Those who were there at the beginning are perhaps the best witnesses as just how far the Earth Garden has come from its humble beginnings. Now in its 9th edition and without a doubt one of the top crowd pullers to be found on Malta's cultural calendar, this year's edition kicks off on Friday, June 5 June through to Sunday, June 7, and this time around, the festival of colours will be strengthening its green credentials even further. It's no secret that Earth Garden is the local greenfinger festival, voicing environmental awareness through arts, music and culture in a holistic way, so it is hardly surprising that once again, the festival has teamed up with the Ministry for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change in announcing the environmental theme for this year’s edition, Getting Greener, which aims to send out a clear message to the thousands who converge upon the venue in Ta' Qali in the space of just 3 days.
Each year, the Earth Garden Festival undertakes a number of environment initiatives, but one can never really do enough when caring for Mother Earth, on top of which there are also increasing challenges due to the ever-growing number of attendees the festival attracts. For this reason, a number of professionals who are experts in their field, among them experts from the Energy Efficient Music Culture project (co-funded by the European Commission www.ee-music.eu) and Global Green Events, world-renowned specialists in sustainable event management, have been engaged to help Earth Garden manage its environmental impact as the event gets bigger and bigger with each passing year.
Indeed, every edition offers bigger challenges to meet the public's expectations, to deliver on the promise that Earth Garden is not just an event, but an experience. This year, according to Howard Keith from the organizing team, was even more exciting. "Apart from working on this edition, we're also preparing for our milestone 10th edition in 2016. Our focus is the line-up of artists and attracting an even larger international audience. Moreover, we're taking the necessary steps to see the Roots Stage embark in the direction that we have envisaged since its introduction, four editions ago.”
The 2015 Earth Garden Festival, will again feature two main areas, namely The Greek Theatre Main Stage and the Open Village. The Greek Theatre, synonymous with the ‘big’shows at Earth Garden, most of which are normally sold out, will host two music concertson Friday and Saturday. This year’s edition will be no different with a concert on Friday by sibling duo The New Victorians, who will be performing their debut album. On Saturday June 6, the Greek Theatre will turn on the lights for the much-awaited Tribali concert, which almost certainly will be the climax of the festival.
The Open Village, the heart of Earth Garden, as per previous editions, will host the Roots Stage, the Electronic Sphere, the Camping Area, the Why Not? Jamming Area, Ethnic Market,the ArtSquare, the Enchanted Forest , a kids fun area and a new area; the Why Not? Workshops & Healing Area.
The Roots Stage, where more than 25 acts will be performing throughout the festival, will be a showcase of talented local artists, among them Stalko, The Rifffs, Brodu and Mana Tapu just to mention a few. The line-up will also feature foreign acts from Eastern Europe, South America, Iran, Italy, Spain, Africa, Ireland, and Germany, including percussion maestro Mohammad Reza Mortazavi who at the age of just 20 was considered by many as the world’s best Tombak player; Ohm Sweet Ohm an Italian duo of electronic music; AkaléWubéwith their popular Ethiopian repertoire of the 60s and 70s; Vilamba, a folk band playing its own compositions as well as traditional Irish and Scottish tunes; and Saint John the Gambler an original Alt Gypsy Swing band with a dance-inducing spirit.
The Electronic Spheredance floor area of techno tunes and psychedelic music, will be hosted on Friday by Remissa with live performances from upcoming electro-performers, on Saturday by Presence featuring Boom Shankar and Sunday byAvantGarde featuring Brian James.The Art Square will again be dedicated for visual arts. This year it will host a one piece installation made from recycled material by Matthew Pandolfino.
The first batch of tickets for the Camping Site has been sold out within an hour; the second batch will be out on Sunday 3rd May from Surplus & Adventure Equipment Store from 9am until 1pm.
For the first time, Earth Garden will dedicate an area, in the extended perimeter of the festival footprint, specifically for workshops. The Why Not? Workshops& Healing Area will be set to host workshops that will mostly covertopics relating tohealthy living and environmental awareness. A secluded spot will be dedicated to this area, away from the hustle and bustle of the Festival’s main area.
The 2015 Edition of Earth Garden Festival is powered by Twistees, and supported the Ministry for Sustainable Development, theEnvironment and Climate Change, CiskExport Premium Lager, Valletta 2018 Foundation, EncoreArts & Culture Magazine, Surplus & Adventure Equipment Store and Xemxija Pit Stop.
The 3-day ticket for the Open Village will be available online at €5 until 1 May 2015, as from 2 May 2015 tickets will be on sale at€8.Concert tickets for the Greek Theatre are €15 for each concert on Friday andSaturday – concert ticket prices will increase at the door. The organisers remind the general public that Greek Theatre Ticket holders will be allowed access to all the 3 days, whilst children under 12 accompanied by an adult will be allowed to enter the festival for free. Online tickets can be bought from www.ticketline.com.mt or the ticket hotline 79948529.