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Malta After Dark

From the hothouse of clubs to cool, romantic courtyards, Malta at night has moods for all.

The Islands have a vibrant calendar of theatre and concerts, classical and modern. Many are held outdoors or in historic venues.

Malta After Dark
Clubs

The Islands have launched onto the club scene big time in the past few years. Internationally renowned DJs are frequent guests here, and not just in summertime. The main nightlife action is in Paceville, on the coast near St Julian’s.

The club scene is all-week affair. There is a variety of venues, from large clubs to quieter bars with no entrance fee but where some excellent house DJs entertain.

Folk and Band Music

Band music is one of the most popular traditions on the Islands. Every town and village has at least one, usually two, band clubs. Band music is taken seriously here, and is the mainstay of many open-air events. The highlight of the year for band music is the parish fiesta.

If this is your style of music, you’ll find a variety of band marches and performances throughout the year in various locations. If someone mentions Ghana (pronounced 'arna'), you are in for an unusual and fascinating musical form. Ghana is Maltese folk music at its most individual and traditional. In bygone years, the lyrics were created afresh each time. Ghana originated in village bars and is always sung by men, accompanied by guitar.

The lyrics tell stories of village life, with its wonderful personalities, and of events in local history. Today, you might chance across an impromptu Ghana in a rural bar. The Centre for Creativity at St James' Cavalier has Ghana nights from time to time and it is also performed at various heritage events.

Look out also for music by Etnika, a traditional folk group reviving ethnic Maltese musical forms and instruments. Their music, using traditional bag pipes, horns and drums, was once part of the Islands' daily life, and used in a variety of social contexts - from weddings to funerals - and by town criers and street vendors. Etnika reinterpret this unique and forgotten musical heritage for a contemporary audience.

Classical and Jazz

If you’re a music buff or just simply wish to have a special, musical night out, you’ll be spoilt for choice. The Islands not only host several major musical festivals, but they also offer weekly musical events.

There are organ recitals in baroque churches and regular orchestral and soloist concerts in some stunning historic venues like the Manoel Theatre and St James Cavalier.

Valletta is the venue for several annual festivals: the Valletta Baroque Festival; the summer Arts Festival; and the Opera Festival.

Highlights of the year include the established Malta Jazz Festival held in a wonderful location below the bastions of Valletta, overlooking a floodlit Grand Harbour. In the past decade, the festival has attracted jazz legends and the best of aspiring newcomers. There is often a series of jazz nights at the Cavalier, and in several café-bars.

Another main event is the Choir Festival in November. This attracts international and local choirs in informal and spirited competition.

Theatre

Theatre is a lively and well-represented part of the local cultural scene, and the baroque 18th century theatre, The Manoel, in aptly named Old Theatre Street, Valletta, makes a wonderful venue for the performing arts.

Built in 1731, and one of the oldest working theatres in Europe, it has been fully restored to its earlier splendour. It is a wonderful setting in its own right. The theatre runs guided tours of the auditorium, back stage and the theatre museum.

Opera

The Islands have several venues for opera: the Manoel Theatre and Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta; as well as theatres in Victoria, Gozo. It may strike you as surprising that there are so many venues on the Islands, but in the past Malta had a dedicated opera building in Valletta. The opera building was destroyed in World War II. But the site where it once stood is to be developed into a national arts centre, more versatile for performing arts than its predecessor.

Casinos

There are 3 Casinos in Malta- Dragonara Casino in St. Julians, The recently opened 'Casino di Venezia' in 'Birgu' and the Oracle Casino in Bugibba. All Casinos have their own Restaurant and dining facilities and are very close to a Hotel.


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