Anyone who’s ever followed Malta’s alternative music scene will have definitely heard the words Rock The South. A festival celebrating everything the tiny island’s alt scene has got to offer, RTS has been a staple in local hipsters, rockers and punks’ schedules for seven years now. This year, the eighth edition promises to be even bigger than anything fans have seen before.
Returning to the south’s music hub Zion, Rock The South 8 will be going down on the 12th, 13th and 14th April… and the line-up really does have something for everyone
As always, each day will be allocated to different genres and subscenes, with Zion’s two stages making sure there’s always something to check out.
This year’s highlight is definitely Bo Ningen, a Japanese four-piece noise rock band that’s been around for 13 years
From Glastonbury to Coachella, the London-based ‘Enlightenment activists’ have performed at some of the biggest festivals on the planet, along with being featured in iconic campaigns like Alexander McQueen’s McQ collection. Fusing a number of sounds and influences into a storm of grooves, the band has three albums, two EPS and a number of high-profile fans that extend well over a decade.
Some of the island’s biggest acts will also be taking the stage to rock the weekend
90s legends Beangrowers will be returning to the Rock the South stage this year with the first single in a nearly a decade, as will heavy favourites The Areola Treat.
Metal icons SLIT will also be making a hyped return, along with punk favourites BNI and now-staple fun outfit The Ranch. And that’s without mentioning some big electronic names like Capitol K, KNTRL and the notorious DJ-promoter Danjeli himself.
This year sees some of the island’s freshest talent taking centre stage
If you’ve been following the global hype tsunami that is hip hop, you’ll know how much of an important following the genre has managed to carve for itself in recent years. With Malta being no exception, Rock The South is bringing hip hop to centre stage on the first day of the festival.
215 Collective, one of the most hyped names in the industry right now, will be headlining Friday, along with fellow hip hop acts Rea, Fattima Mahdi, Chef and cloud rap promoters Black Plague.
Relative newcomers Roża will also be featuring in the festival’s line-up, opening up Friday’s outdoor stage in style.
A host of acts will also be flying down to perform from the UK
RTS 8 will see Scottish sassy soul singer Emme Woods perform on Saturday, with UK outfit International Diamond Thieves returning for a second year for a performance on Friday.
Also gracing the festival’s line-up are Neon Islands, a London-based four-piece band that have a BBC Music Introducing performance and a sold-out gig at KoKo London opening for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah under their belt. The UK band also boasts Jamie Hayes as part of the line-up, a Maltese bassist who’ll gladly be returning to the island for Rock the South.
Beyond the two blistering stages, the festival will also be bringing back the beloved Silent Disco
One of the highlights of the three-day music festival, the Silent Disco is a large tent where two different DJs simultaneously pump music into the audience straight through headphones. The whole thing makes for a surreal (but super cool) experience which has become unique to the island, and this year is no exception.
2019 sees local promoters Dark Wave, Bass Culture, Electronic Music Malta and RTS’ own crew of DJs taking to the mixers (and the headphones).
Taking the headphone phenomenon beyond DJs, Sunday will see the tent being turned into Band In A Camp, a concept very similar to the Silent Disco but with live bands supplying the music instead. The concept, which kicked off last year with Band In A Can at Sliema’s Hole In The Wall, will see bands transmitting their sweet tunes straight to headphoned revellers.
Balcony TV will also be returning to Malta for the festival, filming bands for stripped down performances at the picturesque surroundings of Zion, which is currently undergoing some substantial refurbishing.
Early Bird tickets for Rock The South are up for grabs, but they’re soon set to sell out
€25 tickets for the three-day festival are out and can be bought now from Trackage Scheme, but considering the huge success of RTS over the years, we wouldn’t wait too long if we were you!
In the meantime, keep up to date with all things RTS on the official Facebook event page.