Reviewed: SXM Festival
Given the devastation that Hurricane Irma wrought on the Caribbean island of St Martin, despite international fundraising and support initiatives, it’s astonishing that just a couple of years later it is fit to host a festival. There are still areas that need work, but the natural beauty of the island and huge names playing this festival meant thousands of people flocked to it this March. Like a defiant phoenix rising from the flames, once again SXM proved to be the most beautiful festival of them all with the sort of dream-like beaches, tropical pools and magic stage design all brought to life with art installations and some of the best DJs in the world.
Clear blue waters, lush greenery, white sandy beaches and endless amounts of fresh culinary options are available across Saint Martin and make it a real paradise. The whole island brims with tropical class and exotic allure. There are plenty of natural pools, waterfalls, jungle clearings, beaches, areas to relax on, hammocks and art installations scattered about to explore between dances.
But those dances carry on pretty much 24/7, with beach and pool parties, parties at the beautifully designed stages and even parties back at the villas that draw an older crowd. Those villas are surely some of the best accommodation at any festival in the world – they are comfy and deluxe and really help you relax.
The crowd comes from all over Europe, America and even further afield. They are music lovers first, but also like to party and come dressed in style. So are the stages, which include the Happy Bay festival village which bustles with dancers through the afternoon and beyond sunset. The iconic main stage, the Arc, is bigger this year, complemented by a huge stone head, embellished with trippy visuals adding to the sensory overload
Each venue was adorned with organic production elements that appear as though they grow from the very island environment in which the event is hosted. Following the devastation
Musically, there are so many highlights; the smaller Ocean Stage down by the beach has a tasty back to back from Molly and Francesca Lombardo that really goes deep, while minimal masterclasses also come from Maher Daniel, Gescu, Sepp, Dana Ruh and
The Loterie Farm venue is a real favourite – it is a secluded jungle hideout with places to swim, play with large inflatables and a killer sound system that pumps to the dub tech sound of FUSE and residents Enzo, Seb and Archie Hamilton to a packed out crowd on
But also smaller names like festival founder Julian Prince also paces his