Over 1,000 participants; over 100 events; a broad range of cultural events from street and performing arts to visual arts and new media, from live music to literature, food and fairs… This year’s Notte Bianca promises to retain some of the features which make it so well-loved while introducing a fresh vision and exciting new concepts.
To be held on Saturday 5 October, this year’s Notte Bianca brings a fresh exuberant approach which celebrates randomness, possibility, the imagination. Attracting over 60,000 people to the capital each year, the largest cultural event in Valletta has re-invented itself into a rich kaleidoscopic fantasy.
For the first time this year, Notte Bianca will have an official opening, complete with coloured smoke and In Guardia troops firing cannons from all around Valletta. This will kickstart the festival at 6pm. A closing breakfast at 2am at the Casino Maltese will bring the night to an end.
Meanwhile, Valletta will be transformed into a city mapped out as a fairytale fantasy. Entrance will be through a designated portal at City Gate. Towards the end of the night, people will leave the city through the Central Bank annex.
Novelty touches are everywhere: from curated music stages, which require bands to play mainly original music and group them according to genre – to the re-invention of a number of locations. This year, too, for the first time, the programme is broadly split into two: the main programme, which includes festival commissions and projects – and Atmosfera, a programme of ancillary events inspired by the energy running through the capital on the night.
Perhaps another first is that this year’s festival also pays tribute to the notion of legacy: an elevated stage will be built in St Lucy Street for Misraħ il-Mużika, with a programme of classical, opera and brass band music playing live throughout the night in various locations.
“I invite you to Valletta’s largest cultural event, the night when Valletta can afford to dance and play,” says artistic director Sean Buhagiar. “This year, we have triggered a revolution of new projects, collaborated with different generations of artists, craftsmen, entertainers and cultural practitioners. Enjoy the fairytale, discover the fun, and soak in the atmosphere. Lights, camera, magic!”
Parliamentary secretary Jose’ Herrera said that Notte Bianca is an example of culture for everybody, from pop to higher culture, with a special emphasis on literature, dance and music. A feast of colour, tradition and spectacle, this year’s edition of Notte Bianca promises to be much bigger than ever before.