Electronic music is crowded. That’s not a lament, or a criticism, it’s an observation. For the vast majority of us, sweatily bouncing off the front barriers as yet another breakthrough headliner traipses through town - that’s only ever a good thing. But for many within EDM, promoters, agents, venue owners, things are starting to feel a bit jittery as artist fees and schedules become ever more challenging and overheads ever greater. What happens when the EDM market is completely saturated? More to the point - will the crowd ever get tired?
So we decided to investigate. Ibiza has evolved into its own high-end, luxury-clubbing alternate world. Croatia is busy, but it’s an entire country, and Brit promoters mostly run the events - there’s still scope for plenty more international and local parties. Instead, we found an internationally savvy, super established electronic scene that’s been running nationwide parties for over a decade.
Malta has one of the most highly developed electronic music communities on earth. This tiny island of just 420,000 people has helped launch the careers of Tiësto, David Guetta, and Deadmau5, all of whom have been dominating Malta weekenders long before they were dominating billboards. They’ve had everyone from Moby to Afrojack, and last week we saw Gareth Emery play to an outdoor stage set on a harbour, headed to a local resident-takeover pool party at open air venue Aria, then witnessed Nervo play at the 6,000 capacity Numero Uno club the following evening. Ministry of Sound and Creamfields regularly run franchised one-off parties there throughout the summer months, whilst the likes of Joris Voorn and Darius Syrossian play underground parties at smaller venues like Gianpula year round. With a number of international conference and clubbing brands now looking with increasing interest at establishing a hub there, Malta isn’t just a serious outside option for a clubbing weekender in its own right, it’s a live insight into what happens when not just the clubs, but the entire national scene is running at total capacity. Here’s what we saw. -->
Words By Ally Byers