Glitch Festival is returning to Malta next weekend, with a stellar lineup featuring acts like Ben Klock, Blawan, DJ Seinfeld, DJ Stingray, Palms Trax and Marcel Dettmann. Taking place over September 7th and 8th in the 300-person village of Mdina next to a ancient castle, Glitch is fast becoming a must-hit festival for those looking to try something a little more underground and intimate.
But before the weekend commences, we spoke with local DJs like Jupiter Jax, the owners of Liquid Club and Sunset Records, and Glitch Founder Kevin Glitch to get an inside look at a side of the island you might not have heard about before.
Kevin Ellul - Glitch Festival Organiser
Malta is climbing the ranks as a new festival hotspot at the moment. What do you think it is that is drawing people to the island?
In recent years a number of festivals started to pop up in Malta. All festivals are very different from each other. This has definitely put Malta in the spotlight as a top upcoming festival destination.
What kind of vibe and music can people expect from the festival?
We're a relatively small festival, so the atmosphere will certainly reflect this. The crowd will be very selective as is the lineup. We're coming off a very good start last year with Glitch Festival's first edition, it's safe to say it will only get better.
What local promoters, venues or clubs people should look at checking out on the island?
If you're into techno and house, anything happening at Liquid Club. Over the recent years, all the great artists in the industry have performed there. The club has built somewhat of a cult following now.
In summer keep an eye on Gianpula Village, which is hosting a number of one off events and weekly club nights. Whatever your music tastes, you are bound to find some of the best nights out in summer here.
Have you noticed an increase in music tourism in recent years?
Yes definitely. The numbers are increasing rapidly year after year.
What statement does Glitch Festival make for Malta?
Glitch Festival has evolved out of around 15 years of very successful club nights, it was a natural progression. It's also one of the very few local brands. Standing out as a the only non-commercial electronic music festival held in Malta. The production and venue chosen for Glitch cannot be compared to anything else locally, we've worked very hard on this year's edition and can't wait to get going as we're only a couple of days away now.
From day one we’ve set a target to always confirm a bigger line-up (year after year) than the previous edition, and I think we’ve managed this year. It’s easily the best ever curated line-ups to perform in Malta. The headliners are currently some of the most respected and requested in the world. There are no filler acts, working your way down to the so called “smaller” names on the bill. Just exciting producers and selectors.
Does the festival programme reflect the people’s taste?
It's hard to answer this question. I guess it reflects our tastes. We are putting a festival that we'd would want to attend ourselves. It's safe to say that Glitch represents a niche scene that want to listen to quality house, techno, electro, disco, italo, acid, you name it.
Jupiter Jax - Local DJ
Malta seems to be one of the hottest new electronic music destinations at the moment. What do you think it is that is drawing people to the island?
I would say it’s a mix of highly relevant events and the joys of having that on a small island in the Mediterranean. The weather helps a lot too I’m sure
What should people expect from Malta? Are there local promoters, venues or clubs people should look at checking out on the island?
Best thing always is to come with no expectations and play it by ear. In general, the vibe here even outside of music is a very positive laid back feeling. Personally I would check out what is going on at Liquid Club in San Gwann. That’s the club where I grew up in musically. But there are a bunch of clubs playing all sorts of music littered around the island. September we also have the 2nd edition of Glitch Festival—great line-up of foreign and local artists. Really looking forward to this one.
As an artist, do you feel that Malta’s size has helped or hindered your career?
Malta’s size means that you can have a career within it quite easily, but that doesn’t help much if we are talking about a career outside of Malta. Then it really depends on what you are happy with.
Iconic Malta track, and why?
Unfortunately, the artist has passed away at a very young age this year. To me, this is one of this iconic tracks. Thankfully he was prolific enough in a short period of time that there is a lot of his music around.
Gary Desira - Liquid Club
How is having more festivals on the islands effecting the scene? Do you think Malta will ever go down the Croatia and Ibiza route?
Yes, we do believe that Malta has the potential to follow Ibiza's success. Our weather, beaches, nightclubs and history does make it a great destination that tourists must visit. And Glitch festival has curated a fantastic lineup. The success of the festival comes to no surprise. It is one of the cultural events that has already left it's mark and is attracting more people to visit our country from across the world.
What role does Liquid play in the Maltese scene?
The club itself has been operating for 19 years now, we are looking forward for our twentieth anniversary next year. It wouldn’t be what it is today without the ongoing calendar a list of promoters have had over the years especially the team behind Glitch Festival itself booking the likes of Ben Klock, Marcel Dettmann, Nina Kraviz, Helena Hauff, Speedy J, Voiski, and Surgeon to name a few. It’s also a second home for many, we would say. We have our own regular crowd, with it being the only underground club experience the scene in Malta has to offer, as it only focuses on the music and the artist that is playing.
Cain Farrugia - Local DJ
What's the best city or town for music?
It all depends what you’re after really. From my perspective as I happen to enjoy live jazz music, I would suggest Valletta. It’s the capital city. There are quite a few bars around and another one just opened called Offbeat. If club nights are what you’re after I’m sure the Liquid Club would suit you just fine. It’s in a central location, San Gwann, and has an interesting roster with local promotions doing club nights every week.
Iconic Malta track, and why?
One track that comes to mind is The 7th Plain’s “To Be Surreal.” This is a Luke Slater alias which is used for his easier techno and ambient stuff. I choose this as it has such an easy and laid back feel that it’s almost surreal.
Brian Petersen - owner of Sunset Records, Malta's leading vinyl shop for electronic music
Malta has a lot of good music events all year round; during summer, in particular, you are spoilt for choice with so many parties held every week. I think that, in the coming years, Malta will continue to be a clubbing destination that is not to be missed. And now Glitch Festival have shown, once again, that they can put together an amazing line-up with the best artists and DJs from the electronic scene. I think this festival is here to stay and will continue to grow.
Header image: Shift Malta, Badbox, Daryl Cauchi \ Event Photographer at Liquid Club Malta