It has pained me to write this review knowing that it is my last ever Southport Weekender. The fusion of soul, house music, jazz, funk and great vocals, truly gave the event something different, something special and timeless. All about soul, diversity and good vibrations, Southport Weekender was a community of friends who liked to dance and listen to quality, cutting edge tunes. 

Southport Weekender

Thus, it was nice to see familiar faces at Southport Weekender 52. Like always, the Southport family were up for a party, a slice of soul and good times, despite knowing this was the last ever show. Previous years had always sold out in record time - astonishing, really, considering how long this event has been going - but now was the time to call it a day. Of course, this wasn't going to dampen anyone's spirits. With many great live acts and DJs returning for the last one, as well as up and coming acts, it was always going to live up to that premier aspect of what makes soul music, and what gave Southport Weekender is reputation. The sound-systems were on point, the Powerhouse looking the best ever, the Suncebeat Dome on heat as usual, Inn On The Green firing, the Funkbase always booming, the Beat Bar banging and Connoisseurs Corner all delivering great memories once again with some fantastic live performances. Tortured Soul and Lala Hathaway hit Friday night in stylish fashion, with legends Kerri Chandler, John Morales, Nightmares On Wax, to mention a few, also performing. In force, the brilliant Southport Weekender residents cranked up some classic tracks as usual; they will be truly missed.

So many treats such as Kings Of House: Tony Humphries, Louie Vega and David Morales featuring live pa Michael Watford, to enjoy in the Powerhouse, as well as Masters At Work playing Sunday afternoon, it was hard to find anything to complain about. Great acts throughout the weekend such as Jarrod Lawson, Shaun Escoffery, worked perfect with the Southport crowd and The Rebirth had a superb gig on Saturday afternoon. 

It's not such a sad goodbye knowing that Suncebeat 6 is around the corner and the hunger and desire for this passion for soulful music will live on in other events. I'll never forget seeing the Soul II Soul full live band, Guru, Patrice Rushen, Jill Scott and, last year, Chaka Khan and Marcus Valle at Minehead. The music collections have been an inspiration and DJ playlist spectacular. I truly hope the spirit of Southport Weekender continues and would love to see many of the residents playing all over the country. 

Live long and thank you Southport Weekender, it's been amazing!

Tareck Ghoneim

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