I love holidays and I love festivals, so a festival and holiday combined is my idea of a dream! In late 2017, along with three friends we decided to head out to Malta for Annie Mac’s Lost & Found festival which took place over the first May bank holiday. Bristol only offered one flight a week to the remote island of Malta so we flew out on the 1stMay, two days before the festival begun.
The sun was shining the moment we stepped off the place, we dropped our bags off to hotel and headed straight out for a well-deserved drink. We spent the evening in Miracles Lounge, with the lively vibe of DJ’s playing in the sun, 241 cocktails, overlooking the sea and watching the sunset.
We woke up on the second day hoping to spend the day sunbathing on the rooftop, however waking up the sun did not have its hat on. We could collect our wristbands from Café Del Mar from 11am which was a short walk from our hotel. The organisation was quite poor, when we turned up there wasn’t any signage and there were a lot of festival goers just wondering around. After being told we could collect from 11am, at around 11.15am they decided that actually it would be 12pm. So we headed into Café Del Mar for a cheeky mojito.
When it came to exchanging our tickets, we had a nightmare! Two of us purchased our tickets on Dice, a mobile app meaning we didn’t need to take a physical ticket with us. The girl sorting out the exchange of tickets couldn’t find our booking and told us we’d have to contact Dice for a QR code. We’d been waiting in a queue for about half an hour at this point and wouldn’t be able to get an instant reply from Dice, however a supervisor eventually sorted it out.
The pre-opening party was at Miracles Lounge, it was even busier than the previous evening as all the festival goers had descended upon the small venue. Bugibba Square is lush and is definitely the place you want to head if you’re staying in St. Pauls Bay; it had a McDonald’s (after a few drinks, 20 chicken nuggets are always on the cards!), some great restaurants and some lively bars.
When I usually head to festivals I’ve always gone for a standard ticket, but for Lost & Found we decided to splash out and get a VIP ticket which gave us access to the pre-sale tickets for other parties, a festival t-shirt (because who doesn’t love a festival t-shirt?!), access to a VIP cocktail bar and queue jump as well as giving you entry to all of the pool parties at Café Del Mar and entry to the evening festival venue.
As part of our VIP ticket, we had access to a VIP cocktail bar at the main festival site. We asked various security to point us in the right direction and they were very unhelpful. We didn’t find it until the final evening, which was a shame as when we were in there we had a great time, there was a wider variety of cocktails and a seating area.
As this was our first time at the festival, we had decided we wanted to go to all the additional events which consisted of a beach party, boat party and a castle rave. Each of these additional tickets cost around £30, so on top of our VIP ticket price which was £165 we added £90 on top.
On the first festival day, we headed down to Café Del Mar for the pool party. I’ve been to many festivals over the last few years and understand that drinks cost more but from the previous day cocktail prices had doubled in price, going from €6 to €12! They also didn’t have any cider – being from the South West, naturally I’m a cider drinker so was left feeling a bit disappointed as I don’t like beer and there’s only so much vodka and coke I can drink!
On the second day, we had a beach party and on the third we had the castle rave. We were told in the AMP info pack that we’d need to be at Café Del Mar at 11am so that a coach could take us to the secret location for both events. We turned up on time again, and just like the day we had to collect tickets they weren’t ready for us. By the time we boarded a coach it was 12pm both days and we’d been stood round for an hour waiting for the organisers to set up. I couldn’t fault either event, the atmosphere was amazing, the sun was shining and the music was on point.
On our final festival day, we had the boat party. We had to make our own way to the harbour and it was only a short walk from our hotel. We were told we’d need to be at the harbour by 11.30am, which gave them half an hour to get everyone on board so we could set sail at 12pm. I was scrolling through Instagram in the morning, checking Lost & Found’s story which said to not arrive to the harbour any later than 11am. However, this message was posted at 10.50am (10 minutes before the time we supposedly had to be there).
Fast forward an hour, we’d already arrived at the harbour and they put another announcement to say to arrive by 12.30pm.. it was all very poor, giving us all mixed messages and making everyone stand around waiting to find out what was happening. We didn’t set sail til around 1pm in the end, again I couldn’t fault the actual boat party. The atmosphere was amazing, it was just brought down by the poor organisation but after a few drinks, you don’t remember that!
The evening festival venue again was a secret, we were told that taxi drivers would know the location. We decided to not buy the shuttle bus ticket from Café Del Mar as we thought it would be easier to get a taxi straight from our hotel and back again. It wasn’t as easy as we thought, half of the taxi firms didn’t know the location and we weren’t given the location as we were told they would where it was. We were also getting charged €30-€40 each way, instantly regretting the decision to not buy a shuttle bus ticket. I’d definitely recommend getting the shuttle bus ticket if you’re staying close to Café Del Mar or to use the Malta version of Uber which was recommended to us on the last day of the festival. Instead of the usual €40, it cost us just €19 to get back – so if you’re heading out to Malta download eCabs.
The festival was a cashless event, which I think every festival should adopt. It was much easier to have our wristbands loaded up with money and scanned at the bars, instead of waiting for change and having to carry any on you. It was easy to load up, there were points at every venue so you could top up and getting a refund back with anything you had leftover was also very easy – I received my refund within about a week.
If I was to do it again, I wouldn’t suggest doing all of the additional events. We were staying out until about 3/4AM and having to be up at 9AM to get ready to either board a coach or climb abroad a boat, meaning we weren’t getting a lot of sleep. The pool parties were buzzing from what we saw, so I’d suggest picking either one or two of the events, so you can relax a bit more and make the most of the evening venue. My favourite event has to be the beach party, there’s just something about being on a beach, with a drink in hand listening to good music!
As I studied business and events management at university, it’s probably why I’m a little critical of events because it’s what I had to do for three years! The organisation wasn’t the best and we were stood round waiting quite a lot of the time but we had a lovely time at the festival, the weather was warm, the music was great and the company was even better.
Would I do it again? I’m not entirely sure, there’s only two festivals that I’ve been to and wanted to go to again. I wouldn’t say never but there are so many festivals all around the world I’d like to attend, so maybe again in the future. I would definitely recommend the festival though, especially if you like house music! My EDM genre is more dance-y than house-y; shout out to the girl on the boat party who shouted ‘Yes, a song with words!’, girl I feel you! Annie Mac brought it this year, the line-up was insane and we all had an incredible time.
Have you been to the festival before, what were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!