How a Lifelong Fan Helps Keep the Kiss Kruise at Full Speed
How close is your current job to the one you dreamed about having when you were eight years old? Sixthman CEO Anthony Diaz may have hit a bull's-eye.
For the eighth straight year, and four decades after he first saw Kiss in concert, Diaz is helping the band thrill fans on the high seas as part of the annual Kiss Kruise.
The ninth edition of the Kiss Kruise departs from Miami on Oct. 30. In addition to three concerts from the headliners, the five-day trip will feature activities with each member of Kiss, as well as performances from the Darkness, Steven Adler and others.
"When I was eight, my parents took me to my first concert, and it was Kiss," Diaz recalls. "I was already a big fan and in the Kiss Army fan club at the time. It was the Dynasty tour, June 15, 1979, at the Lakeland Civic Center in Florida, just outside of Tampa where I was raised. I will never forget the show they put on. The fire, costumes, lights, smoke, amps -- it all blew my little mind. I took up the drums two years later and played in rock bands all the way into my late 20s -- often with 'Detroit Rock City' or 'Love Gun' on the set list. It has been surreal to have the opportunity to work with the band the past eight years and help bring their Kruise to fans, since I was one at such such a young age."
Diaz credits Sixthman founder Andy Levine with the Kiss Kruise concept. "He knew there was no doubt generations of fans from around the globe would embrace the concept and have the time of their lives on board," he explains. "So in 2010, Andy chased [Kiss manager] Doc McGhee until he was able to share the idea of a Kiss Kruise. Doc and the band hold a special bond with their fans and agreed the Kruise was something the fans would really love. In October of 2011, the first Kiss Kruise rocked the Caribbean and has continued to do so every year since."
Sixthman Public Relations Manager Natalie Powell says the company was overwhelmed by the fan response on that maiden voyage. "The entire ship was fully immersed in Kiss," she notes. "Every guest, adult and child, were dressed as their favorite member. The knowledge they knew and could spout off at any moment was remarkable, and just the overall level of passion was electric to be around."
The company has worked hard to improve the experience each year. "We’ve seen unique activities, new collaborations, bands and shows added to the vacation," says Kiss Kruise Community Manager Victoria Newman. "We’ve even created a longer Kruise to make the experience the best it can be. When looking for ideas, we hear from Kiss [and] the Kiss team, and use guest feedback to design each unique vacation. Each time we add different activities to the Kruise, we incorporate things that Paul, Gene, Tommy and Eric are passionate and excited about bringing to their fans."
Diaz says Sixthman was founded "on the notion of tearing down the walls between fans and bands and bringing them together on vacation. The Kiss Kruise has become a bonded family of fans that look forward to their five days of immersive vacation with Kiss all year long."
A handful of cabins still remain for the ninth voyage of the Kiss Kruise. You can find complete information at the Kruise's website.
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