Carnival weekend is always a busy one in Malta, with events taking up schedules all across the islands. This year is set to be no exception, with over a dozen parties and exhibitions planned for Malta and Gozo.
If you’re stuck on where to go, here’s a good place to start.
Friday 9th February
A public talk by a Paris art critic on feminist activism
It might be Carnival weekend, but these next three days hold more than just colourful costumes and neon lights for Malta.
In collaboration with the French Embassy, Valletta’s Blitz will be hosting a public talk by Flora Katz, a curator, art critic and organiser of Paris’ Art+Feminism project. Katz will be discussing some of the issues at the core of her project, an international initiative aimed at improving content on women and the arts of online encyclopaedias.
A cool showcase of all things Malta
A project by Creatives Malta, 50 Posters for Malta is just that.
50 local artists from different spheres were given complete liberty to design a Maltese poster. There’s everything from works of calligraphy to minimalist geometric pieces, so there’s definitely something for everyone.
The exhibition launch on Friday evening is by strict invite, but it will then be open every day following that.
The first official Carnival party organised by Malta’s newest rock venue, The Garage.
The aptly named DJ Hades and DJ Despise will be posting some of the heaviest tracks around, just in case you love colours but still adore black.
A BYOB weekender by the pool
TDM 2000 have been organising Gozo Carnival weekenders for 13 years now, and this year sees the promoters take to the Tal-Fanal complex in Għasri.
Three consecutive days of partying, featuring a costume competition and a BYOB bottle-party by the pool. Sounds like a plan.
A heavy techno two-nighter
Vitamin’s parties are not new to the crowd over at Liquid, one of Malta’s best underground clubs.
Showcasing some of their best acts (along with a couple of international heavyweights), Vitamin are taking to the San Ġwann club for two whole nights, featuring over 10 DJs who really know how to get a crowd going.
A good old Carnival party at The Grotta
Bringing his famous underground series BLACK, Carl Bee is taking the indoor Cave area at La Grotta, Gozo’s legendary club.
He’s got some of the best movers and shakers of the scene performing for a limited capacity event, so don’t sleep on tickets for this.
Carl Bee will be returning to Malta, alongside Daniel Blade, for a Carnival special at The Playground
The big one at Nadur
One of the first things that Maltese people think of when someone says Carnival is Gozo. And the first village that comes to mind when people say Carnival in Gozo is Nadur.
A spontaneous Carnival around the streets of Nadur which culminates in the main square, this celebration kicks off at sunset on Friday and doesn’t stop until Tuesday of next week.
Saturday is usually the highlight night though.
Saturday 10th February
A satirical play about forbidden love
And no, this isn’t your average boy-meets-girl story. We’re talking about the tale of the forbidden love between a fruit and a vegetable.
In this satirical universe, villagers of Ħal-Insalata are named after vegetables. And when Karfusa lays her pretty eyes on Bajtru, all hell justifiably breaks loose.
Il-Qarċilla: L-Għarusa Karfusa will be debuting on Saturday in Valletta, but will be doing a tour of some of the most popular Carnival towns in Malta and Gozo. The lost show sees the Teatru Malta troupe performing at the popular Ħal Għaxaq Carnival on Monday night.
A Carnival ball by Valletta’s newest gem
The newly-restored Triton Fountain has captured the hearts (and Instagram feeds) of thousands of Maltese people, and this Carnival sees the capital’s square host a ball featuring loads of local DJs and the Big Band Brothers.
A boat party to remind you spring’s not too far off
The days are already getting a little longer, and while Christmas was only just over a month ago, some people already can’t wait for summer.
If you’re one of those people, then what better way to celebrate Carnival than an actual boat party? Just remember to wear an extra layer.
The return of one of Gozo’s biggest carnival parties
RIO has gradually synonymous with Carnival in Gozo, and this year sees the popular promoters take to the newest club on the sister island, Dark Arena.
It’s set to be one long night of neon and shenanigans… in other words, a perfect Gozo Carnival party.
A night of acid (music)
Tucked in Liquid’s Backroom, the guys over at We Love Acid will be hosting a four-musician acid-house music party.
The night will also feature WLA’s first guest for 2018, The Balkan Recordings boss Posthuman.
An alternative night for people who still want to celebrate Carnival
Not a big fan of crowds and commercial music but still want to celebrate Carnival? Then SICK Carnival is where you need to be.
Brought to by the same people who gave the alternative scene a place to go last New Year’s Eve, it’s all going down at Tigullio, so you don’t even need to catch a ferry to party. Expect this one to go in till the early hours of the morning.
Sunday 11th February
A traditional Carnival to rival Nadur’s in the south of Malta
Little known fact; you don’t have to travel to Gozo to experience an intense Carnival weekend.
This year, Għaxaq’s festivities will be starting on Sunday, so you can technically fit in both Gozo’s and Malta’s version of the traditional karnival spuntajnu.
Monday and Tuesday will see the small southern village carry on with its merry-making.