Live Report: DLT Malta 2022

How it felt to be God’s favourite…

It’s no secret that festivals have been struggling to bounce back post-Covid, this year we’ve seen some of the biggest names on the scene stumble and scramble to find their footing. Artist cancellations, low ticket sales and supply chain problems have left many long-time promoters and punters pulling their hair out in dismay.

With all of this in mind, it makes what the DLT team accomplished in Malta this year so much more monumental. Especially considering this was their inaugural international festival. I can say this with honesty and ease, I would legitimately fight a big grown man for a spot at the next one.

For those poor souls out there who don’t know who Days Like This (DLT) are. It started out as a brunch day party in South-East London, inspired by the vibrant Black brunch culture of New York City, a practice that enables these communities to support Black-owned restaurants and businesses alike. Since the formation of DLT in the summer of 2016, the organisation has folded into their collection of achievements countless events across the globe, sets from iconic musicians, top-tier food and a dedicated community who never fail to bring a good time. I fully recommend you read our most recent feature about them by Rahel Aklilu to truly understand the scope of what DLT has achieved together in the past six years.  

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Live Report: DLT Malta 2022

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This year they gave us their first festival, DLT Malta. Imagine this, you spend four days straight on a sunny island surrounded by beautiful people, some of the best music around and impeccable vibes. I already knew the festival would be good but in all honesty, I was blown away.

Unsurprisingly their choice of venues was on point, but when has it ever not been. My personal favourite was the Saturday at Café del Mar, which had the most beautiful views and if you’d told me the space was designed with a bond villain in mind I would believe you. Malta itself was a spectacular location choice and will definitely be receiving another visit from me. The lineup highlighted such a wide range of Black music and cultures, from afro house all the way through to dancehall, that everyone had something they adored there for them.

Day One started out in the evening in Uno, the largest open-air club in Malta, the energy was palpable and after the end of Kaytranada’s set the first evening, I already knew I would be back given even half the chance. Day Two rolled around and you’d catch me at their poolside party, sunning myself on a sun lounger with a long island iced tea in my hand and trying to formulate a mental plan that meant I would never have to go back to England. As the party went on the crowd stayed high energy and brought so many people out of their hotel rooms to dance on their balconies.

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Live Report: DLT Malta 2022

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Afterwards, we moved back to Uno for their selection of Homegrown UK talent that included M1llionz and WSTRN as two of my personal favourites. By day three I was scared I might run out of steam but once AmariaBB took the stage it was clear that was not an option for any of us. Everyone was dancing and drinking until the crowd had to be turfed out by the venue owners because nobody wanted to stop the party. The final event on day four went down in the Gianpula main room. Shenseea, Juls, Rema and Boj all graced us with their talents before the supreme being that is Wizkid took to the stage. Words cannot describe how spectacular this lineup in particular was. It was also to my mind where the visuals and production of the show shone through the strongest.

Over the course of the festival a couple of sets had to be pushed back timing-wise but I think for a basically entirely Black crowd nobody minded an extra hour or two to do their thing, we were all going to be late anyway (at least I know I was). As an island Malta is super easy to get around, we were never more than a 20-minute taxi from wherever we wanted to be. Although on reflection I would definitely recommend booking your cars for the end of the night ahead of time to avoid the surcharge the post-event rush brings.  

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Live Report: DLT Malta 2022

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DLT Malta is a real testament to not only the DLT team but also the community they’ve built over the years. To spend four days revelling in Black joy surrounded by amazing people and a slew of incredible events was a completely irreplaceable experience. Also, I know you can’t hold a team of organisers personally responsible for the beauty of their crowd but this time I’m going to fold that into their successes too, everyone showed out looking incredible.

The only disappointing thing about the whole experience is having to come to the painful realisation that event-wise, my summer may have peaked and it’s only June! Thank god Carnival is happening this year otherwise I would be hitting a tough time coming down from the high DLT Malta left me on.

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Words: Naima Sutton

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