Southport Weekender 52 follows one the best ever event in its prolific 28 year history. Everything about last year's SPW 50, the amazing artists like Chaka Khan with Incognito, the fantastic DJs like Carl Cox and Derrick Carter and the amazing Southport veterans, mixed with the brilliant Southport Weekender crowd, just took the event to another level. So it's with regret that we have to convey that news that SPW 52 will be the last ever Southport Weekender.

Southport Weekender

It was always a possibility that many veterans who so loyally booked a place at SPW (the friendliest dance festival in the world) may move on after the 50th event and this seems to be the reality, however the line-up is not at fault this year. SPW 52 still delivers the customary legendary line up, for example Masters at Work, Louie Vega and Kenny Dope playing in the Powerhouse, Kerri Chandler and Chez Damier (back to back) and the grand finale on Sunday including David Morales, Tony Humphries and another set from legendary Louie Vega. Other great innovators and upcoming artists, such as Dennis Ferrer, Richy Ahmed, Black Coffee, Culoe de Song, Sean McCabe and Jonny Miller, will also be playing in the Powerhouse, certainly ending this amazing space in style! The fabulous sound quality, amazing visuals and, most importantly the atmosphere, will produce quite a few tears on Sunday May 10th. It's going to be emotional.

Southport Weekender has always mastered the delivery of soul and true heart connection to its attendees and SPW 52 is no exception, with Grammy award winning Lalah Hathaway, super cool Peven Everett,  the legend that is Jocelyn Brown, Tony Remy and Reel People Music Sound System featuring Tony Momrelle and Portia Monique, Swindle, the fantastic Tortured Soul,  Southport legend Shaun Escoffery, The Rebrith, Michael Watford, and rising superstar Jarrod Lawson; truly expect nothing but the best and prepare to be dazzled.

The Funkbase has always stood out as truly unique edition at SPW events. Created through the birth of nu soul, modern R&B and the meteoric rise of hip hop, it's great to see David Rodigan back, plus the legendary garage sessions from DJ EZ and, of course, Trevor Nelson. Other great acts performing are Mistajam, Rich Medina, Manny Norte, Shortee Blitz, Ronnie Herel, Mr Thing, Ryan Peake, Simon Schooly, Steve Wren, Bigger and JP.

The Beat Bar is another legendary melting pot of visionary and progressive jazz-based fusion music. Saturday afternoon parties will be greatly missed, but there's plenty of good artists this year: Seven Davis Jnr, Henrik Schwarz, Ron Trent, Romare, Marcellus Pittman, Kyodai, Deetron, DJ Nature, Kev Beadle, Gavin Kendrick and we're especially pleased to see Leeds' Nightmares On Wax on the bill.

Saving the best 'til last, there's nowhere quite like the Connoisseurs Corner. Marcus Valle's performance last year was truly one to remember. With Joey Negro, Sadar Bahar, Mad Mats, The Reflex, Mr Mendel and vetrans Paul Trouble Anderson, Terry Jones, Andy Davies and Bob Jeffries all playing, expect more serious power to take back home with you after SPW 52.

The addition of Suncebeat has brought additional sunshine to SPW, bringing progressive vibe and flavour to the UK. The Suncebeat Dome is a great place to hear sweet, world fusion and feel progressive deep house drum into the pulses of all soul music lovers. Keeping house music alive on this year's bill are Botan, Grant Nelson, Groove Assain, Souldynamic , Neil Pierce & Ziggy Funk, Lil Stevie, Luis Radio, Natasha Kitty Kat Probert , Afro.Co, Master D and Mark Stone.

Replacing the Sands at the old Pontin's venue, Inn On The Green is another awesome place, with Rob Oxley & Pete Wharrier, Steve Butler, Nick blow, Dimensions Soundsystem, Ben Brophy, Gran Reserva, Stephen Rodgers, Steve Harrington and Paul Stuart on the wheels of steel.

It's truly remarkable to see how long this scene has lasted and, with all the investment into the big finish, SPW 52 could prove to be the best one yet at Minehead. SPW 52 could be your opportunity to experience the scene for the first time if you haven't already. See you on the dance floor!

Tareck Ghoneim

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