Simultaneously, event co-founder Kevin Ellul darts around the compact site in his Glitch-branded tee, somehow managing to keep his composure in between the occasional cigarette break, the mark of a man who’s seen this all before. When he gets a rare moment to chat, he explains his ambitions for this year’s festival: “we just want to take it up a notch”.
Ellul’s confidence reflects Malta’s growing reputation as a dance music destination. Annie Mac has run her annual Lost And Found festival on the tiny Mediterranean island since 2015, while Elrow debuts in the country this month. But Glitch, also three years old, remains the only festival run entirely by local promoters, all of whom have had a hand in developing the island’s underground dance music scene over the past two decades.
Last year it moved to Gianpula Village, a compact clubbing complex located in a valley near the city of Żebbuġ. Despite containing nine venues, Glitch only uses five, as the team wants to create, as festival co-owner Karl Attard suggests, a more “intimate feel”. Glitch also places great importance on the Maltese raver, particularly evident in its booking strategy. “We send out surveys and people pre-registered their favourite artist,” explains Allul, “and we follow a lot of social media profiles and really start getting a feel here and there”.