The much-loved event will finish after this May's gathering.
The much-loved festival, a beacon for all things soulful, has been running for 29 years. In that time it has held 51 festivals—this year's edition will be the 52nd. The final weekender will run from May 8th through 10th. Organisers published this statement today:
"Weekender 52 [is] the final Southport Weekender. The end of an era, but a huge celebration of 28 years as the world leader in soulful music. It is with heartfelt sadness that we are writing to you today to inform you that Weekender 52, exactly seven weeks today at the superlative Butlins Resort in Minehead, will in fact be the last.The likes of Masters At Work, Kings Of House (AKA Louie Vega, David Morales and Tony Humphries), Kerri Chandler, Sadar Bahar, Black Coffee and Marcellus Pittman will all play at the final Southport Weekender.
This is a decision undertaken by ourselves, due to numerous factors too deep to go into and most certainly not brought upon us by the wonderful staff at Butlins, quite the contrary, both our teams have worked tirelessly for six years now to make what we, press and more importantly you the customers all thought was the best Weekender in our 28-year history at Weekender 50 last May.
We have always strived and done our best to bring you way beyond the seemingly possible and unexpected with yet another fantastic line up for Weekender 52, but sadly times have caught up and with rising costs and expectations we just cannot continue beyond this year. Sadly all things eventually run their course and we feel that we have no choice but to finally rest the great old warhorse that is the Southport Weekender with dignity and a massive celebration in seven weeks time.
Please do not think this decision has been taken lightly, it's been absolutely gut wrenching for weeks now. For 28 years it's been our lives, so many friends have been made over this time, sadly some no longer with us, a lot of the partners and friends you are with now you would not have met had it not been for the Southport Weekender. It's sad, very sad of course but let's celebrate the good times and at least in seven weeks we have that opportunity to do so."