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SXMusic Festival Makes A Splash On Its Debut

Photo: Cyril Foiret

A new music festival has made waves for its widespread appeal and intimate setting. SXMusic festival had its debut on the Caribbean island of St. Martin just this month, lasting from March 9th until March 13th.

An ongoing party, celebration of people, place, dancing and music, the festival championed a spectacularly talented group of artists and DJs. Among these were many famed names, including Jamie Jones, Lee Burridge, YokoO, Maceo Plex, Thugfucker, Dubfire, Chaim, Guy Gerber, Psychemagic, H.O.S.H, Lauren Lane, Apollonia and Adratique.

Photo: Ded Pixel & Alec Donnell Luna

The island welcomed over 2,000 visitors who flew in from everywhere, like New York, Montreal, Toronto and London to soak up some much needed Caribbean sun. But from the first day, the festival was flooded with an enthusiastic crowd and, unfortunately, rain showers. The festival sprawled across seven locations on the island and visitors often made a group effort to travel from show to show, often early enough to catch a spectacular seaside sunrise. Equipped with a morning cocktail and a glorious setting of wind-swept palm trees and weather-worn skies, music enthusiasts bonded over the rhythmic beats of house music and random rainfall.

Lee Burridge & YokoO at the Sunrise party was definitely one of the highlight of the festival!

The downpour threatened to dampen the mood, but perhaps because of its reverberant energy, cinematic island scenery, and an eclectic group of artists, SXMusic’s momentum kept on loud and strong. At one point, the crowd started dwindling due to bad weather until someone took a plastic tarp from under the stage and held it overhead as shelter from the rain. Music lovers squeezed under the billowing tarp, raising their hands up toward the impromptu roof.

Photo: Ded Pixel & Alec Donnell Luna

The moody weather, which seemed a curse at first, amplified the sense of camaraderie. As a new festival, SXM was created around the particular concept of unity- to host a fun festival on the intimate island of St. Martin. The island played an enormous role in the festival itself, earning its place as the festival’s title, which names St. Martin’s airport (SXM), the second largest airport in the Caribbean.

Photo: Cyril Foiret
Photo: Cyril Foiret
Photo: Ded Pixel & Alec Donnell Luna

The location and landscape not only served as a backdrop to the music, but were incorporated into the staging for each performance. DJs performed their sets under huts of overhanging palm tree branches and fresh flowers as well as on open beaches flooded with flashing colored lights. Although bad weather caused one of the festival’s biggest bookings, Maceo Plex, to cancel his show, fans could catch him at a later performance since most artists rotated between day and night sets. The dual aspect of these performances mirrored the festival’s ongoingness, where guests often witnessed night bleed into morning.

Photo: Cyril Foiret

SXM’s immediate success was not an accident. Festival runner and founder, Julian Prince wanted to create a new experience for both festival and the electro music scene. Usually heard in clubs, concerts or huge festivals, Prince wanted to keep the component of shared listening while straying away from the chaotic feel of these typical settings. St. Martin offered an impeccable location to set such a scene, gifting visitors with a feeling of exclusivity. The island is home to a varied landscape filled with affordable lodging and eateries, open spaces and plenty of natural scenery that when paired with the festival’s music, help transport visitors to a perfect getaway.

Photo: Ded Pixel & Alec Donnell Luna

SXMusic Festival took the best from the tradition of music festivals and hopes to honor current ones such as BPM, which paved the way, by giving its audience a fresh and enthusiastic experience of the electro music scene.

 

See you Next Year!

Written by
Cyril Foiret








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