Many clubs and music nights have been written about and a few have gone down as in history as being legendary (an often over used word). The Paradise Garage, The Hacienda, The Loft (Both David Mancuso’s and Paul Troubles nights) Studio 54, The Sub Club, Ibiza, The Warehouse, Ministry of Sound, I could go on. The Southport Weekender proudly stands along side these names, a great British institution. So it is with heavy heart thats after 28 years the event will draw to a close after this May’s event.
I read so many posts on Facebook today of people expressing there sadness upon hearing the news. Why did it effect so many people? Well for many of us the weekender was a huge part of our lives. Imaging going to a place twice a year for over 2 decades, seeing the same faces each time then becoming friends with them and jointly seeing an entire youth culture change!
In the early days it was a soul music based event. The main room was the soul base and Saturday afternoon was the big event where DJ’s spun those timeless classics along side lesser known soul, jazz funk and rare groove jams. Over a period of time House music was introduced by a few of the DJ’s (Not welcomed by all at the time) and we witnessed the beginning of one of the biggest music movements of my lifetime. Soul music has always been at the heart of the weekender for me and many others but Southport has always managed to embrace other styles with rooms such as the Beat Bar (My favourite room for many years) Broken Beat, Jazz, Soul, House and the total cream of underground black music’s always been the heat and driving force of the event.
I have so many funny stories and great memories coupled with lifelong friendships forged at the event it is hard to pick any for this but here is something that we did for a few years. As well as attending the event for over 20 years I was lucky enough to run a record bar at the event, We did several artist record signings at this stall including, Arnold Jarvis, Ultra Nate, Donnie, Omar, Reel People and more without Southport I would probably have not seen some of these live let alone meet and chat with them the way we did. It became a bit of a hub and meeting place As was Max Rees stall that I worked on previously. In fact it was Max that introduced me to the event originally.
28 years is a long time and almost unheard of in clubland terms so a big thanks to Alex and Dave for supplying one of the most inspiring music events of our time and helping to shape an entire generation of black music lovers. We truly salute you. Thanks for all the amazing music, laughs, friendships and memories.
Book your tickets for May’s event here http://www.southportweekender.co.uk