The Island of a Hundred festivals
Every year Malta hosts a number of renowned or growing in fame annual festivals and events.
There is something for everyone’s tastes and the good news is that there is something happening every month, often every weekend of the year
In Malta (or Gozo), visitors can easily get to any event anywhere and be back at base in good time for even more fun. They say size matters – and in Malta’s case its smallness means visitors can pack much more in less time while using less energy.
These are just a few of the events happening throughout the year:
Malta Music Week, embracing the annual Isle of MTV concert, which over the years has become an international crowd-puller. (see isleofmtv.com for details). Stars that have sung here include Lady Gaga, Snoop Doggy, Will.i.am and Nelly Furtado, making this one of the top music festivals in the Mediterranean. On a softer tone the annual Malta International Jazz Festival (www.maltajazzfestival.org) is also rated one of the best in the world, with a line-up of top international and Maltese artistes presenting an eclectic mix of jazz styles from the contemporary musical scene.
All music tastes are catered for and the Valletta International Baroque Festival (www.vallettabaroquefestival.com.mt) has over the years become a real attraction every January for opera aficionados from all over the world.
Held at the Manoel Theatre, one of Europe’s oldest still functioning theatres, the festival is designed to promote and enhance public appreciation of baroque culture and includes performances by some of the most prestigious international and local artistes.
Malta’s own singing sensation, Joseph Calleja, hailed as one of the top tenors in the world, hosts his own annual open-air concert. He mixes pop and opera with a backing children’s choir hard to beat as a night of operatic fun and dulcet voices. International stars from the pop and opera world join Joseph Calleja to belt out pure aural bliss.
Malta’s warm, sunny climate and geographic position also makes it a great place for sporting events, from the gruelling 606-mile Malta Rolex Middle Sea Race (www.rolexmiddlesearace.com), to the popular classic car street race called the Mdina Grand Prix which is held every October.
October’s BirguFest (www.birgu.gov.mt) offers a varied programme of entertainment and events, with special emphasis on the historic value, beauty and attraction of the city of Birgu (Vittoriosa).
Malta is known for its parade of joy and colour, and this is amply seen in the locals’ love of, and expertise in, fireworks.
The annual Malta International Fireworks Festival showcases the best of Maltese aerial pyrotechnic talent, vying with international firework companies. The festival is held in the Grand Harbour, Valletta, and offers a spectacle of colour in a historic setting hard to beat for grandeur and majesty.
For a fuller list of Malta’s ongoing, annual or one-off events, please log on to: visitmalta.com/en/events