SOUTHPORT WEEKENDER 49 “Diary” by Patricia Raimundo
Written by soufulchicradio on Maio 26, 2013
Southport Weekender is a yearly music festival that attracts a 6500 capacity crowd to an indoor purpose built holiday complex.
Have you ever imagined yourself dancing alongside one of the friendliest festival crowds around, immersed in 3 days of the best soulful music money can buy you?
An intimate crowd of dedicated dancers and discerning music lovers will be your companions at the event, which features four purpose built arenas featuring state of the art production and sound, each covering a different strand of music.
From the R&B, Soul and Hip Hop of The Funkbase and the main room dance sounds of The Powerhouse, to the soul aficionados Connossieurs’ Corner and the eclectic styles of The Beat Bar, Southport Weekender will treat you to a feast of the world’s leading DJ talent, accompanied by party starting live acts and guest PAs.
Unlike many three day events Southport Weekender provides warm, comfortable accomodation for Friday and Saturday night, in the form of self catering apartments, for each of their attendees. As this is included in the ticket price it’s a strong argument for The Weekender being the best value for money weekend event around.
Of all the attributes Southport Weekender has, The Vibe is perhaps the most special. If you took all the lighting, sound, DJs and live acts to another site, you couldn’t reproduce the vibe of the Southport Weekender. And for all that the UpNorth team does for each event, it is always the Southport family that steals the show. Musically discerning, dance floor dedicated, party mad and passionate. These are the qualities that the family has always brought to the event. Whether you are a veteran Southport visitor or one of our newest recruits, the Weekender is for you. But be prepared – if you come once, you may never miss another!”
Southport Weekender 49 was for me an amazing and unforgettable experience. As it is every year, since my very first time, 4 years ago! I feel blessed to be a part of such an incredible event of the best Soulful Music on the planet. Same way I feel blessed to belong to such a beautiful family.
So let’s go back a little in time to 10th May 2013.
We arrive in Butlins on Friday afternoon. Just checked in, left the bags in our chalet and went straight to the Sun & Moon pub.
My friends Souldynamic from Italy were playing. And what a great start, I have to say! Joyful moment when they dropped their new re-work of “Shame” – Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King. So many smiley faces. Familiar faces. Meeting again so many sweet friends from all over the world, once again, most of them, one year after…
Next to Souldynamic, our boy Mark Stone – UDM Show started to play. And what a Soulful House session it was. Best Dj set on Friday, I have to say! While dancing with my UDM family was when I’ve just realized Southport Weekender 49 – the time is now! Finally! Let’s do it!
After that we had a break for dinner and we went to The Powerhouse – The House Arena, where we stayed till midnight. The very talented Sean McCabe, one of my favorite Djs, was playing when we arrived. Then Black Coffee, for his very first time in Southport Weekender. He made us dance his Deep South African Soulful beats, followed by Stee Downes Live PA, the voice of “Want you in my Soul” from Lovebirds, one of the tunes of Southport Weekender 48.
We left the Power House and moved to Suncé Beat Dome to see Martin Lodge and then Andy Ward. Special moment, when he dropped one of my favorite tracks of the moment:”Bring me joy” – The Layabouts feat. Portia Monique. The vibe in the Dome was unbelievable. And it was supposed to be a place to chill, meet your friends and a little dance, but it turned out to be where we had the best parties.
It was then time to go to sleep. One of my Southport Weekender rules is try not to overdo myself on Friday (and I did it, this time) and save some energies for the big Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday we started the day with my friend Luis Radio set at The Sun & Moon pub. One of my favorite Dj’s since I listened to him for the first time in Southport Weekender 48. The highlight for me was when he dropped “Heaven” from Kem. Every time I listen to this song my mind goes straight back to Southport!
At 5 pm we went back to the Dome to listen my friend Lil Stevie playing. And my God, what a set! It was crowded and Stevie just blew the roof of the Suncé Beat Dome, while dropping so many powerful tunes!
We had then a break for dinner and rest a little bit and headed to the Connoisseurs Corner where we met some friends and listened to Terry Jones and one of my favorite Divas Live PA – Natasha Watts. What a beautiful Saturday night kick off. She sang stunning new songs. And I even won a CD! Yeahhh…
Then I had a look to my timetable, which I had studied for the entire week before to make sure I miss as less as possible and manage the painful clashes, and I realized it was time to go to the Power House for Adeva Live PA, Spen & Karizma and Kerri Chandler. Definitely one of the highlights of the whole weekend! Spen & Karizma one more time astounded me with their technical prowess. And it was nothing but dance, dance and dance. In the end Spen came to the stage and started singing: “we do it for the Love of House, we do it for the Love of Beats, we do it for the Love of Dance…” proving, one more time (like he did in Suncé Beat 2) that House Music is still very much alive!
I had a plan and it was to go to Connoisseurs Corner and listen a little bit of Dimitri from Paris set and his disco classic tunes (my favorite Dj set at Barbarellas in the last Suncé Beat) but I was stuck in the Power House with my friends. We were all together in there, having so much fun.
And it’s not over yet… Kerri Chandler’s set was even better. OMG! So talented he is!
OK, let’s go home now, get some sleep and… bring on the Sunday! Body&Soul, baby! “The legendary NYC Sunday afternoon party touches down at Southport for the very first time”. I was so looking forward for this. From 2 pm to 8 pm I was taken to an overwhelming musical journey. 3000 people in The Powerhouse, dancing, singing, screaming. The perfect finale. Joe Claussell, Danny Krivit & Francois Kevorkian, together in that booth just looked like a mirage… But it was real!
As if this wasn’t enough, I was one the lucky persons staying for the after parties on Sunday night and I chose The Sunday House Session in the Funkbase. Ralf Gum and Monique Bingham Live PA, who brought tears of joy to my eyes when she dropped “We had a thing”.
The end was close now and I couldn’t have asked for a better one: THE mix master himself, Mr. Grant Nelson on the decks. I’ve got no words to describe what happened in there. A massive set with classics and outstanding tunes perfectly mixed, and so much fun I had watching him playing, singing and dancing! I’m smiling right now! “Southport never fails” wrote me Grant Nelson, a few days after.
…What else can I say… I’ve just had a BLAST. As well as my Portuguese friends from our Soulful Chic Radio Station, who I took with me and I can say that, like all Southport virgins, they are hooked forever!
Southport family, I’m missing our special vibe that only we can bring. Our love, our spirit and our music devotion. I’m sad it’s gone but I’m so happy we did it.
I’m keeping that secret smile to myself and I keep remembering the moments we shared, those I don’t even try to explain to most people because they just won’t understand.
Now it’s time to think of SUNcé Beat 4, in Croatia, where the magic will live again… in the Sunshine! And after that, bring on The Big Southport Weekender 50th edition! History is being made!
A special thanks to my sweet Alex Lowes and to Dave Gardner for making our beloved Southport Weekender happens, to Gavin Kendrick, to Nick Connolly, to Kev Beadle and to all the Southport crew, to Colin Williams for making this last forever with his brilliant pictures, to my friend Valentino Legio, who showed me Southport a few years ago. Also to my UDM Show family from Switzerland, to my Italian family and to all my friends, the old and the new ones, you know who you are. I’ve got nothing but Love for you and I am missing you guys!
Artists thoughts about Southport Weekender:
“Southport to me is the essence of house music… To perform there is a lifelong dream… and being part of the Southport family is a privilege!!!”
“Southport Weekender is something magic. UK crowd is amazing. And if you like Southport Weekender, don’t forget to check SuncéBeat in Croatia.”
For me, Southport is one of the best musical events you could wish to experience if you love all forms of Black Music. The fact that it is celebrating its 50th anniversary next year proves there is no one better. It inspires us all. I will always be grateful for all they have helped me to achieve in my career and personal event promotions.”
“Good music, good vibe, good TIMES.”
“One of the most exciting place to perform for us, we can breathe a magical atmosphere when we get on the dj booth, people smiling and looking at you, waiting for your first record, ready to dance.
Unforgettable edition, Southport Weekender 49.”
“A place full exceptional vibes, a gathering of music enthusiasts.”
“It was my first time at Southport Weekender and I had such an amazing time. Too bad my time there was short… Definitely wanna go back for their 50th edition”
Patricia Raimundo | Soulful Chic Public Relations – Portugal