SOUTHPORT WEEKENDER 38, Part 1...
Written by Wendy
Chalke and photographs by Patrick Trollope.
best loved indoor music festivals; the Southport Weekender was yet
again a total sell out. The music event is held now twice a year due
to its increasing popularity, but strangely most of Southport is
still unaware of just what really goes on and how much of a credit
this event is for our area… The 38 Weekender was run over the 5 May
2006 to 7 May, at Pontins holiday complex, as normal. The event
attracted a staggering 5000 fun loving music fans and top artists
like Dawn Robinson and Byron Stingily, it was more than just
flashing lights and huge speakers that made your whole body shake.
It was all about the music and also catching up with friends from
past Weekenders. With Hip Hop, Jazz, Funk, Drum 'n' Base, Soul, R&B
and some Techno, yes techno got in some how, the walls and floor
were vibrating to the beat and you could feel the rhythm in the air.
From one arena to another, there was an amazing contrast of music,
style and atmosphere in each one. Dancers also were performing
acrobatic tricks on the dance floor and more! There was something
for everyone, even the bar staff were enjoying themselves. Neil
showing off with his party trick of opening a bottle of Bacardi
Breezer, followed by a double act of some serious cocktail mixing
(very impressive boys). Good job Pontins were equipped with a high
Tec quality air conditioning system as things really started to heat
up as the weekend went on. Sadly, I missed Sounds of Blackness who
played live in concert and from what our other reporter told me and
our editor, who was taking the photographs throughout the event,
told me, it was just stunning. It is not often our editor gets lost
for words, but this was one of them. I have to say I was impressed
by the atmosphere at the event, it was so friendly and everyone was
just out to have fun… The highlight was for me was chilling in the
VIP lounge with some great people and amazing artists, but it was
amazing who I met outside the VIP room and did not realize who they
were! The best way to sum up the weekender for me is to give you a
quick idea of Saturday night two main acts…
At 12:30 slightly later than scheduled
Soul legend Alexander O'Neil worked the stage with his outstanding
vocal and comic stage presence. Even when there was a slight
technical hitch with one of the tracks jumping, he never dropped his
professionalism. Veteran Weekender punters told me that this type of
hitch has never happened before, well it would happen when I was at
the event… Saying that it did not spoil what was a fantastic and
staggeringly stunning performance and I can see now how he could
sell out at Wembley Arena six times over! The audiences and I loved
it, with some great dance moves both on and off stage; it was hard
not to join in!
It was an exciting wait for a certain female artist that got more
intense by the second, as whistles were blown, horns were being let
off and the audience was shouting for Dawn… At 3:30 with Ronnie
Herel, working his skills on the decks, Dawn Robinson was soon to
grace the stage. The wait was worth every second… The crowd went
wild as she opened up the set with her huge hit of Don't Let Go! Her
sensational vocal was breathtaking and she looked fantastic. A great
performance from start to finish, she ended with yet another huge
hit Don't Mess With My Man!
I got the chance to meet a lot of people
from all over the world at the event and it was not just the artists
who travelled from the USA to the event. Some of the audience had
come from the good old USA and others came from Australia,
Netherlands, France, Iceland and some even from Russia and that was
just a few we met along the way. I would like to say thanks to Damo,
Stoney and Tiny (Ainsdale guys) "Weekender Virgins"
who helped me, a fellow "Weekender Virgin" find my
feet. I agree with Mike, Chris and Rob (London Boys) who say that
"The Weekender should not to be missed!"
So to sum up the Southport Weekender in
just a few words - huge arenas, enough lighting and sound equipment
to sink a battle ship, a fantastic atmosphere and big, big named
artists. The whole event was a big success, safe atmosphere provided
by the security and working staff at Pontins. This was a full
weekend of non-stop partying!!! Though it did make me wonder, when
do these people actually sleep??? I know our editor didn't... he was
having too much fun!
Live acts photographed by our
photographer and editor Patrick are as follows:- J-Davey, Don-E,
Fund*Mental03, Dawn Robinson, The Rebirth, Una, Alexander O'Neal,
The Mutherfunkaz, DJ Pathaan, Monique Bingham, Sounds Of Blackness
and Byron Stingily.
As well as this weeks 30 pages of
photographs... Please keep an eye out for next weeks
update as the second part with lots more shots of the Weekender will
be added to the site!
Added extra... The Powerhouse
afternoon set on Saturday was dedicated to the memory of DJ Swing
and Lynden Daid Hall.
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