SXMUSIC IS A FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND, BOUTIQUE ELECTRONIC MUSIC FESTIVAL SET ON THE BEAUTIFUL CARIBBEAN ISLAND OF ST. MARTIN. NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH SXSW IN AUSTIN, IS NAMED AFTER THE ISLAND'S AIRPORT CODE (SXM). THE FIRST EDITION, HELD IN MARCH 9-13, 2016, WAS BORN FROM AN IDEA OF MONTREAL JULIAN ARBIA, A.K.A. JULIAN “PRINCE”: RAISED BETWEEN DORVAL AND MIAMI, ARBIA HAS ALWAYS BEEN ON THE MOVE BEING A DJ HIMSELF SINCE THE AGE OF 15
Writing about a festival in the Caribbean may seem trivial because white beaches, sunny coves and crystal clear water will not leave much doubt about the success of an event.
To tell about the first SXMusic Festival is rather an adventure: occasional monsoon, strong wind, protest by locals smelling of weed and barbecue grill blocking the road to the beach venue on the first day, shuttle services between venues – all situated rather far away from each other – running on island time (meaning often late and without a precise schedule), rough roads and way to many rusted cars on an island that is just 36 square miles. But on the other side lush palm trees, flowers, tropical birds and insanely good-looking people made our festival season began with a luxurious winter escape and an unforgettable experience.
What made SXMusic Festival so special?
Music. That was top notch with a lineup that stretched from Guy Gerber to Maceo Plex, Jamie Jones, Dj Tennis, Audiofly, Blond:ish, Mia Lucci, Adriatique and 60 more names.
The Gangs. The entire festival was an elite gang of artists willing to play together, party together, rave together.
An audience of experienced clubbers and industry veterans, people that use to go to BPM and Burning Man – to mentioned a few -, coming from Canada, Usa, Australia, Europe.
A genuine love and great respect for Saint Martin by the organizers behind SXMusic (Julian Prince spent a lot of his childhood here, as his father owns the Mercure, the hotel on the French-side of the island that became the festival’s headquarter for the 5 days).
An epic secret jungle party taking place at Loterie Farm (loteriefarm.com) – a magical wooded oasis of pools, treehouse-style cabanas, jacuzzis – on Saturday afternoon for VIP and press only.
The massive tarp. The unending heavy rain showers driving a dedicated set of dancers to broke out a huge black tarp and held it above their heads for 100+ people to escape the storm without leaving the dance floor during Jamie Jones dj set on Saturday at Palm Beach: for those lucky enough to witness that moment like myself, it proved the power of music and the magical euphoria around the festival.
Despite some struggles, inevitable for a first time event, this is the ultimate festival destination and perfect match for #TheGangIssue by RedMilk this month!
Photos by Valentina Zulian for RedMilk