In 2017, Hurricane Irma hit the small Caribbean island of St. Martin incredibly hard, leaving the local communities devastated and with limited resources to aid recovery. They needed outside help — which is why SXM, an underground electronic music festival that had previously called the beaches of St. Martin their home, felt the responsibility to cancel their 2018 event in order to raise funds and rebuild the island.
But islands like St. Martin rely on global travel and tourism to bolster their economy, so SXM Festival is making a return this year. They’re hoping that they can create a surge in travel that will further help St. Martin’s recovery efforts. And as the festival prides itself on blending tech and music with the place they’re in — exploring the nature, elevating local businesses, celebrating the Indigenous culture (in this case of the Taino), and employing hundreds of staff across various venues and hotels — the concept of a symbiotic relationship (where they do good for the local economy while also getting to be in a dope location) is truly in their wheelhouse.
Recently, we spoke to SXM founder (and DJ) Julian Prince about this year’s event, and he shared with us his personal picks for the island’s greatest offerings. Heading to St. Martin this year is a great way to combine traveling with some philanthropy. And if you schedule that trip March 13-17 for SXM, you’ll get to see some of electronic music’s finest take the stage.
Here are Prince’s picks for the best places to eat, party, and soak in the sun while you’re there.