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SXM Festival Preview: Lee K Interview; Festival Reminders

Friday, March 10, 2017
Dawn Runge
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SXM Festival on St. Martin in the Caribbean begins in less than a week, so if you haven't already purchased your sunscreen and bikinis, the clock is ticking. We're here to also give a few reminders. First, if you are coming from the U.S., you'll need proof of a return ticket and the address you are staying at to get through immigration. Have it handy on the plane, because the immigration forms will be handed out there. English is spoken widely, with Dutch and French on their respective sides as well. American dollars are accepted. There are no ATMs on premise, but they are throughout the island. You'll need the mobile or paper copy of your ticket and an ID to check in. If you have been transferred a ticket, the original purchaser must contact organizers to notify them of the transfer. Wifi is at various venues and businesses throughout the island, including the airport. It can be spotty. In addition, North American cell phones generally work but you will need to check with your carrier for rates. Transportation The festival claims that their shuttle bus service between venues, currently selling for $131, is the best option as it is direct to venues and around-the-clock. That breaks down to about $26/day. Our calculations seem to agree that this is all-around the best option. There is a local bus service that starts at 7 a.m. and ends about midnight, so you'd have to use a taxi if they're around during after hours. It ranges from $1-$3.  Parties overlap, going 24 hours a day. There are "sunrise", "day" and "night" venues. Taxis are available and are seen as safe, but you will want to print and have handy the taxi rate sheet, based on zones. We don't recommend renting a car if you plan on drinking or consuming any altering substances- the organizers have made it clear that there will be some checkpoints around festival venues where police may check for impaired drivers. Tipping From Fodor's: "Service charges may be added to hotel and restaurant bills on the Dutch side (otherwise tip 15%–18%). Check bills carefully so you don’t inadvertently tip twice. On the French side, a service charge is customary; on top of the included service it is customary to leave 5%–10% in cash for the server. Taxi drivers, porters, and maids depend on tips. Give 10%–15% to cabbies, $1 per bag for porters, and $2–$5 per night per guest for chambermaids." Don't be that guy that makes your hosting country hate your nation. Weather The water is about 80 degrees F, the weather is forecast at 80 degrees F and sunny or partly cloudy all next week, with very little chance of rain. I think we're all o.k. with that. Lee K talks SXM Here to get us in the mood for our upcoming travels is Lee K, who started in San Diego but has been making waves internationally, and taken under the wing of one of our favorite techno kings. She'll be playing the Ocean Stage at Happy Bay on Saturday the 18th for the night party. OTB: I know you're associated with FNGRS CRSSD coming out of San Diego- what other groups/labels have you partnered with that have shaped your sound and experiences as a DJ? Lee K: I’ve been fortunate to have played for several of Richie Hawtin’s different tours and parties over the last two years - and alongside with CRSSD, it’s certainly helped shaped my experience as a DJ. It’s very motivating to work with artists and teams who inspire you. OTB: What are three tracks that bring back incredible memories for you?  Lee K: Aphex Twin - Ageispolis Air - La Femme d’Argent Radiohead - House of Cards OTB: You've done a fair bit of festivals and club nights over the past few years. What are the right ingredients for the ultimate vibe?  Lee K: Good atmosphere, the right music and an open minded crowd that wants to dance. OTB: What newcomers to the scene have caught your ear? Jusaï, Ben Champell, Osadon are all making great music and would be ones to watch for me. OTB: We're headed to Saint Martin very soon for SXM Festival. What makes you excited about this event? Lee K: I’ve heard such great things and seen many of the photos and videos - and the festival looks incredible. I think it’s hard to beat an event that takes place beach-side on an island! OTB:  What else should we be on the lookout for from you- favorite bookings later this year?  Lee K: I’ll be heading back to Europe in May which will be fun as it’ll be my first time playing in some of those cities. I’ll also be releasing the first of my music very soon which is exciting for me. OTB:  Thanks, Lee. Lee has also put together a pre-festival playlist to give you a taste of what's coming up.  

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