Back in June, our very own ambassador of enjoyment Ore was privileged to have flown to Malta for Black events conglomerate DLT’s four-day festival. Brought in with a sun-kissed backdrop and some of the finest audible contributions by DJ’s and artists alike. Read on as our feature writer details how DLT captured the summer.
When it comes to Black British events, there’s a number of standout moments that are effectively ingrained into the fabric of that universe. The first ever Afro Nation, an infamous Recess that indicted a serious case of FOMO, the dearly missed Merky Fest – and many others that have left an indelible mark on our culture. The structure and content of this ‘list’ will be entirely dependent on personal preference, but if you’re a Black Brit, this list almost certainly exists. It was not long ago in June where DLT Brunch brought out thousands of partygoers for DLT Malta, a festival in collaboration with events and ticketing company Pollen. In doing so, they pulled off an event that cemented its place on that infamous list.
With an inspired line-up that included KAYTRANADA and WizKid as top-billed headliners, expectations for the festival were undoubtedly high. The countdown to the event began subconsciously taking place on social media, with talk of logistics, outfit planning and non-attendees demanding constant streams of content. DLT are no strangers to taking their brand overseas and with previous events in Ghana and Ibiza, it was likely assumed that DLT would take place without so much of a hiccup out of place.
On arrival at Bora Bora Ibiza Hotel (in Malta) – which could be described as the flagship hotel of the 4-day event – there were however, multiple hiccups. A disastrous check-in process by the hotel’s staff left partygoers increasingly frustrated, and the holiday party wasn’t off to the best start. However, it all changed when the first night’s festivities started. Logic prevailed and attendees accepted that hotel issues are beyond the remit of DLT. Enjoyment and putting on a good event though, is entirely within their remit, and the first night was a maximalist show of this, with a spellbinding set from KAYTRANADA as his unique spin on Dance and Electronica toasted a night of Afro-house and Amapiano vibes.
The next day began with a DLT pool party, an element of the itinerary that relied solely on the vibes of attendees. With drinks flowing and a DJ line up selected specifically for the crowd, the atmosphere rejuvenated even the heaviest of drinkers from the previous night. With the music from the pool party pouring out onto the streets of St Paul’s Bay, it was obvious to the most sceptical of onlookers that everyone surely had travelled to DLT Malta to have a good time – something that in theory, should be a given, but often is not.
The carefully curated itinerary saw ‘HOMEGROWN’ later that night, affording time for recuperation and pre-motive nutrition. Standouts from the night were The Compozers, with a live set that covered the crowd favourites across multiple genres, as well as Birmingham-based rapper Millionz providing respite via an injection of UK Rap to an Afrobeats-heavy schedule. The night, a celebration of homegrown talent, also featured up and coming artists and ended the night with a set from Tiffany Calver.
Day 3 introduced something that celebrated DLT’s origin, with a quintessential brunch day party hosted at the iconic Café del Mar. With an Ibiza-style interior and an infinity pool spilling out onto Malta’s clear blue waters, it was the perfect venue to celebrate what made Black Brits fall in love with DLT in the first place. Set up as an add-on purchased by some guests, the brunch consisted of bottomless mimosas and classics such as avocado toast. As the day went on, attendees swapped out prosecco glasses for tequila shots, with the DJ sets going on until way past sunset. The entire day was the perfect example of “if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it”, with the DLT team once again re-packaging their classic brunch-day-party hybrid offering and making it fit for purpose in sunny Malta.
The final day kicked off in the evening, again giving partygoers the opportunity to rest and recover before signing off their last night at the inaugural DLT Malta. With a huge line-up of artists, the seamlessness of the night quelled any concerns about potential ‘final night fatigue’, with excellent artist sequencing. Standouts were Dancehall artist Shenseea, who stood out in an Afrobeats-heavy line up, and young Nigerian artist Rema, who performed a medley of songs old and new, particularly a few from his recent debut LP Rave & Roses.
Performances were closed out by WizKid who orchestrated a 40 minute set, working through some of his classics as well as his Made In Lagos era material. Following this landmark set, the crowd closed out the night in the manner they had spent the previous 3 days – with tequila-fuelled joy and a collective understanding that they made the right decision in coming to DLT Malta.
Not long after attendees had touched back on UK soil did the team announce the dates for next year’s event. With DLT showing no signs of slowing down, it’s clear that next summer will be another unmissable event that many will no doubt want to tick off their ‘list’ in 2023.