MARIGOT--St. Martin’s first international electronic music festival, SXMusic Festival, is due to be held at selected venues from March 9 to 13, 2016, it was announced at a press conference Friday in St. Martin Tourism Office.
Details of the event were disclosed by Montreal-based organiser Julien Arbia who noted the first edition should attract some 2,000 overseas visitors keen to see some 45 internationally renowned, or up and coming, deejays performing. About 500 attendees will be from St. Martin, Guadeloupe and Martinique.
Tourism Office Director Kate Richardson noted the event gives another welcome boost to tourism and is well timed to take place between Carnival and the Easter Holiday. She disclosed BBC World will be reporting on the event for its arts programmes.
The following long list of artistes have been booked to perform: Adriatique, Apollonia, Audiofly, Bedouin Behrouz, Blond-ish, Chaim, Danny Daze, Demi, DJebali, DJ Tennis, DJ Wild, Dubfire, Francesca Lombardo, Gab Rhome, Garden of Gods, Greg Pidcock, Guy Gerber, H.O.S.H, Jade, Jamie Jones, Kenny Glasgow, Lauren Lane, Lee Burridge, M.A.N.D.Y.
In addition there is Maceo Plex, Maher Daniel, m.O.N.R.O.E., Mia Lucci, My Favourite Robot, Nadav Vee, Nitin, Oceanvsorientalis, odd parents, Paolo Rocco, Patrick Topping, Psychemagik, Rebolledo, Ryan Crosson, Shall Ocin, Shaun Reeves, Sleepy &Boo, the Mekanism, Thugfucker, Vanjee, Yokoo and more.
Arbia said it had not been easy to convince the artistes as St. Martin is not well known as a destination in the electronic music world, but most came on board wanting to be associated with big names such as Jamie Jones and Maceo Plex.
“I’ve had this festival in my head since 2006 and last January I had a study done by a dance music consultant to see if the market was ready for this event,” he noted.
Shows will be held on Orient Beach at Palm Beach and Kon Tiki from midday to midnight, as well at venues such as Tantra, Le Shore, and Sky Beach until 5:00am as well as special “morning sets” to see the dawn breaking.
“Traditional big rock stages is not what people want these days but here in St. Martin we are in nature and will be building stages with natural materials that lie around,” explained Arbia. “It’s an organic way of being part of nature but not imposing on it. We have experts that create these set designs.”
Kate Richardson was joined by Director of Cabinet for President Aline Hanson, Pierre Brangé, who represented the Collectivité.
“One of the objectives in our tourism strategy was to have a big event that complements our image as a party island, but we wanted to disassociate ourselves from the run-of-the-mill Jazz or Reggae festivals in the Caribbean, great though they are, and have something different,” explained Brangé. “So when Julien made the proposal for this festival, it ticked off all the right boxes.”
Locals get a 40 per cent discount on ticket prices; 180 euros for the four days, or 55 euros per day (instead of 300 euros for four days and 95 euros per day.) For more information visit the website www.sxmusicfestival.com.