Did you know that Malta has a lot of yearly events, festivals and festas? Here you will find a full overview of the very best festivals in Malta, with updated 2021 dates!
I’ve said it before and I will say it again: Malta is a tiny country with lots to offer. Across the island of Malta (and Gozo) there are lots of events hosted every year that are worth a visit. From free music festivals to extravagant wine and fireworks events, there is something for everyone.
It might be some time until we can experience a music festival full of packed crowds and moshpits again, but there is still lots to explore and look forward to as restrictions start to ease up.
In this guide, I go through some of the biggest and most popular events and festivals in Malta. The events are all (normally) hosted on a yearly basis. Learn more about the events or scroll down for a full calendar of events and festivals of 2021, sorted by month.
Music Festivals in Malta
Not a lot of international artists add Malta to their European tour list, but there is a lot of local live music in Malta. And several times a year, you can get a proper show from a music festival on the island. Here you will find everything from classic music and jazz, to international pop artists and DJs.
The Valletta International Baroque Festival (Valletta)
Looking for something classical? Then the yearly Valletta International Baroque Festival is for you. The festival was established in 2013 and sees more than a week of classical concerts and performances in Valletta. As the name suggests, there’s a focus on baroque music. But there are also acts of early music and contemporary works inspired by the baroque. One of the main stages of the festival is Teatru Manoel, a beautiful venue that is actually the oldest working theatre in the world.
2021 started off with the ninth edition of the festival, so the upcoming (2022) edition will be a 10-year anniversary. The dates and lineup have not been released yet, but it’s sure to be a grand and celebratory event.
The Valletta International Baroque Festival 2021: 15th-24th of January
Ticket price: €10-€20 per concert (or get an all-access pass)
Earth Garden (Ta’ Qali, Attard)
Earth Garden is Malta’s largest alternative music festival. The festival has been held annually since 2007 and takes place in the Ta’ Qali national park in Attard. You can go for a day, head back and forth over the weekend, or stay at the camping site. There are five music areas where you can enjoy a mix of alternative and modern music genres, including world music, techno, funk, hip-hop and more.
While Earth Garden is categorised as a music festival, there is so much more to explore than just music. In addition to live acts from local and international artists, there’s retreats, workshops, yoga, massages, an ethnic market and a fun park for all ages to enjoy.
Due to the Coronavirus and current restrictions, the next festival is set for 2022. With a two-year break (2020 and 2021), there will be much anticipation for the 2022 edition. In other words, make sure to get your Early Bird tickets so you don’t miss out!
Earth Garden 2022: 2nd-5th June
Ticket price: €50 for one day or around €100 for full access with camping
Għanafest is quite different from the other festivals listed here, mainly due to its local focus. This is the festival for anyone who wants to explore the Maltese heritage and local talents. GħanaFest features two full-packed days of live folk music in addition to Maltese gastronomy, craftsmanship, literature, and more.
The festival’s name (Għana) is the traditional Maltese folk singing. This traditional folk style has different versions, including a flamenco-style known as ala Bormliża. In other words, if you live in Malta or just want to explore more Maltese traditions, this is a great festival to check out.
Ghanafest 2021: TBA
Ticket price: TBA (Previous years: Concession €5 for one day, €8 for two days)
Isle of MTV Malta Festival (Floriana)
Would you have liked to see international, major artists like Lady Gaga, David Guetta, Snoop Dog and Sigala for free? That’s exactly what the Isle of MTV Malta festival has been and still is offering!
Isle of MTV is an outdoor, free music festival held in Malta. Ever since 2007, a selection of current, popular artists has set foot on the MTV stage. The event runs on two blissful summer nights of July and is 100% free to attend. It’s one of the smallest music festivals in Europe, but still sees 10,000-50,000 attendants a year.
The festival was postponed in 2020 due to the Coronavirus but is on track to be back in 2021. The 2021 lineup includes Martin Garrix, Bebe Rexha, Ava Max and Wiley. The entrance is free of charge and open to anyone. Just make sure to be early as there will for sure be a queue (and maybe some traffic chaos to get back home).
Isle of MTV Malta 2021: 11th-12th of July
Ticket price: Free!
Malta International Jazz Festival (Valletta)
Malta Jazz Festival is a yearly music event hosted every July, outside of Our Lady of Liesse Church in Valletta. The festival was established in 1990 and is currently organised by Festivals Malta.
No matter if you are a fan of jazz or not, this is a festival worth checking out. In previous years, the festival has featured world-renowned jazz musicians including Natalie Cole, Betty Carter, Wayne Shorter and Chick Corea. There is a mix of local and international acts with a focus on contemporary jazz. In short, there’s something for everyone!
Malta Jazz Festival 2021: 12th-17th of July
Ticket price: Single day tickets from €20, two day tickets from €30
Glitch Festival (Rabat)
Glitch is a newer house and techno festival that was first hosted in 2016. This is the festival for anyone looking for a proper party with live acts performing at pool parties, cave raves and boat parties. The festival already has a good repetition and international following. In fact, the techno magazine Mixmag named it a “House and Techno paradise”.
Glitch 2022 will be the fifth edition of the festival after the 2020 and 2021 editions were postponed. The lineup is still to be confirmed. Judging from the 2020 lineup, there are a lot of big names that will hopefully come. The 2020 lineup had confirmed acts that included Amelie Lens, DJ Bonobo, Nina Kraviz and Boston 168.
Glitch Festival 2022: 13th-16th of August
Ticket price: Two-day access from €75
AMP Lost & Found Festival (St Pauls Bay and around Malta)
Annie Mac Presents: Lost & Found Festival! This is a music festival and dance party focusing on house, techno, drum and bass and other genres that are sure to get the party started. In short, imagine pool parties, beach clubs, cocktails, and good times.
What’s unique about this festival, is that it combines live music and partying with wanderlust and the exploring of Malta. The event is held across 8 venues (plus some beach parties). Don’t worry about getting around as festival transport operates around the island.
The 2021 edition is ready to kick off September and close off the summer with a bang. The 2021 lineup is not released yet, but you can keep up to date (and win tickets!) by signing up for the newsletter.
AMP Lost & Found Festival 2021: 1st-4th of September
Ticket price: Festival pass from €166 (Early bird)
Food and Drink Festivals
Malta has a great restaurant scene with an impressive selection of local and international food and drinks. If you want to explore more of the local offering, you should check out some of these food and drink festivals in Malta.
The Strawberry Festival (Mġarr)
The strawberry festival – or Festa Frawli, as it’s known locally – is an annual event to kick off the strawberry season in Malta. The festival takes place in Mġarr, in the main square outside the Parish Church. Mġarr is known for its sweet strawberries. For this yearly event, the picking, packing and tasting of the strawberries begin!
In addition to an abundance of strawberries and strawberry-themed decorations, the festival includes live entertainment and different competitions for children. For more than 10 years now, locals and tourists alike have taken part in the strawberry season-kick off. The one-day event is sure to be fun for the whole family and also a great way to explore more of Malta’s local produce and culture.
Strawberry Festival 2021: 7th of April
Ticket price: Free
Marsovin Wine Festival (Valletta)
Marsovin is a Maltese winery and producer of premium wines. The winery was founded in 1919. At the last (2019) wine festival, they celebrated their 100-year anniversary. With a unique 100th Anniversary Wine, Marsovin invited to a celebration of wine and culture at Hastings Garden in Valletta. And hopefully, the wine festival will be able to commence again this year.
The Marsovin wine festival is a yearly summer event held at a July weekend. You can buy tickets in advance or just show up, queue and pay at the entrance. By paying €20, you get €20 worth of wine tokens in addition to a wine glass from the festival – which is yours to take home. Exchange your tokens for different tasters or glasses of wine, or opt for a full bottle if you have a favourite. You will be able to explore a variety of Marsovin wines, as well as local food and entertainment.
Marsovin Summer Wine Festival 2021: TBA
Ticket price: TBA (previously €20)
Malta International Food Festival (Valletta)
Do you want to explore local (Maltese) food alongside high-quality international cuisines? Then check out the Malta International food festival in Valletta! This annual food festival is a festival that just keeps on growing. In fact, it’s Malta’s largest food event with more than 45,000 attendees.
The set-up of the festival is very straightforward: Entrance is free and it’s a street food-style event. This means that you can browse the different restaurants, food brands, and stores available and pick where you want to try something. There are more than 50 exhibitors across 15 different cuisines. Simply purchase tokens and exchange them for the food or products you would like.
PS: There is also a Gozo edition of the event (see more under the Gozo section below)
Malta International Food Festival 2021: Postponed
Ticket price: Free
Delicata Wine Festival (Valletta)
Delicata, Emmanuel Delicata Winemaker in full, is Malta’s most awarded winery. The family winemaker was established in 1907. Today it produces local wine brands including Gran Cavalier, Medina, Victoria Heights and Pjazza Regina. You can find Delicata wines at most supermarkets and once a year, you can explore them all at the Delicata Wine Festival.
For one summer weekend a year, Delicata transforms Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta into an outdoor wine and culture festival. There’s live music, local food stands, and of course a massive selection of wines to try out. Your entrance fee includes an exclusive wine glass as well as tokens to try the wines of your choosing. You can top up your glass with samples or buy full bottles, all while enjoying a spectacular atmosphere and stunning views.
Delicata Wine Festival 2021: TBA
Ticket price: TBA
Farsons Beer Festival (Ta’ Qali, Attard)
If you prefer beer and cider to wine, then the Farsons Beer Festival is a great option. Farsons Group is a local producer and distributor of beers and beverages, as well as wholesale and retail of food and beverages. In addition to being the producer of Malta’s very own Cisk beer, Farsons also represent international brands including Carlsberg, Skol, Bulmers and Old Mout Ciders.
At the Farsons Beer Festival, you can sample drinks from various brands while enjoying live music and local food. The event is hosted outdoor and across 10 days. Entrance is free and you simply choose which food and drinks you want to opt for!
The Beer Festival has been hosted ever since 1981 and keeps growing each year. As the 2020 and 2021 editions were cancelled, the 2022 edition will be the 40th edition.
Farsons Beer Festival 2022: 28th of July to 6th of August
Ticket price: Free entry
Malta Craft Beer Festival (Valletta)
A newer beverage festival in Malta is the Malta craft beer festival. This festival hosted only its second edition in 2019 and understandably had to postpone the 2020 event. But I am hopeful that they will be back for a third edition in 2021 (or 2022)!
As the name suggests, this festival is all about craft beer (and ciders). Here you can explore a selection of international breweries. The list is long but has included Brussels Beer Project, Mikkeler, Brewdog and To Øl, as well as local favourites Lord Chambray and The Brew. In addition, there are local restaurants/food trucks and live music.
This festival is held at the open space of Saint Elmo fort in Valletta. You can buy your ticket in advance or at the door. The ticket includes a glass and drink tokens. Try out different breweries, join some events (beer tastings etc), and relax in the summer sun.
Malta Craft Beer Festival 2021: TBA
Ticket price: TBA (Previous years €18 for 1 day)
The tiny island of Gozo also has some events and festivals to show to. Especially during the summer months, you can listen to live music or enjoy local and international cuisines here.
ABODE on the Rock (Across Gozo)
Just like Malta, Gozo has some cool music festivals that attract an international audience and well-known performers every year. One of these festivals is ABODE on the Rock – an electronic/house festival hosted by the London promoters ABODE.
ABODE on the Rock festival was first hosted in 2018. Since then, locals and tourists alike have joined the party each summer. The lineup of ABODE includes international DJs and artists from all over the world. The 2021 lineup includes Jamie Jones, Richy Ahmed, Skream and Andrea Oliva.
Enjoy the Gozo sun and explore different parts of the island. Expect beach fun, boat parties and historical venues like La Grotta & The Cave.
ABODE on the Rock 2021: 17th-21st of June
Ticket price: TBA
Malta International Food Festival Gozo Edition (Xewkija)
The Malta International Food Festival is a yearly event in Valletta (previously Mdina) that also has a Gozo edition. This special edition of the festival is hosted in Xewkija, Gozo a few weeks prior to the Malta event. This is a free street food festival where anyone can come and check out the different stalls available.
The stands provide a mix of local and foreign cuisines, with for example European, Asian and other nationalities being served up. In addition, there are breweries and wineries present, ready to serve the perfect drink pairings. In other words, there’s everything you need in order to have a fabulous time.
Malta International Food Festival Gozo Edition 2021: 6th and 7th of August
Ticket price: Free
Festival Mediterranea (Across Gozo)
The Mediterranean Festival ‘Mediterranea’ is a celebration of local art and culture. This is not a one-day or -week event, but rather a collection of events and concerts hosted during the autumn months. There’s a mix of lectures, concerts, exhibitions and more – and a lot of the performances are free to attend!
In addition to cultural acts, this festival is also a great opportunity to explore more of and learn more about the island of Gozo. Celebrate 7000 years of Gozo’s history and join guided walks or excursions covering historical places and sites.
In 2019, the 18th edition of the festival was hosted. The programme of events covered more than a month (October 5th-November 15th) of shows and concerts. In 2020, a production of Carmen was originally scheduled for October, but that play (and other events) have now been postponed to 2021.
Mediterranea 2021: October-November (exact schedule TBA)
Ticket price: TBA
Other Events and Festivals in Malta
In addition to the above-mentioned festivals, there are a lot of other yearly events that are worth checking out. This includes cultural happenings, local festas, and of course, fireworks!
Carnival (Valletta and Gozo)
In Malta, the carnival is a big part of Maltese culture. It has been celebrated since at least the mid-15th century and attracts a big audience to this day. The carnival is hosted in February, during the week leading up to Ash Wednesday. There are celebrations all over the island(s) but Valletta and Gozo has the most festivities.
In Valletta, you can watch the carnival parade with local floats and marching bands. For a different type of celebration, head to a masquerade ball. If you prefer something more low key, you can find a fancy dress party in the streets of Paceville (St Julians).
Malta Carnival 2021: 12th-16th of February
Ticket price: Free!
Malta International Fireworks Festival (Valletta and more)
Malta has a unique fascination for fireworks. During most summer nights (or days), you can see or hear some fireworks being shot up. And on some specific nights, there’s a spectacular show lighting up the sky. That’s exactly what you get from the Malta International Fireworks Festival.
This is simply a festival dedicated to fireworks. During April, there are various shows across various cities in Malta. And at the end of the month, Valletta’s Grand Harbour hosts the grand finale. Local fireworks factories design a lot of the fireworks displays. The festival itself is organised by the Ministry for Tourism and the Malta Tourism Authority, to commemorate Malta’s accession into the EU on the 1st of May, 2004.
Malta International Fireworks Festival 2021: 16th-30th of April
Ticket price: Free!
Valletta Film Festival (Valletta)
In addition to an abudance of music festivals, Malta has other cultural festivals with an international following. One of which is the yearly Valletta Film Festival. This is Malta’s largest cinematic event with around 10,000 visitors a year.
The film festival is produced by the non-profit organisation Film Grain Foundation. Film screenings include both local and international films of different genres, where some have a free entrance. There are also master classes, workshops and competitions during the weeklong event.
Valletta Film Festival 2021: TBA (June)
Ticket price: TBA
Malta Pride (Valletta)
Malta Pride is the annual event for the LGBTIQ+ Community in Malta (and beyond). The event is all about inclusion and equality. Here everyone is welcome to join and celebrate, and doing so is free!
Since the first Pride march in 2004, Malta Pride has grown to a full week of celebrations. The main event is the Pride March in Valletta. After the march, there’s a Pride concert and an after-party. Dress up in fancy dress or colourful clothes and celebrate every colour of the rainbow!
Malta Pride 2021: 10th-19th of September
Ticket price: Free!
Birgufest – or Birgu by Candlelight – is a beautiful, local celebration of light, art and culture. Birgu is one of Malta’s oldest and most historic cities in a picturesque location. What started as a small, local celebration has turned into a weekend of entertainment and insta-worthy sights. Now visitors from all over the island head over to see the streets full of candlelights, chandeliers and other beautiful, artistic light displays.
It is totally free to roam the streets of Birgu and photograph the beautiful lights lined down the streets and houses. The festival is also a great opportunity to explore more of this city, with local shops, museums and historical buildings keeping open and offering discounted prices. Check out some of the exhibitions, taste some local food, and enjoy the unique ambience.
Birgu Festival 2021: TBA (October)
Ticket price: Free!
Notte Bianca (Valletta)
The Notte Bianca festival is a one-night event held in Valetta every October. It is one of the largest celebrations of arts and culture in Malta. During this night, Valletta truly comes alive.
The celebration is nocturnal. It starts as the sun sets and street lights get turned on. During this fall night, restaurants keep open until late and local artists take to the streets. Entertainment is both indoors and outdoors and includes art exhibitions, theatre performances, live music, and special offers.
Notte Bianca 2021: TBA (October)
Ticket price: Free!
Malta Book Festival (Ta’ Qali)
Another yearly, cultural event worth checking out is the Malta Book Festival. This annual event is a celebration of national and international books and authors, for all ages. The festival was first held in 1979 – then under the name Malta Book Fair – and has grown immensely ever since. Today, the event showcases more than 40 exhibitors and attracts an audience of more than 40,000 visitors.
The full lineup for the 2021 edition will be released within the next few weeks. The festival has already released the international author Irvine Welsh as one of the guests visitors can look forward to seeing live. For more information, keep up to date on the National Book Council’s website.
Malta Book Festival 2021: 3rd to 7th of November
Ticket price: Free!
Festas in Malta
The festas of Malta deserve a category of their own. If you really want to explore the Maltese culture and celebrate like the locals, you need to attend a festa.
A festa is a local village feast: a religious event and patriotic celebration. The festas are held in honour of patron saints. Each village celebrates a different saint or two, depending on the local churces. Each church in Malta is dedicated to a different saint which again gets its own festa.
While the celebration is religious, it is also a party like no other. The night before the actual feast, the local band club hosts an evening of live music, drinks, local food, and fireworks. It is like a combination of a carnival and a small festival. The roads are closed for traffic, the streets are decorated with lights and banners, and the drinks are cheap. And to complete it all, the night ends with a spectacular fireworks display.
Festas 2021: During the summer months
Ticket price: Free!
Events and Festivals in Malta 2021
Above you can find information about popular events and festivals in Malta. If you want to check out any or all of these Malta festivals, refer to this list for all (current) 2021 dates!
Do you want more Malta recommendations?
Check out the Malta section at DineWineLove.