We’re celebrating 10 years of Squadron with 10 unique mixes. To do so, we've handpicked a selection of foreign and local artists who have defined what we stand for through the years. Each of them brings back the music from those sweaty strobe-lit dance floors, straight to your bedroom!

From Old Watchtowers to Sold Out Festivals: Remembering a Decade

  • 10 Years of Squadron

    10 Years of Squadron

    It’s 26th April, 2003. The ground floor of an old watchtower located in the North-Eastern part of Malta has been turned into a makeshift dance-floor, while that which was probably once an armoury has been skilfully converted into a DJ booth. Amid the smoke and dankness, some hundred ‘electro-heads’ are bobbing their heads to tracks dropped by Belgium’s Spacid, who has been brought over by Squadron for the night. The island has never seen or felt anything like this before.

    Ten years later, and Squadron has gained a Europe-wide reputation for being one of the leading active organizations on the electronic dance music circuit. It has hosted a wide array of acts, from 2manydjs to Juan Atkins, to Legowelt to Tiga, and has been driven to move many of its nights to the biggest open spaces and venues on the island due to exponential growth of the Squadron crowd.

    Throughout the decade, every concept which Squadron has had any say in has been marked by the highest quality and a meticulous attention to detail. Very few (if any) other promoters could so ably juggle between events spanning across the electro, house and techno genres. Made up of proper music lovers who are as capable of detailing a history of acid as they are of starting mosh pits on the dance floor, the Squadron crowd also contributes greatly to making each event special.

  • Dancing on the Edge

    Dancing on the Edge

    While remaining true to its roots of Chicago house, The Hague’s Electronix, Detroit Techno, Italo-disco and Acid, Squadron has been able to remain relevant and cutting-edge by knowing when (and most importantly how) to move with the times.

    The openness to readily embrace fresh talent and trends (also thanks to the continuous guidance of good friends like Spacid), as well as to form a series of partnerships with other serious promoters – with the most notable and fruitful example being the partnership with DonDisko - has kept Squadron alive and differentiated it from a multitude of others who got stuck in ruts and weren’t so lucky. The original custom material and artwork produced to promote each night, and the huge ‘Blue Octopus’ stage purposely built and set up to house the DJ booth at 2010’s edition of the Squadron Festival, are just two examples proving innovation and ‘staying on the edge’ are central to anything brandishing the Squadron star logo.

    Dancing on the Edge
  • The Decade’s Best

    The Decade’s Best

    This first decade of Squadron has seen many remarkable moments, some of which were even ‘game-changing’ in terms of the local dance music scene. Every event was special in its own way, and artists like Erol Alkan, Gesaffelstein and any one from Bunker Records, Crème, Clone and BNR crews left lasting impressions on us. Every single artist who has manned the Squadron decks has also claimed to have experienced one of the best crowds on the globe.

    Squadron Festival 2007 - A Stroke of Luck

    Squadron’s first open-air festival happened, to great public acclaim, during the only few hours of clear and starry night skies one very gloomy and wet Maltese October, in 2007. Unusually for October, the island had been battered by the heaviest rains and winds for an entire week prior to the event day. With the wooded area booked for the festival being particularly prone to flooding, and Marshall Jefferson, Dr.Lektroluv, and Spacid booked and confirmed as headliners, Squadron was faced with the tough decision of whether to cancel the festival or risk it all and go ahead with preparations.

    Just a few hours before the first supporting acts were scheduled to play, the weather changed drastically, with the rain and winds completely ceasing and the festival grounds seeing a 2,500 strong crowd easily dancing the night away. Five years later and the festival has gone down as one of the best electronic music events to have ever happened on the island, and the fact that the rains and winds resumed just as the closing track of the night was being played adds to the mythical nature of that night.

  • The Fall of Boundaries

    Bunker Night 2006 - The Fall of Boundaries

    In true Squadron fashion, Bunker Night 2006 saw a number of Northern European artists come together, to delight an assorted thousand-strong crowd. The night would go down as one on which electro-heads, acid, techno, and italo-disco lovers came together to sway to the legendary Legowelt, DJ TLR, Orgue Electronique, and Chicago Shags, who all played memorable sets that pleased and impressed all of those present.

  • Tiga & Djedjotronic 2011

    Tiga & Djedjotronic 2011 – ‘A 9/10’

    The fact that Tiga has very deservedly gained the luxury to be picky about where he gigs and where he doesn’t was already enough to get everyone looking forward to this one as soon as the night was confirmed. Djedjo had already graced the decks at one of Squadron’s club nights and impressed all present a year before so everyone knew it was going to be one for the books, but this would also mark Tiga’s very first visit to the island, so music enthusiasts from both sides of the spectrum went into overdrive. The night came and everything went flawlessly, with the crowd’s ‘sit-down’ for ‘Shoes’ marking Tiga’s set as one of the most memorable in local dance music history. The fun and legendary factors were maxed the morning after, when Tiga tweeted a ‘thank you Malta’ note, grading the previous night’s party a 9 out of 10 and categorizing it as one of the best of his Summer.

  • The Decade’s Worst (and Comical)

    The Decade’s Worst (and Comical)

    Naturally, with the growth in popularity and increased magnitude of events, comes greater risk. Throughout these ten years, we’ve bumped into more than a couple of glitches which have made us grow and learn. In remembering some of them today, we despair and still find it hard to believe our bad luck. In remembering others, we pat ourselves on the back for handling them as best we could. In remembering the rest, we laugh our asses off.

    Proxy & 2manydjs – All Odds Against

    Within a span of three months in the Summer of 2010, Proxy and 2manydjs had been booked to play Squadron Festival and one of the biggest outdoor venues on the island respectively. Both shows sold out in weeks. Just a few hours before the festival, Proxy cancelled his appearance due to an accident involving an aeroplane and a broken leg. Fortunately, the other festival headliners Kevin Saunderson, Alden Tyrell, and D.I.M were there to save the day. A couple of hours before the 2manydjs show, Stefan had to cancel due to an accident involving a baggage truck crash and (another) aeroplane. Fortunately Dave could make it and 1manydj saved the day. The thousands present at both events were understandably more than a little disappointed and Squadron had to deal with a fair amount of blame and damage control.

  • Gesaffelstein

    Gesaffelstein – ‘... but it was well worth the wait’

    Another much anticipated event was the one featuring Gesaffelstein. Just a couple of hours before the gig, he fell ill and could not make it down to the island on the night. He did promise that he would come back soon, and boy, did he keep that promise. Just some months later in September 2012, the French hero played for Squadron, to a club packed to full capacity. It turned out to be another memorable event.

  • AUX 88

    ‘Cars’

    In part due to the sorry state of some roads on the island, in part due to some level of personal carelessness, the cars used to drive DJs to and from the airport are not always in tip top shape. AUX 88 witnessed this first hand, when on a rainy night, the car taking them from the gig to the airport ceased. Cooperating with the driver, AUX 88 themselves ended up having to push-start the car. They were successful after various attempts, and yes, they made it to the airport. Tiga also experienced mechanical car problems when the door handle of the car used to drive him from the airport to the hotel broke off as soon as he tried to open the door.

  • The Acts

    Through the decade, we’ve had the privilege of hosting a number of acts, some more than once, who have all left us with great memories (and sometimes also huge hangovers). From here, we’d like to show immense gratitude and send a big ‘we hope to see you again soon’ to:

    The Acts - 10 Years of Squadron