Jet-setting superstars are coming to Malta more often to take the island by storm, and as more music festivals appear on the local circuit, it’s bound to get even better.
But while big music festivals keep getting bigger and more frequent, one thing definitely won’t change, and that’s the way Maltese people act whenever one of these exciting events come around.
Here are nine things that everyone ends up doing at a Maltese music festival.
1. Bringing the festival up with every random local you meet
Trying to drum up some quick small talk with the guy at the corner-store register who looks like he’d be into your same style of music?
Spotted the festival poster at the bus stop and then had that weird moment when the other person waiting there was looking at the same thing and your eyes met?
Ended up in the work kitchen at the same time that one person you’ve always wanted to get closer to is making their fifth cup of coffee?
Bring it up. You know you want to. You both know something very big is coming soon, and you’re probably going to be somehow running into each other on the night anyway. Malta’s a small island, so might as well make the most of it.
2. Extensively planning every single step of the night on your messaging threads
For a second, you’d be fooled into thinking you guys are going to Bali for a month.
Sure, you know who’s playing, at which time, and on which stage.
But how about who’s coming from your squad, at what time they’re planning on joining, who’s carpooling from where, who they want to watch, and how excited they are about the whole thing?
There’s one of these super-organised people in every group. Just hope there aren’t like four of you on the same thread, because this process would end up taking a whole lot longer.
3. Spotting someone you know will be at the festival while shopping for an outfit and getting a mini panic attack
Hear us out.
You might be the vainest person on the planet, or one of those anti-capitalist free spirits who “don’t really give a fuck”, but please don’t pretend like you’re going to be OK standing next to someone who’s wearing the exact same thing as you are all night long.
If you’re shopping for clothes a couple of days before the festival, there’s a 90% probability that you’re going to be wearing whatever you buy on the big night. And if you spot someone who you know for a fact is going to be there too, maintain focus and eye-contact so you’re sure you don’t end up buying the same thing.
Otherwise, make a pact while leaving the store about who’s wearing what.
4. Popping by your local late-night-confectionery to buy a bottle of alcohol and a mixer or two at 9pm on the night
You planned everything out to the last tee, and somehow, rushing to buy alcohol from a shop that’s literally minutes from closing was part of the plan.
Cue the scrambling requests on the phone to see who wants what, because of course, the one vital thing to do before heading to a festival is… pre-drink!
5. Pre-drinking outside the venue from a car boot
Is there anything more Maltese than drinking in a parking lot before you enter an event to drink some more? No, not really.
You all gather round the largest car, or the one that got here first, or the one that has the best sound system (or all of the above), and out from the car boot, much like the Holy Grail line-up from Indiana Jones, comes an array of bottles and cups of all shapes and sizes.
Everyone slowly starts to get varying levels of tipsy… except for that one guy who had been sneakily drinking at the back of the car on the way here.
6. Entering the venue and planning a meet-up point in case people get lost
Maltese people are social, protective and borderline clingy beings. If you want proof of this, just scope out a Maltese group of friends at a music festival.
It might not be the biggest premises in the world, but we’ll treat it like a post-apocalytpic playground that can and will eat up our loved ones.
We’ll frantically point at the first landmark we see when entering the festival, shouting, “We’ll meet here if someone gets lost or something happens!”
We move together, or we don’t move at all. Besides, we all know you’re doing this because of that one friend who always gets instantly lost in the crowd and doesn’t turn up till the last hour. #KarlReġaSparixxa
7. Instantly shuffling to the bar to get everyone a round of drinks
Still roughly in the formation you had when walking in (the ‘alpha organiser’ in the front, the chattier ones bringing the rear, that one person who has a tiny bladder already in the bathroom, and the most sociable / drunk one already lost), you herd yourselves to the first bar you find, or the one with the smallest number of people.
Feeling confident and with still enough money in your wallet to do this sort of stunt, you pull out enough money to buy everyone around you a drink. And if there’s one thing you definitely won’t accept, it’s ‘no’ for an answer.
8. Pushing your way to the very front as one unit
It might be tough to get right under the stage if you’re alone, but you’re a whole group and nothing can stop you.
Watching dozens of war films has taught you the perfect strategy to advancing forward without losing any of your ranks, and you’re ready to apply it all. You’ll also need a supernatural level of balance to make sure your drink doesn’t spill on you, and you quickly realise that you’re turning into a Spartan-general-cum-ninja by the second.
9. The inevitable climax of it all… food
The music is awesome, the atmosphere is unmatched, and this might very well end up being the most memorable night of the year.
But can it really be all that without a cheeky 2am snack? The short answer is “no”. The long answer is “of course not, what are you, some sort of untraditional, uncultured animal?”
Tag your festival squad and let us know what else you go through during every music festival in Malta!