For the island’s alternative scene, the word ‘sick’ has become synonymous with long nights spent in underground clubs, listening to heavy music that usually has a distorted guitar (or five) blaring out of metres-long amplifiers. In recent years, however, local promoters Sick of Ants have branched out into other scenes, and this year’s edition of Sickfest is proof of just that.
The festival, now in its fourth edition, will see the annual night of music and debauchery move to 1st September, but keep its new home Tigullio.
Making the most of the venue’s expansive area, Sickfest will be dividing the arena into five different areas, with each section delivering its own genre, atmosphere, and blistering line-up. The one-night festival is in fact promising 35 acts over its different areas.
As soon as you arrive at Tigullio, you’ll realise that even the front yard itself will be transformed into its own venue. Hosted by the recently-formed Rocky Valley, the area will be taking attendees through a dub and reggae night featuring Maltese, Italian and Serbian tune selectors.
At The Shelter, a techno night will see Vacuum host a seven-DJ line-up ranging from local heavyweight to Brian James to Spanish Christian Vela.
At The Orb, celebrated gay bash organisers Lollipop will be taking over their usual haunt with resident St. John and scene favourites Gabrielle and Klaudia, back to back for a night of alt pop (yes, that’s an actual thing).
A newly-opened stage called the Open Arena, on the other hand, will be playing host to one of the latest phenomena in the scene; a Silent Disco where partygoers can dance the night away to music being streamed straight into headphones. Two simultaneous channels – one alternative / indie and one electronic – will be making sure that revellers have enough to choose from and dance to at any given moment. And with 12 big names in the scene (ranging from KNTRL to Fabricka), this will definitely be a go-to area.
Famous for their Rock the South set-ups, White Noise will be bringing the Silent Disco to Sickfest this year
Regarded as some of the most fun nights around, Lollipop will have their own area at Sickfest
But of course, sticking to their roots, Sick of Ants will be hosting their own stage, and it’s all about live music.
The Arena will see five bands blaring the night away. Malta’s scene will be represented by Eyes to Argus, Fuzzhoneys, Kill The Action and Align The Tide, all big and respected names in their own subcultures.
Beyond the local delegation of acts, German indie-goths Golden Apes will also be rocking the night away in style.
In 2012, local alternative music promoters Sick of Ants organized a music festival in Buskett featuring the top local acts from the alternative scene.
After a couple of years that saw the organization hosting odd parties around the island, Sickfest returned in 2016 with a two-day festival over Santa Marija weekend. Last year saw Sickfest take a closer form to that most people will recognise it nowadays, with a two-night edition at Tigullio.
Tickets for this year’s Sickfest will be out very soon, and more information on the entire night can be found on the official Facebook event page.