Ghost Ship 2016: Ghouls, Goblins, Ghosts… And My Dad [Review]

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written by Jordan Kausin

Photos from Ghost Ship’s Facebook & are the writers own 


Ghost Ship Quick Facts:

Camping: No

Water stations: Yes

Bars: Both beer and cocktail bars

Food vendors: No

VIP availability: Yes

Venue layout: Located on a very under-utilized pier in San Francisco (Pier 70)

Scene: Large abandoned underground warehouse party both indoor and outdoor


The crowd at Ghost Ship was  mostly free-spirited, party-loving Bay Area Burning Man goers with a warm extension of music and art-loving individuals. What contributed to the vibe was the much appreciated 21+ age restriction, which left the crowd generally adept to a more respectful, responsible, and more environmental/social crowd. Those with an attraction to interesting art and music in a warehouse will vibe with this scene. This two-day event was one the best ghouls and goblins could not miss. Friday primarily featured (some pretty amazing) deep house, tech house, and ghettotech which made it a seemingly Dirtybird Label showcase (shout out to a few of my favorite artists Justin Martin, Christian Martin, Ardalan, and J Phlip just to name a few!).  Saturday featured more big room house, techno, and a tad bit of trance.

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A combination of instillations including large-scale art cars, floats, sculptures, a lit-up ferris wheel, local artists painting exhibitions, and Burning Man’s very own Thunder Dome was in full effect.

San Francisco’s very own Dogpatch district transformed Pier 70 into the 9th annual 2016 Ghost Ship Halloween celebration. It is a essentially party in a massive warehouse where you wear a badass costume, bring your besties, and dance the night away. Need more? You have the chance to interact with incredible art pieces, and dance on christened Burning Man art carsAside from the rustic venue itself, everything from the explosive beats to the piercing laser beams constructed Ghost Ship and lived up to the hype I expected in every aspect.  The underground warehouse feel gave everyone in attendance the green light to let loose and absorb the aesthetics. What was extremely special and apparent was the fact that this event serves as an innovative outlet for both devout audio and visual artists to mutually deliver and respond to a hyped up crowd. Ghost Ship offers endless opportunity to be eccentric and be YOU!

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Ghost Ship’s “Key Creative Principles” entail:

1: The art comes first.

2: Build something spectacular that can only be seen at this one event.

3: Build art from sustainable and recyclable materials. Divert waste when possible.

4: Aim towards small, independent, and local artists, musicians, and vendors.

5: Empower volunteers and newbies to introduce them to the visual arts.

6: Host the event the weekend before or after Halloween, not on Halloween night, to relieve pressure on public agencies and partners.


Story Corner: What its Like To Rave with my Dad

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Yep, thats me & my Dad!

Being a Ghost Ship first timer, yet a frequent party and festivalgoer, I felt prepared and ready for this party. Little did I know, I had no clue what I would be walking into. As I descended down the driveway I began absorbing the all-around deep bass, beaming lights, and new friends. I found myself immediately grooving to this oh so glorious sensory overload! Pause. Did I mention I had the pleasure of attending Ghost Ship with amazing friends of mine including my dad? Yes, I have the pleasure of being close buds with my dad! However, it is but an afterthought to me now that I can party with my dad and his now-wife. Many friends think it’s strange or awesome that I can share experiences as such with a parent… But to me, it’s just us! I can’t quite remember when my dad and I started accepting each other as equals who respect and love each other, but the bottom line is I truly value that we both love having the same sorts of fun. And here we are…going to Ghost Ship together (as well as his his wifey and a bestie of mine.) It’s just fun hanging out with this dude who I’ve spent my entire life with and now in this part of life where we’re both a bit more of adults and a bit more of kids, too. Perhaps we’re reflecting the adult/child/parent/kid in both of us. We both bring out something in one another that lives in each of us and it’s simple – we enjoy each other and any time well spent. We have fun together and that translates through age and relationships.

As one may find it weird, the reality is that the nature of the Burner community entails open-minded free spirits with the desire to actively love and support art of all forms and others, especially. Hence, there we were right at home where we danced our feet into the ground, laughed until our faces hurt, and loved until our hearts exploded. As most of us in our group are flow artists, one of my favorite moments was jumping into a flow group consisting of poi and fiber optic LED whips all moving to the deep and dirty beats of J Phlip (because who COULDN’T get down to one of the most badass chicks in the game who inevitably captivates the party?!). Its events just like Ghost Ship that naturally encourage one to let loose, get funky, and enjoy yourself and others. You’ve been warned… You may be left with no desire other than to planGhost Ship on Halloween in 2017!

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