Renowned soulful house and disco event, Southport Weekender closed its doors in 2015 after a 28-year run, to the dismay of its loyal fans. But this year’s surprise comeback as a one-day festival in London reinstates that this party is still one of the most unforgettable of its kind.
The line-up was bursting with DJ talent from the UK and stateside so it was a challenge in itself for us to cherry pick who to see, often hopping between tents during set clashes. With eight stages, the line-up was perfectly curated with different artists from all ends of the soulful spectrum, including hip-hop, disco and techno.
Paul Trouble Anderson provided a lively house set in the afternoon, to a packed out tent, donning his signature white trilby hat with matching two-piece. Not just a DJ but PTA is the full package, an entertainer who has been a prominent figure on the London club scene since the late 70s.
The Mi-Soul tent was buzzing with energy and good vibes as the London radio station’s DJs were on rotation playing an eclectic mix of two-step, UK garage, house and more. Listen to Mi-Soul radio online here.
Southport Weekender organisers truly catered to the needs of its festival-goers. With abundance of portaloos and bar staff, there were minimal (if any) queues for anything which meant more time for dancing.
The intimate Suncebeat tent was decorated with Japanese lanterns, reminiscent of being at a festival abroad, rather than in a grassy North London field. Dan Shake provided the perfect uplifting house and disco soundtrack, dropping K-Hand’s ‘Remember When’. Detroit Swindle finished off the night with feel-good disco edit ‘Juicy Sushi’ by DJ Harvey, which left the hungry crowd wanting more when the music was cut.
‘Nineties UK garage pioneer, Grant Nelson had the whole tent bumping and flexing to his house anthem, ‘Stealing Love’, while one of the closing headliners, DJ Jazzy Jeff wowed with his impressive cuts and turntable skills. He began with the unlikely choice of Joni Mitchell’s folk song ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ which he soon flawlessly mixed into its smooth R&B cover ‘Got ‘til it’s Gone’ by Janet Jackson, Q.Tip and J.Dilla (RIP).
As a soulful music lover, I may be biased, but everything about Southport Weekender Festival made it one of the best London daytime music events that I’ve experienced. From the friendly, diverse crowd to the flawless organisation, the Southport Weekender family have once again proven that they still have the magic to create a unique experience united by music.