January 27-31, 2016
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Puerto Aventuras, Mexico
The 2016 inaugural Castaway with Southern Ground was an experience like no other for Zac Brown Band fans, combining all the luxuries of an all-inclusive vacation with the music we all love! As guests converged on the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya from all over the country (and world!), a feeling permeated the air that something special was upon us… and it truly was!
Musically, the focus was on Zac Brown Band and their shows, but the special guests sure did not disappoint either. The first night featured two feel-good shows back to back, with Brett Dennen officially kicking off the Castaway music followed by a set from reggae legends, The Wailers! Day two’s music got started with a sunset show from Zac Brown Band, which included both fan favorite originals such as “Homegrown” and “Colder Weather” as well as unique covers like The Wood Brothers' “The Muse” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. This all came after the guys kicked off the show with “Castaway” to the delight of the 2500 lucky attendees. Later on that night, Michael Franti & Spearhead kept the good times and dance party rolling with a set of their own. The music on the third day began with Dawes bringing their americana rock sound to Mexico followed up by the sweet country tunes of Kacey Musgraves. By day four, we were ready for more Zac, but not before Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue warmed us up with a festive feeling show. Our event came to a close as Zac Band Band played the night away for us with the setlist featuring songs such as the vacation appropriate “Knee Deep”, “Whiskey’s Gone”, “Heavy is the Head”, and the show ending “Chicken Fried”. We couldn’t have asked for a more complete four days of music!
But the music was just half of the fun. Around the resort throughout our days in paradise, we enjoyed hours on end of sunshine, relaxation, activities with artists, and more. The extras were highlighted by Jimmy + Clay’s Boot Camp, an enlightening song writing seminar with Coy, Chef Rusty Hamlin’s Guacamole Making Contest and Mexican Cooking Class, a Texas Hold ‘em Tournament, and other bits of fun. Many of us also enjoyed excursions exploring the local area, including snorkeling, Mayan Ruin tours, and zip-lining. Between all these extras and all the amenities the resort offered, there was always something fun and exciting happening during Castaway!
Thank you for an unforgettable adventure in Mexico! Until next time...