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Valletta 2020: What's on?

by Teresa Xuereb

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Culture has an integral role in shaping our national identity and building on the legacy of Valletta 2018- European Capital of Culture is quintessential to our capital city's future. Rich in heritage and history, we need to make our city a cultural focal point and sustain its longevity by bringing communities and artists together for one aim: keeping Valletta alive.

Set up in 2019, the Valletta Cultural Agency has come up with an extensive cultural programme for 2020 to invest in our capital city's legacy. Inspired by Valletta's past and its communities, the programme includes a holistic mix of musical and theatrical performances, cinematic experiences, festivals, exhibitions and educational workshops (amongst other disciplines), put together by local and foreign artists and organisations.

Here is a list of some events taking place throughout the year:

1. Threaded Fine

  • Date: 1 February
  • Venue: Valletta Campus Theatre
  • Category: Dance

This dance performance spanning over 5 hours will see a cross-generational cast of 24 dancers aged 8 to 70+, with the youngest performing first and the eldest rounding up the performance. The audience is free to pop by at any time during this event.

2. Capitol Cinema: The Five Senses Plus One 

  • Dates: Every other month from February to December
  • Venues: In varied locations around Valletta
  • Category: Cinema, Performance

Immerse yourself into a multi-sensory cinematic journey where film will be combined with various art forms to produce a one-of-a-kind experience.

3. Mahler's Sixth

  • Date: 14 March
  • Venue: Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta
  • Category: Concert

Join the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Lawrence Renes in its notable rendition of Mahler's Sixth Symphony.

4. InnovAIR 2020 

  • Dates: 26 March, 7 May
  • Venues: TBC
  • Category: Artist-in-residence programme

In an endeavour to extend the cultural spectrum, this programme will see a resident collaborate with the Valletta Design Cluster and another resident working on the theme of biodiversity for the Valletta Green Festival.

5. Belt il-Beltin

  • Dates: 28, 29 March
  • Venues: St George's Square and other places around Valletta 
  • Category: Festival

Cultural organisations in and around Valletta will be getting together to offer an engaging two-day festival for people of all ages. From competitions, to games and guided tours, this community festival will give organisations a chance to share their valuable heritage.

6. Valletta Green Festival

  • Dates: 7-10 May
  • Venues: public spaces around Valletta and St George's Square
  • Category: Festival

The sixth edition of this vibrant festival revolves around the theme of biodiversity. Various NGOs will be around Valletta providing useful tips on how we can adopt sustainable practices to help contribute to the environment.

7. Malta Fashion Week & Awards

  • Dates: 20-29 May
  • Venues: Tritons Square and Fort St Elmo
  • Category: Fashion

Gather around all you fashionistas and watch as professional designers, models, stylists, makeup artists and other professionals showcase their unique work.

8. Valletta Concours d'Elegance

  • Dates: 24-31 May
  • Venue: King's Own Band Club in Republic Street, Valletta
  • Category: Art exhibition

In an endeavour to remember Malta's automobile heritage, an art exhibition will be organised featuring an assortment of classic cars. The Vintage and Classic Car Concours will also see vintage and classic vehicles being judged by renowned experts.

9. Valletta Pageant of the Seas

  • Date: 7 June
  • Venue: Grand Harbour
  • Category: Music, Visual Projections, Races

One of the most awaited events of the year, the Pageant of the Seas offers events for all the family. Events are narrated, home-made vessels are raced, and the traditional regatta ensues. A floating performance called 'Il-Mappa' can be watched from any point along the Valletta shoreline, where you'll be able to enjoy artistic projections on the sails. A fireworks display closes off the eventful day.

10. Summer in the City

  • Dates: 22 July, 5 August
  • Venues: In public gardens, harbours and streets around Valletta
  • Category: Games, music, performance

Head down to Valletta on these two summer dates and enjoy water games in Marsamxett Harbour and other various surprises to make your summer evenings fun for the whole family.

11. Valletta Military Tattoo

  • Dates: 19-21 September
  • Venue: St George's Square, Valletta
  • Category: Performance, entertainment

Jot down this annual appointment in your calendars and be entertained by precision performances by the Armed Forces of Malta and the Malta Police Force bands, together with Massed Pipes and Drums.

12. Bil-Malti Pur

  • Dates: 14-15 November
  • Venue: The Royal British Legion
  • Category: Music, comedy

Fond of Maltese satirical humour? The character Cikku l-Poplu is back to give you a fun critique of Maltese society. Together with Tikka Banda (a small brass ensemble), they guarantee an entertaining Maltese show for adults.

13. Malta International Organ Festival

  • Dates: 20 November- 4 December
  • Venues: Various churches, cathedrals and basilicas
  • Category: Concert

Pay a visit to a church taking part in the Organ Festival and take joy in listening to this majestic instrument as it is played solo, as part of an ensemble and with accompanying voices.

14. Christmas in the City 

  • Dates: Throughout December
  • Venue: All around Valletta
  • Category: Entertainment

Valletta has become synonymous with Christmas year after year. This year will be no different, with colourful lights, vibrant decorations, a nativity scene and an enchanting Christmas tree adorning the capital City for a truly festive atmosphere.

15. New Year's Eve

  • Date: 31 December
  • Venue: St George's Square
  • Category: Performance, entertainment

Welcome the new year in style amidst visual projections, fireworks, special effects and leading musicians in Malta's capital city.

Legacy Projects of the 2018 European Capital of Culture

  • The Strada Stretta Concept was introduced for Valletta 2018 to revive this much-renowned street brimming with cultural heritage. This year will see various cultural events taking place, including an intriguing rendition of Beethoven's opera 'Fidelio', a cinematic three-day youth festival in Russian, and creative musico-literary adaptations merging well-renowned authors such as Shakespeare and Ruzar Briffa.
  • The Valletta Design Cluster is another project which focuses on design, entrepreneurship, innovativeness and social impact. This year we will see it working in conjunction with the Malta Robotics Olympiad and organising Urban Greening Workshops with Valletta residents. The official opening will be taking place between the 14th and 20th of September, where you'll be able to explore this new community hub in Valletta and meet people working on different projects.

Discover the cultural lavishness that Valletta has to offer and participate in the assortment of cultural initiatives taking place across every nook and cranny of our capital city. You'll be concurrently exploring local talent and artistic disciplines which are enriching the future of our capital city.

Get your tickets now!

While in Valletta, have a bite at one of these restaurants scattered across the city.

Keep on discovering local with Yellow.

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