Being a newbie at Southport is at first obvious but having mixed with this crowd and danced consistently to their unequalled line up for many many years elsewhere, I soon felt at home. Butlins, Minehead was its home, it seems for the last time and after a 25 year round trip, Southport fans are now bereft. Their baby has flown the nest, to sunnier climates, namely Croatia. The Up North Productions event, Suncebeat will continue to fly the Southport flag.
I can only describe the Southport Festival as flawless. Having worked on many festivals and music events in my time, this event was utterly seamless. The organisation, the staff, the content and of course, the Southport crew. What a great bunch of people! UK Festivals can learn so much from this event and its organisers and an audience like this is their main objective. The fans are loyal, kind, considerate, loving, funny and utterly respectful and the one thing that holds them all together is their love of the music. If this proves one thing, that social media and online groups when united by a strong bond, can really fly. Something big brands sometimes can only dream of (or pay for). Every part of the jigsaw was nailed.
The line up was strong, loyal, friendly and superfly. Event highlights for me were The Reflex, Paul Trouble Anderson, Shaun Escoffery, Colin DJ Bigger” Bartlett, John Morales, Natasha Kitty Kat Probert, Bitter Twisted to mention only a few. I danced and ‘Shazammed’ my little arse off.
“As always it was a pleasure to play to one of the friendliest and musically astute crowds out there. lets hope its not the end of this unique event” Joey Negro
‘I’ve been humbled to be able to touch so many people with my music thru the years , the cherry on top always is meeting so many of you and having some some friendly conversation,and now calling many of you friends”. John Morales
“Thank you Southport Weekender , thrilled to have been part of their last event. Much gratitude to all who cheered me on in the Connoisseurs Corner after the mighty The Legendary Paul Trouble Anderson and thanks to him for announcing me to the crowd.” The Reflex
Watching the Facebook Group daily since the event’s demise has been an eye opener and an utter joy. It is clear that folk are heartbroken that it is no more. Some of my favourite quotes have had me in fits of giggles then tears, intermittently.
There are folk with their wristbands still on weeks after the event, falling asleep at work days after the event, passing on the Southport vibe to their kids, asking the 15,000 strong members ‘What’s this song?’, some utterly fabulous ‘Caught on Camera’s’ and even the first Southport Baby Scan and it’s still going strong. A post a minute, pretty much.
So, if you are on the soul, funk, disco, jazz, r&b, soulful house tip, get involved. And what now for the Southport Weekender crew? Apart from booking flights to Croatia quick smart, I suppose we all just watch this space…
PS: The organisers want to hear from you. Send them an email and let them know your thoughts? They have asked for feedback up until 22nd May. Click here for more info.