Even though it is one of the smallest countries in the world, festivals in Malta are as big and varied as anywhere. Huge international options include Lost and Found Festival with music and parties spread across pools, beaches, boats and multiple stages.
Festivals in Malta
While the country might be known for festas, festivals in Malta keep the summer schedule full. From music to culinary to beer, wine and arts, there is something for everyone throughout the year. Many of the annual festivals have both Malta and Gozo editions, presenting opportunities to take part, wherever you’re staying. Here are the best festivals in Malta and Gozo, both internationally renowned and some you may not have heard of.
Karnival ta’ Malta
When: Valletta, Malta
When: February 21-25, 2020
Karnival is a multi-centuries old tradition, dating back to the Knights of St. John’s in Malta. Karnival ta’ Malta is the modern version, mixing bright colors and designs with tradition, over five days, all over the island, with a main Carnival village.
The Maltese Carnival is one of the world’s most unique carnivals whereby a celebration of artistic floats, dances and elaborate costumes are entwined with the grotesque and satire, making the genre exclusively a ‘Maltese Carnivalesque’.
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Where: Ta’Qali National Park, Malta
When: May 30 – June 2, 2019
Earth Garden Festival is an annual event, the largest alternative music festival in Malta. It is held in Ta’ Qali National Park, featuring about 120 acts across 5 music areas.
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Lost and Found Festival
When: Café del Mar and St. Paul’s Bay area, Malta
Where: May 2-5, 2019
Malta’s Lost and Found Festival is held over the May bank holiday weekend, with 2019 being its 5th year. The music and dancing is spread over boat parties and castle raves, in Café del Mar, day and night parties and a main festival arena with three stages.
Valletta Film Festival
Where: Valletta, Malta
When: June 14-23, 2019
The Valletta Film Festival takes place annually all over Valletta, including in open-air cinemas, celebrating all types of film. There are free screenings and several pass options for enjoying the films, with reserved seating and access to all of the showings. You can find new movies and documentaries and classic and popular movies celebrated on their anniversaries.
Where: Floriana, Malta
When: June 19-20, 2019
Għanafest is the annual celebration of Malta’s folk music. Għana literally means Maltese folk music and is more traditionally found in village bars. It has been running for over a decade and is held in Argotti Gardens in Floriana (near Valletta). If you miss this festival, you can seek out the music in festas throughout the summer.
Malta International Food Festival
Where: Mdina, Malta and Xewkija, Gozo
When: July 17-21, 2019 (Malta) and August 9-10, 2019 (Gozo)
The Malta International Food Festival is held annually in Mdina in Malta, and has added its Gozo edition in 2017. Over 100,000 people get a chance to taste food from international vendors, from Brazilian to Japanese and food and drinks. It is free to enter and you buy tokens to be used at each stall. The Malta event is four nights and Gozo is two nights.
Farsons Beer Festival
Where: Ta’ Qali National Park, Malta
When: July 26 – August 4, 2019
The annual Farsons Beer Festival is in Malta’s Ta’ Qali National Park. While it’s named a beer festival, it has a feel of a music festival with a large main stage and an electronic music area. With music going all night long, there are plenty of stands to try different beers and ciders and food stalls, boasting over 50 award-winning beers and 50 performances.
Entrance is free and drinks and food are paid for directly to the stalls. The festival works on sustainability and has introduced reusable cups, reducing the single-use plastic impact of the event significantly.
Delicata Classic Wine Festival
Where: Upper Barrakka Gardens, Valletta and Nadur, Gozo
When: August 8-11, 2019 (Malta) and August 23-25, 2019 (Gozo)
The Delicata Classic Wine Festival is an annual wine festival put on by Malta’s own Emmanuel Delicata winemaker. The Malta version is held in Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta, overlooking the harbor, and the Gozo version in Nadur. The timing coincides with the start and finish of the annual Maltese grape harvest.
Entrance is free and you pay $E16 for a glass and satchel of tokens (24). The glass is a souvenir glass and you can use your tokens to try different wines in the festival. Food stalls are located throughout and there is a variety of live music each night.
Where: Ta’ Qali National Park and Sliema, Malta
When: August 11-17, 2019
The second annual Summer Daze in Malta will take place August 11-17, 2019. It is billed as five days of music over seven days. It is a lineup of international artists and takes place in multiple locations – both in the National Park, Ta’ Qali, at UNO, and Tas Sliema, where a pool party will end the festival. Some of the events are even free!
Where: Gianpula Village, Malta
When: August 14-16, 2019
2019 is house and techno Glitch Festival’s fourth year in Malta, held in Gianpula Village in Rabat. It is one of the biggest festivals in Malta and, with major headliners, a major player in Europe’s electronic festival lineup. It is held over three days and wraps up with a boat party.
The Bubble Festival
Where: Golden Bay, Malta
When: September 16-22, 2019
The Bubble, put on by the NGO by the same name, is a sustainable festival around arts and community. All of the profits raised go to selected charities and there is a strong emphasis on sustainability both for the festival and the NGO themselves. The alternative and transformational festival has been running for nine years.
Where: Valletta, Malta
When: October 5, 2019
Notte Bianca covers Valletta for one night each year in October. It is a free event and museums and palaces are open with additional exhibits. It’s a night dedicated to music, arts, literature, dance and any other form of art, including new and digital.
Where to stay in Malta
Malta is a small island, but there are plenty of options of where to stay, from hostels to four-star hotels. The bus system is fairly well-connected but does take quite a long time to get around, so it is best to find accommodation nearest the festival you’re headed to.
(hotel with a panoramic pool view)
Bella Vista Hotel
(St. Paul’s Bay)
Marco Polo Party Hostel
(party hostel in St. Julian’s)
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