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Lost & Found Festival 2015 – Annie Mac, It’s Been A Pleasure! | Review

Hit The Floor check out Annie Mac’s ultimate special delivery, the first Lost & Found Festival in Malta. Details on how it went are inside

Photographer: www.lukedyson.photography

The quiet area of St. Paul’s Bay, Malta was in for a shock as thousands of young people descended on it for the very first Annie Mac Presents…Lost & Found Festival. Some locals were left fairly puzzled as to why so many were appearing, but the majority knew what to expect. After a couple of days prices on food and drink quickly raised as they became acclimatised to the crowd around them.

It was Wednesday night, before the festival started, and the local bar ‘Miracles’ was packed shoulder to shoulder with young, sun-burnt tourists sporting vests and fist pumping to the DJ playing big Tech House tunes. Step outside, and the mayhem is frequent throughout St Paul’s Square, which usually offered nothing but the occasional tourist wandering through in the desolate quietness of the Spring season.

Thursday saw a last minute announcement of a pre-party to the weekend, held at the terrace of the local Aquarium, marking the official start of the Lost & Found Festival 2015. Hit The Floor were there to provide the complete low down on the four days of party madness.

Production

Out of the whole weekend, the warm-up party on the Thursday had the best stage set-up and layout. It was standard, but the backdrop of the Aquarium with the sea front to the right made it pretty special.

During the daytime, the party was held down by the shallow pools at Cafe Del Mar, alongside the stunning backdrop of the sea, which made things perfect as the sun started to set around 9pm.

At night everyone would meet at the car park of Cafe Del Mar, where shuttle buses would take people on a 20-30 minute journey to the festival site, held at a National Park a few miles away.

Photographer: www.lukedyson.photography

There were four stages here: Club Tropicana, The Pyramid, The Factory and the main stage, The Palace. The whole layout resembled a miniature version of The Zoo Project in Ibiza, with a couple of water features tropical foliage and one indoor stage (The Factory).

Moving about was difficult, with no ‘one way’ systems in place, and The Palace was continuously being over-crowded during the main sets, meaning you couldn’t always get a good view of the DJ, who was placed so high up that it was fairly difficult to see them anyway.

The Factory was often very crowded, with poor ventilation that meant things got heated quick. This meant The Pyramid stage and Club Tropicana were the most enjoyable stages to be at throughout the night, if you don’t like to be packed in like a tin of sardines!

The lighting and visuals were spot on, with animated projection on to the stage cut-outs and a sound system that was nothing but perfectly loud and clear all weekend; except for the last day when sound on the main stage was turned down so much you could hear people talking just as much as you could hear the music.

Photographer: www.lukedyson.photography

Lineup

The line-up was obviously the main selling point for Lost & Found, with a range of DJs that offered nothing but the best talent across the three days of the festival. Check out our Top 5 sets of Lost & Found festival, 2015.

Other highlights include sets from Cajmere, Kerri Chandler, MK, Jackmaster and Tenwalls (Live), who sent the crowd into chaos as they dropped their chart-smashing hit, ‘Walking With Elephants’.

Two tracks that featured the most over the weekend were ‘Steve Lawler – House Record’ and ‘David Zowie – House Every Weekend’, which became stuck in the heads of many as they were flying back home to the UK! (Sorry, if you now have ‘House Every Weekend’ stuck in your head!)

Photographer: www.lukedyson.photography

Security

The staff throughout the festival were friendly and while the security looked like they could snap the majority in half with their bare hands, were very polite and accommodating.

Entrance to the festival was very smooth and quick with no queues, other than on the first day to collect wrist bands where a 30-45 minute wait was to be expected.

Crowd

For every Maltese person at the festival, there was about 1,000 British. To say this festival was Brit-dominated would be an understatement. Usually at a festival abroad this means chanting in the streets, heavy drug use, scantily clad dress sense and plenty of fights, but Lost & Found seemed to be slightly different.

There was the usual dose of mischief and the usual shenanigans, but we didn’t see any fights and very little conflict with the locals, despite 7,000 Brits seemingly descending on their town to party over Easter Weekend.

Everyone was polite and friendly with each other, making the crowd one of the highlights of the festival.

Photographer: www.lukedyson.photography

Value for money

The price of the festival was decent, with flights at bargain prices during that time of year. If you look at the likes of Ryanair, Thomson and Easyjet you could easily bag a return flight for less than £200 with the right vigilance.

Shuttle buses cost an extra €40 if you paid in advance, or €50 at the festival. A bit expensive, and probably should have been included in the festival price, as you can’t really experience the festival properly without it.

Food & Drink tokens could be purchased for €5 each, which would cover the cost for a range of food such as Burgers, Hot Dogs and Chips. Drinks were all priced the same, which is pretty expensive considering what they usually are around Malta. All drinks were priced the same, which made it easier to process mentally. For example a can of Red Bull, Vodka Lemonade, Can of Beer and Water were all at €5.

Outside the festival, prices were cheap when we arrived on the Tuesday, with a pint of beer at less than €1, but as more tourists arrived and the locals became wise to the amount of money being exchanged, and they soon escalated to around €3+. A full meal could be purchased for an average of €8 in some of the local restaurants.

While prices weren’t too steep for taxis, we did hear reports of Taxis “conning” those who had a few too many to drink, around the island. One taxi driver charged someone €100 for a trip that could be walked in less than ten minutes. This was despite the festival organisers best attempts to secure a deal with the largest taxi firm on the island, securing deals for €20 each way (which they promoted heavily through business cards and social networks).

Should you go?

Yes, yes and YES! Being the first Lost & Found festival, we didn’t expect it to be as well organised as it was, but the whole weekend executed without any major hiccups and what it lacked in experience, it made up for in terms of pure passion and energy.

Annie Mac clearly knows what she is doing and put together an incredible line-up, with particular focus on decent sound quality (the most important part for an event of this kind!)

Was Malta the right location for this? Probably not, but with further developments it could easily match up to Croatia’s Island of Pag as the new festival party destination abroad.

Lost & Found 2015, it’s been a pleasure.

Photographer: www.lukedyson.photography

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