Written by Gringo Greg
Photos by Mike Poselski.
It’s about time the festival scene has been juiced up! – no, that’s not a reference to a crowd of meatheads from Miami Music Week or your local beach. I’m talking about an enhanced new vibe breaking into the future of house music. Here’s my suggestion- toss aside the traditional $200 a day general admission passes to an overcrowded dirt field; exchange it for cheap plane ticket and a new stamp in your passport to mingle in an intimate tropical oasis with some of the world’s hottest DJs and like-minded partiers.
SXM Festival is the perfect 5-day getaway to heighten your inner most senses. Dubbed as “the friendly island” in the Caribbean, St Maarten sets a new tone for tech music- the castaway edition! This 37 square mile island, just a few hours off the coast of Florida, played host to its second annual showing with an international crowd that grew over 30% from last year, marking a name for itself on the festival bucket list.
Tucked in a crevice off the French coast of the island is the main circuit known as Happy Bay. Visualize a scene from the epic movie ‘The Beach’ with Leonardo DiCaprio. Now, immerse yourself in cabana-like dwellings and palm trees with rays of majestic digital light shows, sand vibrating from deep bass tones between your toes, and thousands of beautiful world wanderers partying sunset through sunrise. Throw in a fresh cut rum filled coconut for a little buzz and leave it up to Ricardo Villalobos to send a rush of sound echoing into the horizon.
Second year veteran of the festival, Ivan Z, came for his last hoorah-(aka bachelor party). He couldn’t get enough last year and sent praise to the 2017 showing, saying “the main stage production and variety of 24-7 parties made this year even more epic than the last”. So clearly, there has been much effort and creativity put into the experience.
One of the paramount features of the event was the feeling of exclusivity and intimate gatherings. A hillside coastline decorated with multi-million dollar villas and over flowing infinity pools played host to the weekend’s most luxurious parties. When you go, make it a MUST to spark a conversation with one your fellow crowd surfers. Its highly likely you will end up at a private villa with Thugfucker. As a house music listener, it doesn’t get any better than one of your favorite DJs sharing a drink and asking you how his set was at a random after-party.
In conclusion, the island dedicates itself to a special niche of house music listeners whom the locals take in with open arms. So pull together your closest kin and add the SXM Festival to your calendar- we're expecting it to return even bigger and better in 2018.