Wednesday, 22 April 2015

When we first heard that household name and Radio 1 leading lady DJ Annie Mac was hosing a festival, and better still, one that was taking place underneath the golden rays of the magical little island of Malta, we could not believe our luck. Better still; it fell over the 4-day Easter Bank Holiday, and we could not think of a better way to kick start 2015's festival seasonSo we packed our bags, leaving behind our chocolate Easter eggs and hot-cross buns and headed to the Mediterranean for three days of music, cocktails and inflatable pink flamingosWith a line-up encrusted with some of the most current and classic musical jewels on the scene, including David Rodigan, DJ EZ, My Nu Leng and Toddla T we knew something special was on the horizon for us.

The festival itself was based around two main locations - the first being Café Del Mar which was the hub of the daytime parties and boasted an infinity pool with perfectly picturesque views of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. This was the setting of Friday's pool party, hosted by Toddla T, DRS, Jamz Supernova, North Base, and Mele, who served up hours of house, garage, drum & bass and grime, warming the crowd up nicely for the bass-fuelled long weekend that was still to come. Chapter two of Café Del Mar did not disappoint and Saturday began with a breakfast of cocktails & croissants. As we warmed up for reggae royalty David Rodigan's pool party with a couple of rum cocktails, special guests DJ Barely Legal and Moschino-adorned crew Kurupt FM delivered all the old school classics, getting the crowds pulses racing at exactly 130 BPM. As the sun shone over a sea of bucket-hats, 'Father Rodigan' served up his usual treat of upbeat bass-filled carnival vibes, and a tropical party was well underway by mid-afternoon.

The main site, which was the evening-time hotspot of the festival had a village-like feel to it, surrounded by trees and divided into four stages. Like many other of the festival-goers, the legendary DJ EZ's set which took place on the opening night was a highlight and true to form, he delivered a sterling set opening with UK Garage anthem: Sticky feat. Ms Dynamite's Booo! Already hyped from Saturday's pool party, the day only got better as the sun began to set on the second day. DJ Barely Legal served up her second dose of grime & garage at the Factory stage, followed by an evening of pure musical ecstasy brought to the crowd by the likes of My Nu Leng, Toddla T, Skream & JackmasterShy FX's bass-heavy set was the cherry on top of an incredible weekend with DJ Hazard's 'Bricks Don't Roll' going absolutely off. The festival wound up for us with an injection of classic feel-good tunes including 'Ain't No Mountain' played by Rich Reason at the Tropicana stage, which was beautifully adorned with neon cocktail glasses.

The staff were helpful, the locals were friendly and the country was beautiful. Malta was certainly the perfect place to host this incredibly well organised party, and we have no doubt that Lost & Found is going to grow into something even more amazingWe caught up festival organiser Oliver Hackett to find out more about what went into organising this 3 day tropical party...  

Where did the idea of Lost & Found Festival come from?
After visiting the island of Malta the first time we just knew we had to do a party there. Over the next 12 months, and after many flights, the idea of Lost & Found came about. It really is a passion project for everyone involved.

What did you have in mind when you were curating the line-up?
Anyone who’s listened to Annie Mac’s radio shows will know what music she’s about, and I bet you everyone at Lost & Found will tell you they were very happy with the line-up she curated for the first year!

Did it turn out how you had hoped?
It was everything we’d hoped for! The reception has been great, from everyone who came out to Malta, the DJs, the locals, the team behind the scenes, and all the jealous people back home. Its the crowd who really make a festival, and the crowd out there was amazing.

What is your favourite European festival, and how do you think L & F will compare to all of the other European festivals taking place?
Thats a very tough question! Not sure i have a favourite. Everything from Hideout to Snowbombing to Melt to Sonar are all completely different experiences. Lost & Found works because of the time of year, the lineup, the attention to detail from Annie Mac, and the location too. The country is beautiful, it's easy to get there and get around, and the Maltese people are so welcoming. They certainly know how to party too!

What is your favourite memory from the festival?
Personally i have three…
1) Skream & Artwork’s day party. Those two boys definitely know how to start a party.
2) Annie Mac & Eats Everything at the 'pre-party'. It certainly wasn’t a pre-party, it turned out to be a full on rave with about 3,500 people!
3) DJ EZ. All i can say is find the video online. This man knows how to mix records.

What should we expect to see at L & F 2016?
We’re already planning for 2016 and have quite a few ideas… Not going to spoil the surprises for anyone, but its certainly going to be special.

This three day bass-filled musical extravaganza was the perfect way to welcome Summer 2015, and it's safe to say we'll be back for more next year. Huge thanks go out to Annie and her amazing team for making it such an incredible experience which we are sure, like us, our fellow 7,000 ravers will not be forgetting any time soon...

For highlights and more information about Lost & Found click here.

Words by Ama Samra.