Marching bands battling it out in the streets, fireworks festivals lighting up the skies wherever you look, and Malta’s biggest alternative festivals are just a few temptations of the springtime. Here’s a compilation of eight of the best events to attend if you’re in Malta and Gozo this spring. Whether you want to experience traditional island events or party to electronic sounds, you’ll find something to add to your calendar with these best Malta events spring 2022. Scroll down and find your favourites.
1. GET CULTURED AT THE MALTA INTERNATIONAL SPRING MUSIC FESTIVAL
With its unique mix of baroque and traditional architecture set against a blue sky, sparkling sea backdrop, Malta is an unforgettable location for lazy days listening to excellent big band music. With its gentle sunshine, springtime is the very best time of year to take in an alfresco concert. Cue the Malta International Spring Music Festival, taking place on the 6th to 8th of May 2022 at various locations throughout the island. The festival is a joyous, kaleidoscopic celebration of wind orchestras, street bands, marching bands, folk bands, majorette bands, flag-wavers and even bagpipe groups. The centrepiece of the festival is two competitions. In the first, concert bands and wind orchestras fight it out for supremacy, while the second competition sees parade, marching, folk and show bands battling it out. Simply sit back in the sunshine and enjoy the musical fireworks!
2. WATCH THE SKY EXPLODE AT THE INTERNATIONAL FIREWORKS FESTIVAL
If big band music is not your thing, perhaps consider adding something explosive to your evenings. If you’ve ever visited Malta in spring or summer, you’ll know that, to the Maltese, fireworks and celebrations are two inseparable facts of island life. The biggest bang comes from the Malta International Fireworks Festival when the skies catch fire in a drama of colour and co-ordination. This is one of the most spectacular festivals in all of Europe with something for everyone to enjoy. While the pandemic shifted the 2021 event to September, the festival typically takes place over the last weekend of April into the first weekend of May to commemorate Malta’s accession into the European Union on 1st May 2004.
3. GIVE OFF GOOD VIBES AT EARTH GARDEN
Earth Garden is Malta’s biggest alternative music festival. It’s been going, and growing, since 2007 and — after a time-out because of the pandemic — returns to Ta’ Qali National Park on 2-5 June 2022. From reggae and dub to techno and world music, 100s of acts play live across multiple stages. But it’s much more than that. Earth Garden is also an arts festival, with workshops and healing areas, an international food court, an ethnic market and fun park. It’s a truly international celebration with acts from all round the world and, of course, Malta.
4. TUNE INTO A TRADITIONAL MALTA MUSIC FESTIVAL AT GHANAFEST
This annual music festival celebrates Maltese ghana, or folk song, and many other traditional musical styles. Set in Floriana’s beautiful, and recently revamped Argotti Gardens, Ghanafest is a true celebration of Mediterranean identity. While the 2022 dates are yet to be confirmed, the event typically takes place over two days in mid June. It offers guests a unique chance to hear ghana, which is usually performed in the intimacy of Maltese villages and clubs. You’ll also find stalls selling traditional Maltese food and drink to enjoy or bring home as gifts.
5. VISIT ONE OF THE MOST UNUSUAL FESTAS IN MALTA AND GOZO
Another way to tap into traditional Malta is by visiting one of the oldest feasts celebrated in Malta and Gozo. L-Imnarja or “Festival of Light” is a traditional harvest festival celebrated with horse races, folk singing and local food, especially Maltese rabbit stew. The annual feast, which typically takes place all day on the last Saturday of June at Buskett Gardens (one of Malta’s few areas of woodland) celebrates two important saints on the islands, St Peter and St Paul. The horse and donkey race takes place in a country road just below Mdina, a tradition which dates back to the time of the Knights of St John. As with previous years, it’s sure to be one of the highlights of Malta events spring 2022
6. SEE VALLETTA TRANSFORMED AT THE MALTA INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL
This jam-packed festival has become a staple of the local cultural calendar and typically features live music performances, visual installations, plays, and dance by local and international acts at various venues in and around Valletta. Expect the unexpected as you walk through Valletta, transformed into a living arts festival in July, although the 2022 dates are still to be confirmed. In previous years, imaginative performances have included a series of huge swings in St George’s Square that trigger music through movement and a wooden puppet animal circus roaming the streets. Bring your camera.
7. UNLEASH YOUR INNER PARTY ANIMAL AT THE LOST & FOUND FESTIVAL
Organised by the Irish DJ, broadcaster and writer Annie Mac, The Lost & Found Festival
in Malta has built up a huge following. No wonder, when you can dance and listen to great music across Malta from 1-4 June 2022
, with parties in the island’s best open-air nightclubs, on boats, in swimming pools and even in a historic castle. If you fancy legendary parties under a Mediterranean sun, this festival is for you!
8. TAKE YOUR PICK FROM MALTA’S FIREWORK-HEAVY VILLAGE FESTAS
Finally, you shouldn’t visit Malta without visiting a traditional Maltese festa. These celebrate village patron saints with extravagantly decorated churches, marching bands, colourful festooned streets and, of course, masterful firework displays. This festival season officially gathers steam towards June, with weekly feasts happening all around Malta and Gozo. It’s also a great opportunity to try local Maltese food such as freshly made Imqaret. Yum.