Going a cruise with your favorite band: I must admit I hadn’t heard of that experience before I started interviewing Backstreet Boys fans. So, I was quite surprised to see Flogging Molly (folkpunkers who are still rocking their scene) announce their ‘Salty Dog Cruise‘! So, cruising with the band is not just for pop fans, they’ll take punkers too 😉 (no offence!!)
Of course, a cruise like this sounds cool, you get to see the Bahama’s, white beaches + you’ll favorite band will be there as well and you’re probably able to get quite close to them. Plus, I can imagine that if feels as an exclusive thing: there’s a limited number of people a) being able to ‘ship’ and b) who can afford it. Many of the BSB fans I spoke to therefore considered this their holiday and combined it with a few days in Miami. They really found the cruise wonderful, not just because it offered them a moment to be closer to their Backstreet Boys, it was also very much a social thing: a group of girls with a common love for the boys who could spend a few days together in a setting in which they did not have to explain to anyone (or feel guilty) about why they are fans.
I wonder if these feelings and experiences will be similar for the Salty Dog Cruise. It’s a different group of fans (is it?), it’s more bands to see and … – this may sound prejudiced – but the music / setting might be more accepted? As in, if 30-year old punkers hop on this cruise (with or without family) it’s probably still a different all together. As a researcher I’m very interested in all sorts of questions related to this, so I hope to reading some reviews after or talking to people who went on the cruise. Maybe it’s a punk (= more legitimate / accepted music culture than pop?) thing, maybe it will be a gender thing (female vs male?), that might differ.. but in the end I bet all the Salty Dogs will also sing-a-long, eat and try to score a picture or autograph of their favorite artist on board.