Malta Offers Overflowing Schedule of Events and Festivals in First Half of 2024

Capital city, Valletta - image courtesy of Malta Tourism Authority
Capital city, Valletta - image courtesy of Malta Tourism Authority
Written by Linda Hohnholz

This is highlighted by Malta’s first art biennale starting in March starting on the 11th and running through May 31, 2024.

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A hidden gem located in the heart of the Mediterranean, Malta’s allure extends far beyond its sun-soaked shores. In just the first six months of 2024, the archipelago is poised to become a cultural hub, offering an array of concerts and festivals that celebrate the richness of its history through music, arts, culture, and sports. Highlighting the spring is the inaugural edition of Maltabiennale.art, under the patronage of UNESCO. Malta’s overflowing event schedule has something for everyone and will also provide an opportunity for visitors to explore the three sister islands, Malta, Gozo and Comino. 

Maltabiennale.art held in Malta for the first time (March 11 – May 31, 2024)

Through contemporary art, maltabiennale.art will be investigating the Mediterranean, reflected in the theme for the biennale’s first edition: Baħar Abjad Imsaġar taż-Żebbuġ (White Sea Olive Groves). Drawing over 2500 proposals by artists from 75 countries, the art biennale will unfold on locations mainly within Heritage Malta’s historic sites across Malta and its sister island, Gozo. Two of these locations will include UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Valletta, the capital, and Gozo’s Ġgantija. The maltabiennale.art is a Heritage Malta initiative through MUŻA, the Malta National Community Art Museum, in partnership with the Arts Council Malta.

MUŻIKA MUŻIKA (March 14 – 16, 2024)

Festival Kanzunetta Maltija is a prestigious festival produced by Festivals Malta, that brings together different genres of Maltese music in an annual competition. During the Semifinals, there are 2o contestants competing against each other.

La Valette Marathon (March 24, 2024) 

The highly-anticipated third edition of the La Valette Marathon by Corsa, a full or half marathon event, is not just a race; it’s an immersive experience that combines the thrill of running with a captivating journey through Malta’s rich cultural heritage. Runners will have the idyllic Mediterranean Sea on their left as they follow an entirely coastal route certified by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS). 

Easter Celebration (March 29 – April 7, 2024)

The Easter Week in Malta spans from solemn Good Friday to joyous Easter celebrations across the islands. It features key events such as Our Lady of Sorrows feast (Id-Duluri), Palm Sunday, and Maundy Thursday. Throughout the week, locals and tourists can witness various religious displays, observe Good Friday in churches, and culminate the week with vibrant Easter Sunday celebrations across Malta and Gozo.

Valletta Resounds: The Caravaggio Experience (Annually from March – June) 

Held at the Oratory inside St John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta Resounds elegantly strings together the Caravaggio masterpiece, The Beheading of St John, with theatrical storytelling and timeless classical music. Visitors may also opt to go on an exclusive guided tour right before the performance. This VIP Package offers the rare chance to explore Malta’s most visited historic church without the hustle and bustle of crowds. The tour is conducted in English by a professional Tourist Guide.

Malta International Arts Festival (June 14 – 23, 2024)

The Malta International Arts Festival in Valletta spans 15 days, showcasing a diverse arts program encompassing music, visual arts, theater, dance, opera, installations, films, community projects, and interactive events. Held in the height of the Maltese summer, the festival attracts both local and international audiences, celebrating Malta’s cultural heritage through site-specific performances in unique locations like Neolithic temple sites, Baroque architectural spaces, and the picturesque views of Valletta’s Grand Harbour.

International Firework Festival (June 14 – 23, 2024) 

The Malta International Fireworks Festival is an important event in Malta’s cultural calendar. Fireworks in Malta have a long tradition which is centuries old. The craft of pyrotechnics in Malta goes back to the time of the Order of the Knights of St John. The Order celebrated the most important feasts by special pyrotechnic displays. Later fireworks were used for special occasions, such as the election of a Grand Master or a Pope. Today, this tradition is still very popular, attracting many people. 

Ed Sheeran 2024 Poster
Ed Sheeran 2024 Poster

Ed Sheeran Concert (June 26, 2024) 

Global superstar Ed Sheeran will be performing in the Maltese Islands in what promises to be an iconic concert on June 26, 2024. This event is organized by AEG Presents, Greatt, and NNG Promotions in partnership with One Fiinix Live and supported by VisitMalta and the Ministry for Tourism.

Carnival in Gozo by Tonio Schembri
Carnival in Gozo by Tonio Schembri

Carnival in Gozo (February 9 – 13, 2024)

The Il-Karnival ta’ Malta is an annual festival celebrated on Malta’s three sister islands. The five-day event highlights the culture and religious events that date back over five centuries, and is jam packed with activities from morning to night. The festivities include parades on the streets, night parties, magical costumes and live concerts throughout the islands. Il-Karnival spirit in Malta is a memorable experience for visitors, one not to be missed. 

La Bohème (April 20, 2024) 

La Bohème is the opera of young people, of inspired youths, full of life at the heart of the city of lights. This is the raw emotion which Gaulitana: Festival of Music promises to bring as it celebrates the 100th anniversary of the death of the famed opera composer Giacomo Puccini. The Gaulitana production of La Bohème stage directed by Enrico Castiglione, will feature the Gaulitanus Choir and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of conductor Colin Attard, artistic director of the same chorus and festival.

Gozo Run – Il-Girja t’Ghawdex (April 28, 2024) 

The Ġirja t’Għawdex organized by Run Gozo, is a leading running event in Malta, and it has been taking place since 1977, making it the oldest organized running event in the Maltese Islands. 

Valeriana at Astra Theatre (May 4, 2024) 

Joseph Vella’s demise in 2018 not only left a void in the local cultural scene but also cut short his work on what was meant to be his magnum opus, the opera Valeriana. Based on an award-winning libretto by Vincent Vella, this opera was completed by Christopher Muscat, himself a former composition student of Vella, who will be leading the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra for this world premiere. 

About Malta

The sunny islands of Malta, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, are home to a most remarkable concentration of intact built heritage, including the highest density of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in any nation-state anywhere. Valletta, built by the proud Knights of St. John, is one of the UNESCO sites and the European Capital of Culture for 2018. Malta’s patrimony in stone ranges from the oldest free-standing stone architecture in the world, to one of the British Empire’s most formidable defensive systems, and includes a rich mix of domestic, religious and military architecture from the ancient, medieval and early modern periods. With superbly sunny weather, attractive beaches, a thriving nightlife and 8,000 years of intriguing history, there is a great deal to see and do.

For more information on Malta, visit www.VisitMalta.com.

About Gozo

Gozo’s colors and flavors are brought out by the radiant skies above it and the blue sea which surrounds its spectacular coast, which is simply waiting to be discovered. Steeped in myth, Gozo is thought to be the legendary Calypso’s Isle of Homer’s Odyssey – a peaceful, mystical backwater. Baroque churches and old stone farmhouses dot the countryside. Gozo’s rugged landscape and spectacular coastline await exploration with some of the Mediterranean’s best dive sites. Gozo is also home to one of the archipelago’s best-preserved prehistoric temples, Ġgantija, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

For more information on Gozo, please visit www.VisitGozo.com.

WHAT TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS ARTICLE:

  • In just the first six months of 2024, the archipelago is poised to become a cultural hub, offering an array of concerts and festivals that celebrate the richness of its history through music, arts, culture, and sports.
  • The craft of pyrotechnics in Malta goes back to the time of the Order of the Knights of St John.
  • Held in the height of the Maltese summer, the festival attracts both local and international audiences, celebrating Malta’s cultural heritage through site-specific performances in unique locations like Neolithic temple sites, Baroque architectural spaces, and the picturesque views of Valletta’s Grand Harbour.

About the author

Linda Hohnholz

Editor in chief for eTurboNews based in the eTN HQ.

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