While it may be tempting to spend your entire holiday at the beach – and with all the sparkling and breathtaking vistas at Golden Sands, who can blame you – the summer months in also offer a calendar brimming with . From pop spectacles and operatic extravaganzas to mouth-watering food and wine festivals, there’s something exciting to do and see whichever week you . Here’s our guide to the best events and festivals happening over summer.
ISLE OF MTV MALTA
Malta’s biggest free with a stellar line-up of performers. However, you’ll have to wait to find out who is on the list, as MTV drip feeds the information to hungry music fans in the run up to the event. So far, Martin Garrix and Bebe Rehxa are confirmed. The full line-up will be posted on the official website. In addition to the concert, various club nights and sunset beach parties are during what MTV has dubbed ‘Malta Music Week’, in the days leading up to the main event. Even if you don’t go, you might bump into a celebrity or two chilling out at the B or on Golden Bay.
concert will once again take place on the Granaries in
MALTA JAZZ FESTIVAL
15 – 20 July
Staged in the picturesque , the Malta must have one of the most spectacular backdrops in Europe’s scene. Headlining acts from the eclectic world of jazz perform in this five day between 15 – 20 July. It takes place mainly in Valletta but are also planned for in and Birgu (Vittoriosa). This year, some incredible performers have been announced, making this a truly . They include world renowned saxophonist Kenny Garrett, Grammy nominated jazz vocalist Jazzmeia Horn and legendary jazz drummer Omar Hakim, who has collaborated with Dire Straits, Daft Punk and David Bowie. The main headliner is six-time Grammy Award Winner and Cuban jazz legend Chuco Valdes.
No matter your , you’ll find a in Malta for you. So, if you’re into electronic, house or techno music, then you’ll want to time your arrival for 14-16 August when the Glitch takes place in Rabat. The line-up has been announced and includes from Ben Klock, Carl Cox, Bicep and Helena Hauff. While the festival is mainly h at Gianpula , near Malta’s fortified , there are six stages in all, including a rooftop pool party, a secret cave rave and a boat party.
MALTA’S INTERNATIONAL FOOD FESTIVAL
17 – 21 July
Indulge in four days of al fresco eating and drinking in the medieval between 17 – 21 July at Malta’s International Food Festival. Expect freshly-prepared dishes and the finest sweets. There’ll also be cooking demonstrations and spectacles themed around international cuisines. If you’re not here that week, don’t worry, a smaller event takes place a short ferry-ride away in Gozo on 9 and 10 August.
THE FARSONS BEER FESTIVAL
25 July – 3 August
This sprawling, free, outdoor is as much a as it is a beer . It brings together the best local music, beer and entertainment at Ta’ Qali National Park. If you’ve ever been to Malta before, you’ll have heard of Cisk, and the is organised by its brewer, Farsons. But you can also expect a large range of local and international craft and speciality beer. Running over 10 nights, from 25 July to 3 August, the event draws thousands of people. They come not just for the beer but also for the three music stages, including a dedicated rock stage.
GOZO CERAMICS FESTIVAL
from and beyond will come together to showcase their magnificent talents of sculpting, hand modelling and craftsmanship in this lovely . Kids will even have a chance to get their hands dirty in a dedicated hands-on area. The festival, on 4 August, is a chance to purchase a truly original souvenir from charming Xlendi Bay, a popular swimming and snorkelling spot on the
. It’s also an opportunity to
DELICATA WINE FESTIVAL
The has been organised by Emmanual Delicata, since 2002 and you can try their indigenous grape varieties, Gellewza and Girgentina as well as other Maltese wines.
16 – 18 August
Malta’s summer carnivals have become a big hit in recent years. Flamboyant dance and kooky, colourful papier-mache floats will parade through the in two of the ’s popular coastal towns from August 16 – 18. If you want to stay north, choose Bugibba or travel to the south of the to the fishing of Marsaskala.
JOSEPH CALLEJA & ANDREA BOCELLI IN CONCERT
It is one of the most hotly anticipated on Malta’s calendar. World-famous Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja will be hosting his annual classical crossover concert in . If you watched his amazing performance at Wimbledon, you’ll know what all the fuss is about and will want to book your to be here on 24 August. This year, it promises to be an even more magical night, because the legendary Italian opera star Andrea Bocelli will co-headline.
MALTA’S INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL
28 June – 14 July
We’ve highlighted this before, in our list of events to look out for in Spring 2019. But the International Arts Festival lasts from 28 June – 14 July so you can still get involved if you are visiting in early summer. This year’s theme for and is water. Sticking to that theme, one of the most anticipated events is a sunset performance across the , with musicians, acrobats and other performing on a Turkish gulet. Two of Malta’s will also be showcased in three separate performances. Firstly the theatrical work ‘Pope Joan’ will take place in the ditch gardens, and secondly, Ħaġar Qim will become the backdrop for two festival productions: ‘Temple Percussion’, featuring Chinese percussionist Beibei, and a virtuoso recital of contemporary works called ‘Ancient Voices’.
THE GOSTRA AT ST JULIANS FESTIVAL
You’ll be watching through your fingers for this one. In Malta’s traditional sport, the gostra, competitors run up a greasy pole with the aim of grabbing a flag before splashing into the on 25 August. There’ll also be all the other ingredients of a traditional Maltese festa – marching bands, a religious statue carried through the , fireworks and traditional food. We recommend you try freshly deep-fried Imqaret (delicious pastries filled with dates). You’ll never look at a fig roll the same way again. below. This contest features in several festas in Malta and Gozo. The biggest and best known, however, is in
As roll into summer, its boisterous festa season truly gets underway. Several religious festivals happen every single weekend so you’ll probably encounter at least one during your stay.
The feast of Santa Marija on 15 August is the biggest of them all and is celebrated in seven different villages around the islands. We particularly recommend checking out the festivities in Mosta or Victoria, Gozo, both of which throngs of locals, beautifully decorated and masterful firework displays. In fact, each festa is like a mini (you’ll have to in Spring to see the biggest one on the ).
Here is a full list of all the festas happening in July and August.
- 7 July – Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Fleur-de-Lys; St Andrew; Hal Luqa; St Paul, Rabat; Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Sliema; Immaculate Conception, Hamrun; The Visitation of Our Lady, Gharb.
- 14 July – The Annunciation, Balzan; Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Fgura and Gzira; Our Lady of Relief, Kercem; St Joseph, Kircop.
- 16 July – Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Valletta.
- 21 July – St George Martyr, Victoria Gozo; Our Lady of Holy Doctrine, Tarxien; St Joseph, Kalkara; Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Zurrieq; St Joseph, Msida; St Sebastian, Qormi.
- 28 July – Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Balluta; St Margaret, Sannat, Gozo; St Anne, Marsaskala; Christ the King, Paola; Santa Venera, Santa Venera; Our Lady of Sorrows, St Paul’s Bay; St Joseph, Zebbug.
- 4 August – St Peter in Chains, Birzebuggia; Our Lady of Pompei, Marsaxlokk; St Joseph, Qala Gozo; Our Lady of Lourdes, San Gwann.
- 5 August – St Dominic, Valletta;
- 6 August – Christ our Saviour, Hal Lija
- 10 August – St Laurence, Birgu (Vittoriossa)
- 11 August – St Laurence, San Lawrenze, Gozo
- 15 August – The Assumption of our Lady in the following towns: Attard, Birkirkara, Ghaxaq, Gudja, Zebbug, Mosta, Mqabba, Qrendi, Rabat Gozo.
- 18 August – The Assumption of Our Lady in Dingli and Mgarr; St Helen of Constantinople, Birkirkara; Our Lady of Lourdes, Paola; Our Lady Star of the , Sliema.
- 21 August – St Pius X, Santa Lucija
- 25 August – The Assumption of Our Lady, Zebugg, Gozo; St Leonard, Kirkop; St Dominic, Birgu; St. Bartholomew, Gharghur; Maria Regina, Marsa; St Joseph, Manikata; Converstion of St Paul, Hal Safi; St Julian, St Julian