Southport Weekender preview: Minehead mayhem!

Southport Weekender 49

Southport Weekender 49

With memories of the Christmas and New Year festivities just beginning to fade my attention has been drawn to what I’m convinced will be one of the highlights of 2013 – the Southport Weekender 49 (SPW49).

This year’s event takes place between Friday 10th May and Sunday 12th May and if last year’s SPW48 was anything to go by it promises to be three days of sun, great company and some of the best sounds around. Those already confirmed to play include Francois K, Danny Krivit, Goldie and Gilles Peterson plus DJ Cash Money,  Dimitri From Paris, Bob Jeffries and Firin’ Squad.

For the uninitiated, let me take a few moments to explain the history of the Southport Weekender.

From relatively humble beginnings as the UpNorth Weekender in, of all places, Berwick-upon-Tweed, it has over the years been held in various locations including Blackpool and Morecambe, eventually settling in Southport. Just to confuse matters further, the Southport Weekender no longer takes place in Southport and this year’s event will take place at Butlin’s in Minehead for the third consecutive year. Last year marked the 25th anniversary of what has become the UK’s longest running soul and dance weekender and while this is a truly phenomenal achievement, given that it raises the bar each year its success should come as no surprise.

SPW49 will be extra special for me as it falls on my birthday. We’ll aim to arrive by Friday afternoon after making the epic journey from Norfolk to Somerset. Once there it’ll be a case of unpacking, having something to eat – and, just as importantly, drink – and making our way down to The Powerhouse, where the atmosphere is sure to be electric thanks to amazing visuals and a Funktion-One sound system that takes bass to a whole new dimension.

The biggest problem that anyone attending SPW49 will have is deciding where to go, with numerous world class acts appearing in a variety of areas from The Powerhouse, which forms the central hub of the event, through to The Beat Bar, The Connoisseur’s Corner, The Funkbase and The SunceBeat Dome.

Southport Weekenders are renowned for their friendly, inclusive atmosphere and I’m looking forward to catching up with people I’ve met at previous events. The weather was great for SPW48 and fingers are crossed for the same this year as it only adds to an already excellent atmosphere that includes various chalet parties taking place ‘after hours’, where crazy partygoers dressed in PJs and with bottles of vodka in their hands get set for a long night! My advice is to make sure you get plenty of sleep before you get there if you want to stay the course.

For soul, funk, hip-hop and dance aficionados, SPW49 is sure to have it all and the ongoing success of the Southport Weekender is down to its ability to change with times while remaining true to its roots. See you there!

For more information and tickets, see our Southport Weekender Guide.