By Pilar Alzate
SXMusic Festival, a brand new electronic music gathering, was held last week on the alluring island of Saint Martin. All five days were pure bliss.
St. Martin is a beautiful island in the Caribbean shared by France and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and for a few days, it was transformed into techno and house paradise. In its first edition, the festival featured well-known artists such as Dubfire, Lee Burridge, Jamie Jones, Maceo Plex, M.A.N.D.Y., YokoO, Bedouin, Behrouz, and Apollonia. All of the DJs played masterful sets. They granted the festival goers serene moments of freedom where we danced euphorically until the last beat.
My ears are still buzzing from the formidable music presented in the multiple venues. A tropical stage at the beach, two night clubs, two lounges, and one hotel hosted thousands of people from all over the world. Despite the scattered rains, or the protests on the first day of the fest, the music lovers did not stop dancing. Here are my top five highlights:
1. Bus Rides: Although this may not sound glamorous, it made a huge difference in my experience. There were some complications with the shuttle service during the first day. However, the logistics team of the festival took care of it by adding additional shuttles that helped move people between all the venues.
2. VIP Jungle Party: This intimate party took place at a magical garden called Loterie Farm, one of the most visited places in the island. The farm sits in the middle of the mountains of Pic Paradise (French side of the Island). The mystic, fairy tale location housed an infinity pool, cabanas and a scenic view. Sets were performed by Behrouz, Chaim and The Doctors, who delivered mesmerizing oriental sounds, mixed with proper house and techno tunes. We all looked in wander to the DJ booth placed in a treehouse, accessed by a zip line.
3. Danny Daze: The techno DJ with Cyberfunk and OMNIDISC influences, exceeded the expectations of the crowd by playing a colorful set including a variety of genres. He definitely took us to another level on a different audio spectrum.
4. Friendliness of the People: Saint Martin is known as “the friendly island.” A Caribbean paradise full of warm people willing and able to help anyone. The motto is experienced from the moment the plane lands when one of the locals came on to the plane and gave a sincere and heartfelt welcome. Taxi drivers, restaurant servers, festival workers - everyone was so kind at all times.
5. Layla’s Beach Sunrise Party: Right after Apollonia finished a tremendous set at Le Shore Nightclub, Lee Burridge welcomed us with euphoric, deep house tunes on the beach at Layla's. The show blended the sounds of the music, the breeze and the sea. Burridge, founder of All Day I Dream, hosted us while we all watched the sun rise. Shortly afterwards, YokoO hit the decks around 10 a.m. and the party continued until past noon.