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Tue 28 Dec 2021

The Mysteriously Fun History of Happy Bay

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Tucked away behind a private property and through several acres of island tropics, you’ll find yourself at Happy Bay - a vision of Caribbean magic and the heart of SXM Festival. 

Interwoven into this private beach, with stunning golden sands and crystal clear waters is an interesting story that continues to unfold right before our eyes. We wanted to get to the lowdown on the true story of Happy Bay, and what exactly it was that drew SXM Festival organizers to make this the home of not one but TWO of the festival’s most iconic stages. Was it something in the air or is there a little more to the magic of Happy Bay? 

To find the answers, we asked around.

“What’s special about this bay is that it’s set between two mountains.” One observer noted. “While most of the beaches in St Martin are accessible, this one lays behind a private property making it a secluded beach.”  

The land the beach rests in was initially owned by a wealthy French family. They intended eventually  to turn it into a private beach resort within Happy Bay. 

According to one archivist on the island, the local "Smith" hotel, is located near a preceramic archeological site, with dig sites that predate Christ. It’s just one of many historic spots on the island that serve as a reminder of all that this area has to offer. Both for tourists and local adventurers, Happy Bay’s exclusive and vibrant location has made it one of the most prized beaches in St. Martin.

The roots go deeper still too.

According to local legend, sometime around the 60’s, Happy Bay became home to a group of conscientious resisters of the Vietnam war who fled to the island, where they believed hippie culture could thrive. Happy Bay became a stunning backdrop for a hippie commune to congregate and find their own La Vie Bohème. Though the evidence of this is largely local talk and no lasting vestiges of this history remain, the satisfying energy hippies are known for still seems to be tangible in Happy Bay today. With these forces at work, it really isn’t any wonder why SXM Festival decided on Happy Bay as the perfect place to bring the event to life. 

The music stages are like lightning rods to these cosmic forces. The Arc, for instance, was inspired by the stunning natural arcs found throughout its beaches. Along with the resilience of the island post Hurricane Luis in 1995 and Hurricane Irma in 2017, The Arc represents a savory dance environment day and night. Engineered by a team of Europe’s top architects, who recruited the talent of local shipbuilders, the Arc is a symbol for much of what SXM Festival hopes to convey.  

This core value of community and connection extends into every branch of SXM Festival, with several ways guests can support the local culture as well as the environment. Everyone is invited to assist in the rebuilding of schools, recreation centers, and local businesses that needed it most after the destruction of Hurricane Irma. You may even run into your favorite headliners who frequently volunteer for SXM Festival’s many giveback initiatives.

Beyond being a truly magnificent stretch of land, this place also has the distinction of being touched recently by two major hurricanes. In its history this place has also become a home to SXM Festival goers and many others, but most of all it has evolved to be a communal phenomenon where guests come from far and wide to discover new music, find purpose, and recharge in the heavenly paradise of the island.

That’s Happy Bay. 

You’ll love it here. 

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