Updated: Mar 29, 2019
Festivals Malta, which falls under the remit of the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government, has launched its summer festivals for 2019. Kicking off the season with Għanafest, the Malta International Arts Festival and the Malta Jazz Festival, Festivals Malta announced that this is a year for innovation, which will be experienced across the board.
“Apart from contributing to our local product by increasing visibility in Europe and beyond, these festivals provide us with an ideal platform to further promote local talent, which in turn leads to an increase in professionalisation within this sector. We strive to make such festivals more accessible to every member of our community as they are a celebration of our identity as a society”, stated Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici during the launch.
Albert Marshall, Arts Council Malta’s chairman said that,“intrinsically, Festivals are fun: when staged on a Maltese summer stage, fun becomes an understatement. Our summer festivals are fast becoming a cultural destination for visitors from all over the world.” Director of Festivals Malta Annabelle Stivala also announced that this year, Festivals Malta has appointed a number of new artistic directors, “which form a crucial part of our goal to strengthen our festivals’ portfolio. I see it as being essential, a new artistic director brings fresh and innovative ideas to the table that help develop each festival, addressing diversity, and making it even more relevant to what is happening in the world today”, added Stivala.
In a feature shown during the press conference, Tiziana Calleja, the new artistic director for Għanafest explained how the festival has been redesigned by blending Maltese heritage with current day trends in order to make the festival more relevant. Ms Calleja also announced that this year, Għanafest, which will be held on 21 and 22 June at Argotti Gardens, will be hosting French act Sherazade et LavionRose, local emerging talent Skald and The Travellers.
The Malta International Arts Festival’s new director Ruben Zahra highlighted that his vision for the arts festival encompasses a very strong interdisciplinary dimension that although contemporary in nature, is very accessible and exciting at the same time. The Malta International Arts Festival will be held in Valletta and other curated locations around the island between the 28 of June and the 14 of July.
Sandro Zerafa revealed part of the lineup for The Malta Jazz Festival’s much acclaimed concerts at Ta’ Liesse in Valletta, which features Jazzmeia Horn and Chucho Valdes, amongst others. Zerafa also explained that some of the concerts will be hosted outside of Valletta, including Mdina and Notre Dame Gate, in Cospicua. The Jazz Festival, which will be taking place between the 15 and 20 July will also include free masterclasses that have become an annual appointment with the local jazz community.
Festivals Malta have also unveiled their new website, which includes a number of new features that enhance user experience such as friendlier navigation and a calendar of events that can be connected to the user’s personal calendar. The new website also features the Festivals Malta channel, where features related to the festivals and the participating artists will be released. Stivala also explained that the different festival websites will now be grouped in one portal, accessible at www.festivals.mt.