Countless trends and fads have come and gone over the years, but some golden oldies are thankfully still around. This year, the mother of Maltese music will return… with a virtual twist straight out of 2020.
From the traditional music genre that bears its namesake to a showcase of local artisanal craftsmanship and gastronomy, Għanafest has always been an unmissable red calendar event for many.
Now, with the week-long festival fast approaching and the return of large events still very much off the table thanks to COVID-19, Għanafest is fully embracing the 21st century for one very special edition.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Festivals Malta’s Għanafest 2020… the online edition.
Between the 8th and 13th June, a number of online initiatives and activities will be going down, covering everything from music to food and entertaining thousands nationwide from the comfort of their homes.
In particular, Għanafest will be entertaining its youngest audience members with a series of children’s activities.
Right now, there are already three different activities your children can take part in through Għanafest’s Facebook page.
1. Għana Mit-Tfal is hoping to bring Malta’s centuries-old music genre to the future, asking children to try their hand at għana themselves in a song written for everyone’s nanniet.
I don’t know about you, but this sounds equally awesome and adorable. The music and lyrics, provided by għana veteran Jimmy Pawney’s son Etienne and Denise Cachia Vella, are available to download here.
2. Another activity is asking children to draw their favourite letter from “GĦANAFEST” and send a video of their creations.
I think you already know where this one’s going. The best submissions from this activity (and the one above) will be featured during the Għanafest week, in a special video that will showcase the little ones’ talents.
3. Finally, Taqbila Bil-Malti is all about getting children’s creative juices flowing.
The concept is simple enough; create a simple poem in Maltese. The creative activity will in turn help our kids keep our language going in a colourful way, and the most creative poem will receive a special gift thanks to Merlin Library. Awesome!
But as its name implies after all, Għanafest 2020 is also going to be playing host to the traditional pastime and music style that has defined countless Maltese generations before us.
Various sessions of għana will be organised by the festival’s teams and the għannejja taking part, with one particular session happening over three different days.
On the 8th, 11th and 13th of June, Joe Grech ta’ Raħal Ġdid and guitarist Yvette Grech Buhagiar will be hosting Għana Fuq il-Kelma.
During these sessions, Joe and Yvette will be performing the beloved għana spirtu pront, based on certain words chosen by the audience. And if you want a piece of the action, all you need to do to participate is submit your desired themes on the Għanafest Facebook page.
In the meantime, there’s also a little surprise for everyone who can’t help but look back on better days when we could all just go down to Floriana and enjoy Għanafest together.
Every Sunday at 2pm, TVM2 will be broadcasting performances and highlights from last year’s Għanafest.
Because while 2020 is shaping up to be another great (albeit different) year for the festival, we could all do with a throwback every now and then!
More information on this year’s Għanafest, its many activities, and the slew of great artists performing this year can be found on the official website.