Waking up to the view of cruise liners docked in the distant harbor, I once again was faced with the problem of getting my wrist band only at the Palm Beach will call, which meant ditching my car, among angry protesters and staying at the venue all day. An unfortunate, yet completely uncontrollable situation for the festival, I sat at my place weighing my options. I looked through maps to plot my day two of adventure, while enjoying an egg, ham, and cheese sandwich on a homemade baguette. An island favorite, when I asked if I could have my sandwich on a croissant, she said the baguette was the only way to go, so I took her word.
I decided to take the recommendations written in the guide by staff members to enjoy the many other pleasures the island has to offer. Although a little disappointed I wasn’t getting my money’s worth of music, I spent my day beach hoping, getting sun kissed on practically private beaches of Kokomo and sipping on mojiotos at Sunset Bar & Grill, watching airplanes land and take off near Maho Beach.
Next task on the agenda, I headed over to the nearby airport to scoop up my friend and his girl and take them to their place. Another unique feature this festival offers is the options of living accommodations. You can choose from five star resorts, to renting your own condo or apartment on Airbnb. The island truly caters to all walks of life.
“The ultimate beach venue, tucked in the corner with the ocean waves as a backdrop, a hut covered in tropical plants with LED lights protruding dangling flowers and vines, was the home for the artists.”
With the day of self-reflection and alone time being a complete success, it was time to get ready for music to my ears. I wanted to make sure I saw Thugfucker who was throwing down from 6 to 9pm at Palm Beach followed by a closing set by DJ Tennis. It was announced that the French side was open and a direct flow of traffic to Palm Beach was possible. This is one of many things I got to hand this team of people credit for. The SXMusic staff did a wonderful job communicating with everyone daily about set times, traffic issues and shuttle concerns that they were aware of. They were always keeping up with current issues and doing their best with communicating with their customers, which is something so many businesses, not just in this industry, but anywhere fail to do.
Regrettably, for my sake at least, not all the information was accurate. Turns out, from the side of the island I was coming from, the protests and road blocks got even worse. Let’s just say being guided by locals to drive around, a barricade of burning cars disintegrated to wire framed metal, creating craters in the roadways, with hundreds of irate radicals gathering around the chaos, was not on my agenda for the evening. It certainly added a lot of frustration, sadness, and fear into my journey. By the time I got through that disaster and realized that the French side was only open from the north-west route, I pulled up to Palm Beach and sat in my car listening to the end of Thugfucker’s set.
Trying not to be disappointed, I thought of all the other great musical talent lined up for the remainder of the night and morning, trying to be as optimistic as I possibly could be. I strolled up to the entrance to get my wristband, and once again was greeted by the friendly SXMusic staff who really made it near impossible for me to feel vanquished any more by these subtle inconveniences. The night turned in my favor when Thugfucker took over for DJ Tennis, another unexpected situation in the series of perplexed moments for the evening. Let’s just say you had to be there to understand.
With the night turning around for the better, I headed over to where Sky Beach and Tantra were conveniently located across from one another, amidst a crowded bar street filled with casinos, restaurants and tourists. Sky Beach was the option of choice with Francesca Lombardo closing out at this gorgeous roof top party.
Probably one of the most underrated venues, this was my favorite that I experienced. An intimate outdoor lounge on the roof, it hosted several areas for people to enjoy themselves.
A bar area with high-top tables, a modest dance floor and a separate lounge area of couches decorated by illuminated LED prisms, glowing balls and fire pits, this type of ambiance created an environment that fit everyone’s needs, and was very much to my liking. The set up was small, yet no one was crammed, everyone had their space amongst the different areas.
The theme of stage decoration was consistent here along with all the venues that SXMusic Fest chose to host at, with floral draping vegetation, along with stained glass lanterns adding to the charming atmosphere. Under the tents, the various lights of the venue reflected what seemed like a cross of a tie-dye pattern or northern lights experience, either way, it was another nice thing to look at.
Tantra seemed like a promising venue for the larger acts that were on the line-up in the following days to come, but for this particular evening my friends and I decided to pop over to Le Shore, where a stellar line up including H.O.SH. and Adriatique, was sure to deliver an epic morning for us all. When we arrived around 3:00AM the club was at capacity and a long line had developed. It had been mentioned by the staff when picking up wrist bands that the two night time venues had a capacity limit, and they warned us to arrive early, but I truly wasn’t expecting this sort of wait half way through the morning. My friends and a few aggravated VIP holders ended up going home, and I waited out in the line.
Once I finally got inside, it was evident why the club filled up so fast; it was a very small place for a prominent line up. Luckily for me, once the club astonishingly sold out of water, lots of people left, leaving myself and the remaining sunrise criminals room to dance out to the sounds of Adriatique, probably my most memorable set. The Diynamic label has truly been showcasing some great music this year in the festival world, and I’ve become extremely in tune with the artists representing it. I’m happy I patiently waited to experience this morning with the beautiful souls inside.
Ending my ephemeral trip, I only wished I could have stayed for more! My time spent here clearly wasn’t enough to fully engage in everything the festival and island had to offer, but I tried my hardest. I missed some amazing parties they had planned, including the jungle party hosted at Loterie Farm, a secluded nature reserve, where, from what I could see, was an absolutely stunning location with a private pool to dance and float in amongst the jungle palms. Sadly, I also missed so many class acts, sunrise sessions, and private villa parties, but writing about my experience and reading about others only has me more excited to come back next year!
I can confidently say this is for sure springs new festival hot spot, and for a first year festival, it brought together a plethora of beautiful people, nature, and music. With a few minor tweaks, I’m positive next year will be close to perfection. I’ll be making sure I am a part of the full five day extravaganza (if not more) in the years to come, encouraging all my friends to come along for the ride. See you in 2017 SXM!
For more information and to sign up for 2017 details you can visit www.SXMusicFestival.com!
My full album of photos can be found on my facebook page by clicking here!
Always Room For Love & Improvement
As in all my festival reviews, I’m constantly trying to provide information and advice, from a fans perspective, for festival throwers to improve their festival for themselves and their attendees. I want to make it a point that for a first year festival I was very impressed and I’m really looking forward to next years event! Here are my thoughts and suggestions:
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