When it comes to attending local cultural events, I always try to predict the amount of pushchairs that will be bumping into me from all possible directions before deciding whether to go or not. It seems to be a local phenomenon how most parents find nothing wrong in taking their screaming kids and colossal pushchairs to every ‘child-unfriendly’ event that takes place on the island. They’re there at rock concerts, beer festivals, and in the scorching summer sun, clogging the passages through the crowd and creating more traffic.
Nothing, however, not even the fear of encountering an army of ‘Pushchair Transformers’ and an anarchy of spoilt kids, was going to stop me from attending this year’s Earth Garden Festival. On arriving at the venue, a wave of relief washed over me. Instead of the usual riff raff, I was in the company of comely, eclectic individuals, whose positivity radiated feel-good vibes throughout the park.
Strolling through the flamboyant ethnic market felt like a surreal experience. I made sure I stopped at all the stalls ensconced amongst the trees, admiring the colourful display of all things exotic. Some of the stalls were curtained by an array of beautifully crafted Indian throws, and showcased a collection of symbolic accessories and ornaments from various cultures. I ran my fingers over a Peruvian velvet painting which depicted traditional rural life, with peasants rearing their lamas against a background of straw-thatched huts. The softness of this handmade artifact, along with the sense of nostalgia that it conveyed, was enough to propel me into buying it.
When our feet had done about fifteen laps around the market, my better half and I decided to sit down and continue absorbing the blissful atmosphere. We nestled under a tree, sipping green tea and munching away on a giant chocolate cookie. The iridescent lanterns hanging on the branches above us danced with the cool summer breeze. Meanwhile, a mix of psychedelic beats, live jazz music and the primitive hum of didgeridoos reverberated around us. But that pleasant background music was just the warm-up for the night’s main attraction.
At around 8, the amphitheatre located at the heart of Malta’s National Park in Ta’ Qali started filling up. I am proud to say that I was part of that enthusiastic, vibrant crowd, who had congregated at the Greek theatre for the night’s star performance; Tribali. As the name connotes, the band’s music is a celebration of love, spirituality and peace, conveyed through a diversity of ethnic and oriental rhythms. Tribali’s pulsating performance, with their uplifting beats and breathtaking visuals, never fails to send the audience into a state of spiritual ecstasy. Hopefully it won’t be long until their next performance.
This year’s Earth Garden has truly been a magical start to Summer 2013.