Looking for the best music festivals in Malta!? Well, you’ve come to the right place, because you’d be wrong if you discounted Malta as just a quiet European island with not much going on.
In fact, Malta is rapidly becoming the jewel of the Mediterranean – and for excellent reason!
Picturesque and cozy enough to explore at a comfortable pace, the number of music festivals in Malta may just blow your mind. This little country of just under half a million residents has events popping up left, right and centre. And because the archipelago stays mild to hot year-round, you’ve got a constant rotation of Malta music festivals to choose from.
Tucked between the swaying palms, crystal clear waters and historical landmarks, you’ll find the tunes that feed your soul.
Watch out Ibiza – Malta is the upcoming idyllic island music festival location to beat. While EDM and Dance festivals are popular, there’s also some really epic folk, metal, and transformational events on the list as well (so a little something for everyone!
So without further ado, check out what I think are…
1 ) Glitch Festival
Genre: Electronic / House / Techno
“Glitch Festival is back at its Maltese house and techno fortress for the fourth time this August, showcasing royalty such as Ben Klock, Carl Cox, Bicep and Helena Hauff on the beautiful Mediterranean island. From rooftop pool parties and secret rave caves, to chaotic boat parties and inspiring headline sets at the festival’s main stage, Glitch invites house and techno fans to join them on their sonic adventure across one of Europe’s most beautiful landscapes. And away from the festival, festival-goers are encouraged to explore the rest of the island, including its stunning beaches, caves, cultural ruins and historical towns like Valletta and Mdina.”
2) Lost & Found Festival
When: May (Bank Holiday weekend)
Where: St Paul’s Bay
Genre: Electronic / House / Techno
“From day to night, you’ll be welcomed with breathtaking boat party backdrops of the coastline, ancient castles, pool-side parties overlooking the sunset and an intimate open-air night time arena. It’s all about your island adventure! Your festival ticket includes entry to our legendary opening party, pool parties and the main festival arena in the evening.”
3) Summer Daze Malta
Where: Ta’Qali National Park / St Paul’s Bay
Genre: Electronic / House / Pop
“Summer Daze Malta is a dance music festival on the Mediterranean island of Malta. Its lineup will be topped by big-name headliners from the world of EDM, pop and house music, with support provided by a selection of internationally renowned DJs. Day one of the festival will be held in Ta’Qali National Park in the centre of the island, while day two will take place in a club called Café del Mar in St Paul’s Bay on the north coast.”
4) Earth Garden
When: May / June
Where: Ta’Qali National Park
Genre: Electronic / Alternative
“Earth Garden is a celebration of music, diversity and life, kicking off your summer buzz on the sunny Mediterranean island of Malta. Although showcasing a lineup that spans across world, ska, dub, reggae and electronic music across five stages, it isn’t all about the music at Earth Garden. Beyond the sonic wonders you’ll also find an expansive programme of workshops, wellbeing and art covering the themes of cultural diversity, community, healing, creativity and inspiration inside the beautiful Ta’ Qali National Park.”
5) Full Moon Med Fest
Where: Gianpula Complex
“Full Moon Med Fest is inspired by Thailand’s Full Moon parties, reimagining the tradition, atmosphere, colours, attractions and entertainment as a fully-formed music festival for the first time this August. Kicking off in the early afternoon, festival-goers will be able to party for 14 hours in the company of local and international musicians, as well as immersing themselves in the explosion of neon colours that will fill this wonderland. And beyond the music, Full Moon Med Fest is your ideal chance to visit Malta, exploring the Mediterranean pearl and its beautiful bays, pristine beaches, magical architecture and stunning landscapes.”
6) The Bubble
Where: Ghajn Tuffieha
The Bubble is a Festival in Malta that donates 100% of its profits to humanitarian & environmental causes.
“The intention behind this magical occurrence is to create positive awareness of the environment, the arts and our community. Awakening to what’s going on outside our Bubble while reaching out to those in need!”
7) Isle of MTV Malta
Where: Floriana, Valletta
Genre: Various, EDM
“Isle of MTV Malta is a music festival in Malta. Its recent lineups have included Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Jason Derulo, Paloma Faith and more. Isle of MTV Malta Week kicks off with the Isle of MTV Malta concert, Europe’s biggest summer festival and is free to all registered fans.
The party doesn’t stop there though, G7 Events working in partnership with MTV and Malta Tourism Authority will be hosting Isle of MTV Malta Music Week, keeping the party going all week long, with some of Malta’s biggest night clubs taking part. The week also includes a number of beach and pool parties at different venues around Malta.”
8) Rock the South
Genre: Rock / Alternative
“Rock the South Malta at Zion has become a staple in the local music scene and we’re setting the bar high for the 8th edition this year! RTS is probably the longest running alternative music festival in Malta, with over 100 bands performing on the RTS stages through the years, this event is surely one of the leading showcases of the best alternative talent in Malta, plus some amazing foreign acts.”
Where: Floriana, Valletta
“GĦANAFEST is a two-day music festival which takes place every year in June in the marvellous surroundings of Argotti Gardens in Floriana. The festival takes its name from the Maltese folk singing known as ‘Għana’ (pronounced A-na). Although the programme includes some of this musical genre, it also goes beyond the local boundaries, converging soundscapes and cultures that look seemingly disparate but are indeed closer than one may think. In this regard, even Maltese traditional and more avant-gardist art forms will be fitting in the scheme of things thanks to their history, affinity with the national image and the ever-changing pace of folk itself.”
10) Sunscape Festival
Where: Ramla Bay, Gozo
Genre: Electronic / Deep / House / Electroswing
“Metres away from Ramla Bay, Sunscape is the place to party, free your mind and be inspired.
With over 60 local & international DJs & musicians, 4 stages and 12 unique areas, this year’s festival is set to be the most stimulating one so far. Every area is being redesigned and rebuilt by our team of artists and creatives just for 2017. We will be offering a plethora of new areas including some secret ones; all with their own unique offerings that are just waiting to be discovered.
11) Malta World Music Festival
Where: Fort St Elmo, Valletta
Genre: World Music
“With a myriad of influences from the Mediterranean and beyond, the Maltese Islands are an ideal meeting point for an event as diverse as the Malta World Music Festival, which celebrates the beauty of cultural diversity through the expressive medium of music. The year 2018 will see the second edition of the festival unfold with another great line up of local bands and a number of highly acclaimed international world music acts.”
12) Malta Jazz Festival
Where: Ta’ Liesse, Valletta
“The Malta International Jazz Festival takes place in July of every year. A line-up of top international and Maltese artists present an eclectic mix of jazz styles from the current musical scene. In the past, world famous artists have performed to numerous crowd s under a summer star-lit sky during this festival. Such names as John Scofield, Al Di Meola, Chick Corea, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Cubanismo, Petrucciani, Betty Carter, Joe Zawinul etc have performed here. The beauty of the Grand Harbour by night is truly magical and tremendously evocative. One shall quote Mike Stern himself, who said while playing for his audience at this venue: ‘I have never played in a postcard before’. The festival takes place over three nights at Ta’ Liesse in Valletta.
13) The Farsons Beer Festival
When: July / August
Where: Ta’ Qali National Park
“The Farsons Beer Festival is an annual event organized by the beloved brewer Farsons who manufacture and distribute Cisk, an internationally renowned and award-winning beer that has won a place in the hearts of every Maltese person. Sold as far as Australia and the UK this light, refreshing beer is a staple of the Maltese summertime. The festival itself is a celebration of local and foreign beers, world food, and amazing live music. This year marks the 38th edition of this long-running festival and you will be glad to hear that it is free of charge to enter.”
14) Beland Music Festival
Where: Market Square, Żejtun.
“This local established music event is now entering in its eighth edition. In May this year, Żejtun will host again a number of local artists for this festival, including several promising and upcoming bands, artists and musicians who opt to apply through the ‘Beland Music Contest’ which is to be announced soon. As every year, a full program of events for all audiences is being well prepared along with all the logistical aspects. The Beland Music Festival is held again with the support and collaboration of the Arts Council Malta.”
15) Xtreme Metal Assault
“If you’re a fan of Metal in Malta, chances are you soak up and indulge in every major event that takes place – and rightfully so! That also means, you without a doubt attended Xtreme Metal Assault in the Garage, our trusty dungeon for hard riffs and jumpy beats alike. Overall the whole event can only be described as messy and energetic but crafted with absolute love for the genre. While Malta has a relatively small scene, people like promoter Edward Tagliaferro really make sure you’ll only get the best of what this Mediterranean rock has to offer.
16) TheSoundYouNeed Festival
Genre: Electronic / Dance
“You’re bound to be sick of anything tagged the ‘New Ibiza’ without any merit, but Malta has a case to be made. Over the last few years, the tiny Mediterranean island nation has emerged as a new dance festival force, with smaller boutique festivals like Sunscape going up against huge clubbing brands like Cream with some healthy competition. Annie Mac has already kicked off festival season on the island with her Lost & Found weekender, and radio and YouTube station TheSoundYouNeed is jumping on board with its debut festival.”
Where: Tigullio, St Julian’s
Genre: Alternative / Electronic
“Malta’s alternative / electronic summer music festival is back! For the island’s alternative scene, the word ‘sick’ has become synonymous with long nights spent in underground clubs, listening to heavy music that usually has a distorted guitar (or five) blaring out of metres-long amplifiers. In recent years, however, local promoters Sick of Ants have branched out into other scenes, and this year’s edition of Sickfest is proof of just that. The festival, now in its fourth edition, will see the annual night of music and debauchery move to 1st September, but keep its new home Tigullio. Making the most of the venue’s expansive area, Sickfest will be dividing the arena into five different areas, with each section delivering its own genre, atmosphere, and blistering line-up. The one-night festival is in fact promising 35 acts over its different areas.”
18) Prog the Islands: Archipelaprog
When: Various dates
Where: Various locations
“Prog the Islands is an events-based organisation founded in 2010, with the aim of strengthening Malta’s progressive music-loving community. By organising concerts and related events annually, Prog the Islands’ mission is to create gigging opportunities for local progressive artists, provide spaces in Malta for prog fans to intermingle, and strengthen discourse on all things prog-related. Progressive music might have a niche following, but a limited genre it is not. With a history that spans across decades and that has seen pioneering acts draw influence from countless genres, it is Prog the Island’s wish to represent this rich history on a local front.”
19) Malta International Arts Festival
When: June / July
“The Malta International Arts Festival provides a dynamic platform through which established and emerging Maltese artists can showcase their work and engage with broader audiences. Each year, the festival strives to enrich the cultural calendar with a host of events, including virtuoso music performances, visual installations, dance, and well-established international acts performing at various venues in and around Valletta.”
20) Malta Pride
Genre: Pride Festival
“This year Malta Pride will Celebrate the newly enacted Marriage Equality Bill and Malta’s number 1 ranking as the most LGBTIQ friendly country in Europe (ILGA Rainbow Index), Malta Pride will also raise awareness to improve and tackle LGBTIQ Health related issues.
Pride Day celebrations include a Pride Parade followed by an open air free Street Party and Concert with the participation of Floats, Dancers, Street Performers and several other attractions. In the Evening the official Pride Party will take place at Tigullio. On Pride Day a Giant 82 foot Rainbow flag will be unveiled along with many other surprises.”
21) 1st of May Malta
Where: Numero Uno, Ta’ Qali
“The Free 1st of May Massive Dance Music Festival has been at the heart of dance music in Malta since 2004. Its reputation as a flamboyant, individual and hedonistic brand continues to grow and the name remains emblazoned in the heart and soul of clubbers throughout Malta. The event has always sat proudly at the forefront of Malta’s elite clubbing, responsible for some of the most awe-inspiring, never-to-be-forgotten events. Having road blocked and sell-out events with celebrity deejays such as Sebastian Ingrosso, Steve Angello, Sander Van Doorn, Hernan Cattaneo , Chuckie and Dirty South without doubt, immortalised the brand history. 1st of May gives you the buzz of anticipation to kick start the summer.”
22) Malta Doom Metal Festival
Where: Chateau Buskett, Siggiewi
“Founded in 2009, the Malta Doom Metal festival (MDM) is an annual rock music/heavy metal festival voted among the Top 10 International heavy metal festivals of the year on Global Metal Apocalypse website. It is aimed at bringing performers from Malta and beyond and supporters of the genre together. Running into its 10th edition, the festival organisers intend on securing as memorable an event as possible to commemorate MDM’s 10th anniversary.”
Am I Missing Any Epic Music Festivals in Malta…?
Malta is truly a hidden gem when it comes to music festivals, and I’m always learning about epic new events and parties to attend on this little slice of paradise. If you think there are any Malta festivals that should be added to the list, please do send an email so I can keep my articles updated!!
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