As the pace of 2014 quickens, only one thing is on our mind - and that's the great party that occurs every year at Southport Weekender. The 50th celebration of this sensational event is just weeks away and we are about to experience what SPW does so well in what looks to be the best so far. The thought of heading down to Minehead again so soon is truly thrilling.
The world continues to spin, seemingly faster than ever these days, so we have to be sure to allow space for good times and that is always guaranteed at this epic weekender. No matter what inspires you from your time there, you always take home that much appreciated and very special slice of soul each year. There's nowhere else in the world quite like it and that's why we see so many cutting edge international artists eager to play at Southport Weekender and continuing to return with another tune to drop. Obviously the 50th is going to be particularly special with so many soul stars and real legends such as Chakka Khan performing, and a remarkable DJ line-up setting the scene for a fantastic summer.
Reflecting on the 40th anniversary event in Pontins 8 years ago, it's crazy to think how much has changed in the world of music. Alas, it's only right to mention those who are no longer with us and who have added so much to the Weekender - I refer, of course, to the shocking news of the passing of Godfather of House Music Frankie Knuckles. In this cycle of 10, the events of Southport Weekender went from 2 to 1. The circumstances have been challenging and dramatically changing for sure. Southport Weekender has now settled at Butlins and, despite the changes, the commitment and loyalty for this world-acclaimed event remains unabated and respected by all.
Change has brought benefit to Southport Weekender, though, with a prized gem being born in the form of the Suncebeat Dome. The emergence of this dance floor and its development at Minehead definitely makes for good vibrations (and not forgetting the nice rum mix at the bar). Emerging heroes and pioneers play at the Dome throughout the weekend and SPW50 is no different.
The line-up for this golden anniversary is nothing short of perfect. You've got everything from legends to Grammy winners, old and new, with a nice array of underground and emerging talent. The live acts for the weekend are: Chaka Khan, Faith Evans, Snarky Puppy, Omar, Marcos Valle, Brand New Heavies, Archie Bell & The Drells, Terri Walker, Fatima & The Eglo Live Band, Andrew Ashong, Zara Mcfarlane, Lisa Shaw, Lynn Lockamy, Julie Mcknight, Arnold Jarvis and Jasper Street Company. What a line-up of soul superstars!
The DJ line-up is another level, consisting of legends such as: Kerri Chandler, Carl Cox, Kenny Dope, Greg Wilson, Giles Peterson, Moodyman, Derrick Carter, DJ Jazzy Jeff, David Rodigan, Norman Jay, Mr Scruff and more, as well as so the Southport veterans: Sean Mccabe, Phil Asher, Steve Butler, MK, Seth Troxler, The Martinez Brothers, Tony Humphries, Terry Hunter, Djeff Afrozila, The Basement Boys, Osunlade, Mcde, Ben Ufo, Alexander Nut, Floating Points, Tall Black Guy, Kev Beadle, Gavin Kendrick, Joey Negro, Andrew Ashong, Paul 'Trouble' Anderson, Andy Davies, Bob Jeffries, Terry Jones, Mistajam, Spinderella, DJ Ez, DJ Spoony, Shortee Blitz, Ronnie Herel, Schooly, Steve Wren, Bigger, DJ Swerve, Mr Thing, DJ Diggz, JP, Martin (in full swing) and E Double D.
Vakula, Rainer Truby, Lay-Far , Exist (Atjazz & Karizma), Neil Pierce, Souldynamic, Lil Stevie, Jonny Miller , Luis Radio, Mark Stone, Ben Brophy, Mucho Soul, DJ Spen, Rob Oxley, Pete Wharrier, Craig Bartlett, Paul Stuart and Martin Lodge playing at the after parties and the Suncebeat Dome.
It's unsurprising that SPW50 sold out again in record time. Southport Weekender is a sub culture, where like-minded people get together to share, dance and experience union, intimately recognising the soul at the heart of it all. The fusion of race, acceptance and dynamic synergy has created a pulse, a beat that is still relevant today and keeps the need for events like Southport Weekender strong. Ultimately, however, it's all about fun and letting go of society's expectations, even if it's just for one weekend a year.
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