The Voice will hit the ocean when John Farnham joins the swell of Australian artists playing cruise ships.
John Farnham has signed on to headline the Cruise`n’Groove event taking place next year.
Farnham and a string of Australian acts will perform on a luxury cruise ship that sails from Sydney to New Caledonia over eight nights between October 9 and 17.
The music festival on water genre has started taking off over the last five years, and is beginning to bring in a younger crowd than just baby boomers.
“People really like the idea of mixing travel and a music festival together,” says Caitlin Manov, the Project and Marketing Manager of Choose Your Cruise.
“A lot of people travel all around Australia for a lot of different music festivals, from Tamworth to Bluesfest, so we wanted to find a mix between music and entertainment and going overseas. The cruise ships we use are in a luxury setting so you don’t have to camp out for seven nights. It’s an affordable holiday compared to flying somewhere, trying to find a hotel, figuring out what you’re going to eat and buying concert tickets.”
After their first cruise in 2011, the company has run several themed cruises, including country, classic rock and even musical theatre and Greek culture.
While they’ve had the Village People, The Bellamy Brothers and Chubby Checker on-board, they’re now finding punters prefer to see Australian acts.
The Farnham cruise also features John Paul Young, Pseudo Echo, Jon English, the Chantoozies, Eurogliders and a string of cover bands and original acts.
Farnham, will his full band, will play two headline shows so that none of the 2000 passengers on board will miss seeing him perform. There is an all stars finale night where all the headline acts perform together.
“When we first started the company and invited artists to come on board they didn’t really know what the cruises would be like,” Manov said. “People were worried about getting sea sick or being stuck on a cruise surrounded by punters. But once they’re on board they absolutely love it. Jimmy Barnes loved it so much he wanted to come back and so he’s doing the Rock the Boat cruise again in October.”
While the artists have their own cabins, Manov said they sometimes roam with the punters.
“You never know who’ll you run into by the buffet or around the pool. A lot of the musicians enjoy being on a working holiday. We let them bring their families on board, Kasey Chambers and Adam Harvey love coming on our country cruise because they see it as a family holiday that they play a couple of shows at.
“They can mingle with fans and it’s also a chance for them to spend time with fellow musicians who they’re friends with, they might only usually see each other in passing.”
The average demographic is baby boomers and above, however the company has not ruled out a cruise that skews to younger music fans, the way overseas events held by Backstreet Boys, Weezer, Paramore and music festival Coachella have.
“The cruises are for music lovers and music doesn’t have an age demographic,” Manov said.
For the Farnham Cruise`n‘Groove trip prices start at around $2564 per person for a room (twin share) without a window, with rooms going up in price until the ultimate VIP suite at around $9990 per person.
Everything is included in the price, except alcohol and meals at speciality restaurants, however buffet meals and free hot dogs are part of the deal.
There’s also rock climbing, mini golf and water slides among the attractions on board.
Farnham’s involvement comes as fans are signing a petition to get him to play at this year’s Meredith Music Festival, on the back of a string of gigs he has announced for 2015.