SXM Festival hit the Caribbean island of Saint Martin between Wednesday 15th and Sunday 19th March, for five days of impeccably programmed parties in paradise.
The main area of the festival, Happy Bay, welcomed a who’s who of the underground to grace its main stage, with Ricardo Villalobos, Richie Hawtin, Jamie Jones, Black Coffee, Skream, Bob Moses, Soul Clap and many more all spinning.
Come nightfall, things moved into the clubs, with the island boasting the Mercure, Tantra and Refuge as unknown gems to the global scene. The latter is the highlight though, an open air space to party under the stars, complete with a laser lit pool and a slight feel of Barbarella’s in Croatia about it. No small accolade.
Through the course of the weekend Refuge welcomed artists including RPR Soundsystem, DJ W!LD, Ion Ludwig and Cinthie onto its decks, for sets for the more discerning dancers at the event.
But to focus solely on the music would miss the point of SXM Festival. Hosted on the glorious island of Saint Martin, the event unearths a somewhat unknown destination for electronic music lovers. Situated just a stone's throw from St Barts, the location has all the pros of one of the world’s more expensive paradise locations, but at a snip of the price.
Partner that with the incredible attention to detail in the festival’s bohemian main area - with the turn of every corner unearthing a new mind-bending light or art installation (it’s clear those behind the festival have a deep love of Burning Man) - and you begin to understand why global dance music has a new major player.
DJ Mag can’t wait for next year’s edition of SXM Festival already. In the meantime, here’s 26 massive tracks from the event to keep you going.
(Photo: Ded Pixel Agency)
Rob McCallum is DJ Mag’s deputy digital editor. Follow him on Twitter here.