featuring himself, Jason Beukema, and others. One of the most Groove Cruise-forward visual performances came from the Dancetronauts, who simulated themselves aboard the ship with a pool deck photo from a previous year’s sailing; they also had live dancers performing “on stage” with them. Closing day one with the Whet Oasis, known to the #GCFAM as a place for zen and calmness, Kahill delivered a performance of ambient electronic music alongside a donation incentive with a dressed up alien appearing for donation dances.
Day two of the Groove Cruise live stream event began with Lando, who was well decorated for the Tropical Paradise theme on Friday, May 22, 2020. Following came Crusher Camp, a virtual 80s workout that is very popular aboard the ship, into Adam Frek, Boiish, and Yokai. Headliners Attlas, Sam Feldt streaming in from Holland, and Offaiah followed; and for every $50 Offaiah was doing 10 push ups on camera during his set. Next came names like Ship Wrek, Julian Gray, and the Electric Polar Bears who actually performed live on Tempe Town Lake, in Arizona, on a boat featuring things like snow machines and dancing penguins. BlackGummy and Tim Baresko brought the #GCFAM, or Groove Cruise Family, into the night. Lastly, Doc Brown took the after hours performance into his own hands and performed from 1:00 AM to 10:30 AM EDT, for a total of nine and a half hours.
Saturday, May 23, 2020, was themed Festival Fashion and the first performance was from Unsaid, who was then followed by a live yoga session led by DJ Taz Rashid. Spirit Motel, Brittany Beers, the well known Goshfather, and Lizzy Jane came next, leading the third day of the Virtual Sail Aways through high energy performances. Up next was Box of Beats, who’s donation incentive included personalized songs made live for anyone who contributed to the Whet Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund. Rico and Miella followed with a beautiful performance of guitar, piano, drums, singing and more. Then came Awakened and Notaker, followed by major talent in the electronic music scene Bonnie x Clyde, Codeko, and Fox Stevenson. To close the night, Bass Physics was focused on “making the viewers smile” with his live guitar-meets-DJing slot. Lastly, the #GCFAM’s own DISKOPRETTY led the night owls into their second all-nighter in a row.
The last day of the Groove Cruise Virtual Sail Aways came on Sunday, May 24, 2020, as Laffolive from theUnited Kingdom warmed up the crowd. Next came Tee So, Evan Mark, London’s own Lizzie Curious, who was dancing for the viewers in her Storm Trooper helmet as donations came in. Trance Jesus delivered a backyard performance, followed by “blessings” of subscriptions to active chatters on the Groove Cruise twitch. Next, Haliene sang an acoustic set of trance favorites, after her came Nifra of Amsterdam, Daxson, Grube and Hovesepian, and Arkham Knights, all for a Coldharbour Recordings takeover of the Virtual Sail Aways. Next was Adam Scott, who for ten thousand dollars in donations claimed he would shave his beard live at the DJ decks. The beloved Kristina Sky followed, leading into one of the Groove Cruise Miami favorites, Qrion who was live from San Francisco. The final after hours slot went to the Lavelle Dupree and Freshcobar back to back, the closing set of the weekend went until about 8:30 AM EDT, which was the third and final all nighter of the Groove Cruise Virtual Sail Aways Live weekend.
Finishing strong, the Whet Travel team, also known as #TEAMGETSHIPDONE, have expressed gratitude to simply be able to help those who have made up their 16 years in the travel and entertainment industries. One of the grant applicants who received relief wrote in and said, “My mom got the check thank you so much. She wrote a thank you note and is sending it back to you guys in Florida. I can’t express how much this means that you guys would think of me and my family and help us out like this. Thank you thank you thank you. You and all of Whet are incredible.” Groove Cruise has begun looking into major label and artist partnerships for the coming months. They have again reiterated that anyone seeking assistance is still able to apply for a hardship relief grant directly on the Groove Cruise website. They are also still taking donations there towards this effort to give back directly to the dance music community.
For the latest Whet Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund updates, visit the Groove Cruise website, and follow the event on Twitch, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About the Whet Foundation
The Whet Foundation is a Florida based 501c3 organization that offers grassroots disaster relief for those experiencing hardships and creates exciting experiences for underprivileged children in South Florida, the Caribbean and Mexico. Through our Community Captains and Destination Donation programs, we strive to excite the lives of those less fortunate in a fun and engaging way while positively affecting an entire generation.
About Groove CruiseWhat started in 2004 as a group of 125 thrill-seeking house-heads (led by founder Jason Beukema)sailing on a cruise together has erupted into the world’s first and largest floating dance music festival. Groove Cruise is the only music cruise to sail from both East and West coasts, and is a non-stop experience comprised of four straight days of beach, pool and theme parties, great food, EDM and luxurious destination parties. In addition to the standard cruise amenities, there are also artist activities, yoga classes (often paired with deep house), costume parties, and various onboard events that rival the best dance music festivals in the world. Groove Cruise is produced by Whet Travel.
About Whet TravelFor the past 16 years, Whet Travel has curated and produced more half-and full-ship music cruises than any other independent company. Partnering with some of the cruise industry’s most recognized and trusted brands, the revolutionary company has executed more than 50 wildly successful events including Groove Cruise, Motorboat, Zen Cruise, Salsa Cruise, and Groove Island, among others. Innovators since their launch in 2004, Whet Travel was named Inc. Magazine’s No. 4 fastest-growing travel company in the country, has won the prestigious “Charter Partner of the Year” award from Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Lines, and has been featured in USA Today, Billboard, Forbes, and more.