Three camping festivals to pitch tent at this spring

From basic tents to bougie breakfasts, get your camp on at these music events
Earth Garden Festival holds the title of camping royalty in Malta. Photo: Facebook.

It used to be that if you wanted to pitch a tent for a weekend away from the madding crowd your best bet was to find a dark corner in Mellieħa and hope for the best in terms of facilities and space. There was always the Mosta Scout Campsite, of course – but not quite the immersion in nature most young campers would have hoped for.

Earth Garden Festival was the first event to make honest-to-goodness fetival camping a thing, with tickets for the Picnic Area in Ta’ Qali pretty much always selling out before even hitting the interwebz. This year things look set to be different, with three full festivals calling out to the nature-lover in you, so get your sleeping bags at the ready for some stargazing and chill afters.

Boomerang Festival, Ta’ Qali National Park, May 4 to 7 – The new kid on the block have just announced their full line-up and it’s a banger. Also taking place in Ta’ Qali (and further proving that we’re sadly short of green, outdoor spaces in Malta), the music vibes are very much on the same wavelength as those of Earth Garden, but maybe a touch more ska meets techno. The biggest pullers are likely to be German techno masters Hardfloor, British psychedelic outfit The Orb, and ex Underworld member Darren Emerson. The camping area comes with a bar equipped with special deals, and those who don’t have an actual tent can buy a pop-up one on site. Lock yours in here.

Into The Vortex, Vincent’s Eco Estate, May 26 to 28 – Less of a 24-hour-party-people vibe and more of a nature vibe, this is another first-timer. The tagline states ‘music, food and fun for everyone’ – anyone familiar with the gorgeously situated ‘farm’ will know that they’re likely to deliver. There’s an added incentive – every attendee will be contributing towards planting or watering a tree, or to help sustain the on-site petting farm. Unlike Boomerang, camping is also open to under-17s and anyone under 12 camps for free. There’s a special programme for teens, a soon-to-be-announced lineup, markets, workshops, food courts, jammig and more. Tickets are available from the Estate itself, but you will find more information here.

Earth Garden Festival, Ta’ Qali Picnic Area, June 2 to 4 – The classic, the legend, the one that even offers glamping options for the fake hippies who want breakfast in bed served with their sunrise. If you’ve been living under a rock far from Ta’ Qali these past few years, Earth Garden is the biggest alternative music festival in Malta, with five music areas, countless headliners and smaller, ‘underground’ sections, a children’s area, fully pet-friendly… the list of pluses goes on. Expect the dreadlocks to be out in full force, so if you’re allergic to the smell of incense this one might not be the best option for you. That said, it’s an honest-to-goodness blast and the closest we get to real festival vibes in Malta.

There are three camping options – fancy, right? Pre-pitched tents for one, bell tents with mattress, pillow and breakfast, and – for the ultimate glampers – bigger bell tents with a list of facilities. Who said camping couldn’t be bougie? Get your camp on here.

Not sure if camping is for you?

Not all of us get excited at the thought of sharing a shower with scores of other people with possibly sus personal hygiene habits. I get it. You can still get in on the action and drive (or taxi, if you’ve been enjoying the spirit of the events) back home in the early hours. If this is your first-time camping, my suggestion is to have a plan B – luckily we’re never too far from home in Malta and most of the tickets are affordable enough to justify a gamble. If things get too hectic for you, remember you’re 30 minutes away from home at worst.

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