In few words, Earth Garden means community, great music, green awareness, healing, creativity and inspiration. In its ten years, I have seen Earth Garden festival in Malta grow progressively bigger, better, more beautiful and more charming.
It is fast becoming an unmissable event for thousands of people living in Malta; it is not surprising, considering its growing popularity year after year, that Earth Garden is going global from 2017. So what makes Earth Garden so special?
1. Earth Garden is accessible
Earth Garden features three phenomenal music areas, a delightful healing space, an enchanting ethnic market, a varied food court and more, which provide a wonderful choice of activities for everyone. The festival is dog-friendly, child-friendly and wheelchair friendly.
Festival tickets as well as camping tickets are available for this three-day festival in Malta, where great weather in June is almost guaranteed. Online camping tickets sold out within fifteen minutes in 2016, but in 2017 a quota will be available for international festival-goers wishing to participate in this unique festival in Malta.
2. Earth Garden creates community
The community vibe at Earth Garden festival is unparallelled, probably the world over. Malta’s small size creates a unique dynamic, where one or two degrees of separation means that many locals consider Earth Garden a meeting point that marks the beginning of summer. The good feeling is contagious, as hugs abound and a feeling of camaraderie and shared fun ripples out to friends and strangers alike from day one. The camping area is well-organised, familial and simply delightful. At Earth Garden you feel right at home.
3. Earth Garden music rocks
The festival places a lot of emphasis on the professional setup of its music stages. Upcoming and established local acts and foreign artists provide top class entertainment in all three areas. The Enchanted Forest stage tends towards the acoustic and is the location of the annual Juuls closing reggae party. The Electronic Sphere is the party venue at the festival, with house, techno and psychedelic music by top local and foreign DJs. The Roots main stage invariably presents a marvellously entertaining variety of performers on all three nights, including big names such as Neville Staple in 2016. Wherever you happen to land, get ready to listen and dance the night away to great sound.
4. Earth Garden is a green event
This year’s event included the “3 days 1 cup” and the “Bum-a-lift to Earth Garden” selfie competition, in a bid to keep the event as green as possible. Meanwhile, volunteers from Global Green Events are ready to dive into skips and work tirelessly round the clock to ensure that the bins and environment are kept clean and waste is properly separated. Volunteers give out for free biodegradable soap for camper showers and portable ashtrays too. The whole initiative educates and inspires the festival-goers to live green too.
5. Earth Garden helps you grow
A massive thumbs up this year goes to the brilliant effort at the healing area, which had a wide variety of workshops scheduled regularly throughout the festival. Every year, Earth Garden festival teams up with Why Not? NGO to offer interactive healing and educational workshops, ranging from Qi Gong to Permaculture to Conscious Business practices, which offer inspiration towards personal-development. Set in a secluded area beneath trees, this welcoming haven also provides a calming and interesting refuge from the busy festival when you need it.
6. Earth Garden promotes creativity
It really does, in many ways! The ethnic market not only offers ethnic goods from around the world, but also a rich variety of handmade goods by local artisans. Art made from recycled materials is everywhere you turn, while a prime art installation by a local artist takes pride of place in the arts square. The music and free environment inspires you to move your body without inhibitions and the variety of ethnic food encourages you to go home and be creative in your kitchen. Meanwhile, the general festival atmosphere inspires you to be your better self.
7. Earth Garden takes good care of you
Another huge thumbs up for the facilities, which get better every year. A greater variety of food, at reasonable prices and all delicious, was available at the food court: Mexican, Thai, Smoothies, Vegetarian and Vegan were among the options available this year. Showers were functional and a pleasure to use, without long queues, and toilets were reasonably clean throughout the festival. Earth Garden obviously includes medical emergency and security services too. There are plenty of options to hang a hammock or chill out. It’s easier to have fun when you’re well-fed, facilities are good, and you’re well-rested.
8. Earth Garden is inspiringly beautiful
Set in Ta’ Qali National Park, it is easy to forget the humdrum of life beyond the trees once you enter here. The Enchanted Forest is decorated with fairy lights and recycled art while inspirational quotes throw positive messages everywhere. It is truly a wonderful setting for the Enchanted Forest music stage, jamming area, ethnic market and camping area. The Roots stage deserves a mention, with its stunning papier mache forest-inspired design, while more artistic deco inspired the electronic sphere and the rest of the festival village. The beauty is contagious and brings out the beauty in you.
9. Earth Garden is a playground
You can look at the schedule and plan your festival, which is highly organised and progresses professionally according to plan, or you can simply be a butterfly that flutters from place to place, sure to find nectar wherever it lands. The latter is how I experienced the festival this year, and there was never a dull moment. All the flowers in Earth Garden are beautiful and relishable, and I was always pleased and satisfied to be wherever I happened to be, never concerned that I may be missing something. I was able to experience the child-like presence of here and now that we adults often miss; I felt connected, contented and highly entertained.
For all these reasons, my take on Earth Garden festival in Malta is that it is pretty awesome.
Written by Melanie Drury – www.writer4writing.com