How SXM Festival Raised the Bar for Destination Events Everywhere

Dec 8, 2021

Graham Berry

5 min read

Regardless of the womp in their woofers, some festivals just hit different. It's tough to pin down exactly why, and suffice it to say a great lineup helps, but there's gotta be more to it for the truly legendary ones, right?

Well, sure, take SXM Festival, for instance. The event goes way over the top with music lineups each year and still raises the bar for the house and techno industry. The festival also shows up in significant ways for its fans and the local community.

We did some sleuthing to find out more about how SXM Festival is furthering the chasm between themselves and their peers. We came back with six colossal ways SXM Festival is raising the bar. Here's what we found!

Heavyweights of House and Techno

If we're honest, it's safe to admit the main attraction for us at music festivals is the music. Those who hold true to the music that brought them together always make a big splash too. Case in point: SXM Festival. Past acts at the island-wide suaré include Audiofly, Damian Lazarus, BLOND:ISH, Guy Gerber, Maceo Plex, Lee Burridge, Goldcap, Jamie Jones, Be Svendsen, Sabo, Bedouin, and more. With a record stacked with titans like these, it's really no wonder SXM Festival is such a magnet for house and techno fans who love to party.

Funded Relief Efforts After Hurricane Irma

As if combining a glamorous destination event with a world-class music festival isn't challenging enough, SXM Festival became a venerable bastion of hope when Hurricane Irma hit in 2017. The festival was only in its infancy, but it still aimed to impact the locals. SXM Festival donated funds to aid in the rebuild, organized volunteers to clean up debris around the island, and even brought in international artists to make sculptures and stages from the fallen trees.

Dancefloors On the Beach

Several other festivals are near a beach or have one just outside their event, but SXM Festival transforms a beach into a sandy dancefloor for one its stages. If that doesn't make your shoes rubberneck, they're probably tied to each other. In other words, you're trippin'.

You know exceptional dancefloors rocking the world's top house and techno icons are few and far between, but that's why going to Saint Martin for SXM Festival makes so much sense. Not only are the best of the best slated to be there, but the memories you get to take home will be of complimenting watercolor sunsets and starlight over sapphire water.

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No Single Use Water Bottles or Cups

Islands intrinsically have a waste problem because everybody needs this or that, but nobody wants to pay for the leftovers to go somewhere else. As a result, recycling, upcycling, and repurposing are traditionally a bedrock of the culture on the island. Keeping in stride with this direction, SXM Festival works to eliminate plastic at the festival with incredible results. Today, the festival doesn't sell a single plastic cup or water bottle on-site, minimzing the event's carbon footprint.

Donates to Local Schools

Partying is so much more fun when there's a purpose behind it. So, in addition to a slew of other philanthropic efforts SXM Festival donates regularly to local schools on the island. Equally important to its financial support, the festival has made a significant impact in the lives of some of the youngest residents of Saint Martin with donations of time and dollars to the Green Learning Academy. They were even working on a new playground for the kiddos during the last event, built entirely from sustainable and repurposed materials.

The Whole Island is a Dance Floor

Photo Credit: Off Brand Project

For newcomers at SXM Festival, other city-wide events like SXSW and ADE quickly come to mind. And similar to those events, SXM Festival encourages you to explore what the local community offers. SXM Festival has a centralized location, but it also prides itself in a broader net of decentralized events that happen in conjunction with the festival around the island. From day parties to after-hours, the celebration never really stops for the entirety of the five days and nights the festival takes place. As a result, the crowd shuffles from one end of the island to the next, which more than doubles the thrills jam-packed into the experience.

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