Earth Garden – the real festival experience in Malta that happens yearly during the first week of June. The 13th edition saw a myriad of both local and foreign bands, a pumping electronic experience and an eclectic jamming session. This four-day festival is the epitome of quality, lifestyle and culture.
The national park at Ta‘ Qali was transformed into a magical village in which revellers both local and foreign were eager to experience four days jam-packed with music coming from artists hailing from different corners of the world and to indulge in all that Earth Garden has to offer in its own unique setting.
With four stages, a gem of a jamming area, an ethnic market, food court, healing fields, fun park and two campsites all set up, the festival started to take life early evening on Thursday with eclectic DJ sets at the naturally shaded Enchanted Forest by Sunta & Gorgobot leading to three live performances by Capitol-K, Traskurat and Danjeli that had the crowd dance the night away like no one was watching!
The mighty Roots Stage was opened by Bark Bark Disco followed by Prince Fatty & Horseman feat. Shniece McMenamin which had the crowd on their feet and grooving to the beat, and finished with local Ska-Punk band, Xtruppaw, who despite having the rain pouring down, had the crowd jumping, singing along and enjoying themselves till the very end!
The sun was shining on day two and the festival was in full swing with the Electronic Sphere and Strawberry Hill stages set to bring down the house which featured sets by U.S Techno DJ, Matrixxman at the Electronic Sphere and Billy Nasty closing off the night at the Strawberry Hill with a one of a kind Electro set.
The afternoon live sessions at the Enchanted Forest started with a difference this year, a 2-hour Afro Beat & Hip-Hop dj set by MrShay, leading the way to a high energy improvised jamming session by local favourites, members of Tribali. At 6.00p.m, the evening event took off, a special Reggae night featuring an explosive mix of selectors & mcs, Salted Dread, Freedom Fighters, Seeker, Pupachile, KHL and Johnny Be Good (Gentleman’s Dub Club) who opened the night with a magical performance featuring the whole lot! Later at night, a special unexpected guest joined the party, and that was none other than the legendary Horseman!
The Roots Stage featured four outstanding performances by The Ranch, Gypsy Hill, The Carny Villains and one of Earth Garden’s favourites – the legendary, local Ska band The Rifffs.
After the rain on the opening day, the scorching sun and blue sky were welcomed with open arms by all those roaming around Earth Garden by the third day.
The stages start taking life in the afternoon with the Enchanted Forest warming things up with four live performances early afternoon leading the way to Mundo Muzika who took the crowd on an unforgettable journey around the music globe, featuring local and international guests such as DJ sets by Yaaba Funk, Onipa & Tupimambo and live performances by Airtist & Trakadum.
The Roots stage was on fire for nine whole hours, with FuzzHoneys, Heavy Lemo, Terra Livre and Cushion leading the way in the warm hours of the afternoon and followed by four massive high energy performances by Onipa, ManaTapu, Yaaba Funk a closing performance by French Dub Masters, Ondubground, that left everyone talking about them.
The Electronic Sphere was a Techno lover’s dream come true with local legend Brian James playing an opening and closing set supported by Owen Jay and Italian guest Lucy to celebrate with the crowd his 30th DJ anniversary.
At the other side of the festival, U.K Drum ‘n’ Bass legend Benny Page was dropping some seriously good tunes at the Strawberry Hill.
The fourth and final day arrived and brought about a bittersweet feeling seeing campers starting to pack up their tents as it meant that, yet another edition of Earth Garden was coming to an end, yet, the fun was far more from over! All the music stages had an exceptional line up which made it hard to choose between them.
The Roots Stage featured some very special acts including double bass & multi-instrumentalist phenomenon Adam Ben Ezra, local favourites Tribali, Tippa Irie & The Lockdown band, Airtist and Kumbia Boruka amongst others. Needless to say, they all burned the place to the ground!
Once again, the Enchanted Forest featured four outstanding performances warming up the dancefloor nicely for a special Dub night by Bass Culture & ODG Prod, featuring Art-X, Roots Raid, ODG and local Dub Masters.
Meanwhile, at the Strawberry Hill, there was a nice funky house & disco party going on, hosted by OTR and featuring special U.K guest DJ, Dan Shake.
The Electronic Sphere, was nothing less. Hosted by Presence, this long day of Psy-Trance under the palm trees, was probably the best Psy-Trance event that ever took place in Malta, featuring Psy Trance legend, Atmos and modern-day legend, Hypnocoustics and a closing set by local legend and pioneer, Soul Kontakt.
Just when you think that Earth Garden reached its peak, another year comes, and another bar is raised, and this is not just on a local level but on an international one. This edition was no different. Memories were made, experiences were gained, and Earth Garden was yet again another success.
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