The third annual Outlaw Country Cruise, presented by Sixthman and SiriusXM's Outlaw Country channel, set sail last week, bringing a sold-out crowd of 2,500 fans – as well as two dozen headliners, up-and-comers, legends and off-the-wall-ers – on a circular trip between the Port of New Orleans and the Mexican coast.
The lineup was extensive, with artists like Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, the Mavericks, Rodney Crowell, Blackberry Smoke, Shooter Jennings, Elizabeth Cook and Nikki Lane all playing multiple sets aboard the Norwegian Pearl. But the ship offered multiple non-musical attractions too, including an R-rated live reading of an upcoming Squidbillies episode, celebrity poker tournaments, "Outlaw yoga" and a pair of bowling lanes. Country music took center stage throughout most of the voyage, though, with the vacation-worthy setting adding a casual vibe to the bands' sets. Artists and fans mingled throughout, bumping into one another in the cafeteria one minute and crossing paths outside of the staterooms the next.
"What happens on the Outlaw Cruise stays on the Outlaw Cruise!" Those words were uttered all week long, usually delivered by half-lit seafarers who'd just done something embarrassing but fun. In defiance of that mantra, we've rounded up some of the best pictures from the weekend, shining a light on one of the biggest country-music events to never hit land. All photos are by Will Byington.