In Photos: Last Night's Notte Bianca In Valletta Was A Resounding Success

That's a wrap!

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An estimated 70,000 people flocked to Malta's capital last night to witness and take part in 90 different attends making up this year's edition of Notte Bianca.

All throughout the night and in the different corners of Valletta, it really felt like everyone had jointly upped their game big time. Artistic Director Sean Buhagiar explained how this was possible, and how past editions helped everyone get here. “It was our joy experiencing all those smiles around Valletta," Buhagiar said. "Both artists and audiences had one of the best experiences this year. We worked hard and I thank my large team who put their heart in the work, to achieve a bigger success." 

"This year, Notte Bianca sawa huge leap of quality – a festival which is much loved by the Maltese people. A heartfelt thanks to all!” 

During his visit to Valletta, Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Dr Owen Bonnici mentioned how Notte Bianca has become a vital part of Malta's cultural calendar, especially since it has as its focus the beauty of our capital city. 

Whether you went up to Notte Bianca last night and you want to relive the best moments, or you missed out and are getting some serious FOMO right about now, here are some of the highlights from last night.

People came in the thousands before the sun even went down

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Photos by Joseph Agius

Castille Square and the Upper Barrakka Gardens came to life in the late evening

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Photos by Jason Borg

Soon, every corner of Valletta was filled with the intriguing, experimental, or all-out entertaining

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Photos by Chris Farrugia

Collaborations galore all over the streets

This year's edition of Notte Bianca had two very important collaborations.

Firstly, La Fura dels Baus saw a workshop led by the celebrated Spanish theatre group themselves, who worked with local artists and theatre practitioners to deliver an interactive performance which required the use of an app.

And there was also NOTTE BLANK, a collaboration which resulted in a
number of musical and visual exhibitions set up in Fort St Elmo. A great deal people found themselves at the historic fort by the end of the night, and in between the various musical and visual artists who set up shop there, it was a veritable success.

Similar to last year, this year’s festival put an emphasis on commissioning digital media projects, such as Ajru, an interactive installation of several bird-like objects banding together in flight in front of the National Library. Sounds magical? That's because it was.

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A musical heaven

Last night, the Maltese public had the opportunity to listen once again to singer and songwriter Claire Tonna, who has been missing from the local music scene for two years. Tonna gave an emotional tribute to the late Leonard Cohen.

There was also pianist Gabi Sultana, who is currently based in Belgium with the SPECTRA Ensemble, giving a recital of Philip Glass’ works in a chapel to celebrate his eightieth birthday.

Sammy Bartolo’s fans, on the other hand, could enjoy a jazz version of his songs on Victoria Gate thanks to Sur Jazz. The concert was performed by Dominic Galea, together with his band, singer Nadine Axisa and the UK Jazz drummer 2017, Clark Tracey.

Notte Bianca will now pass on the baton to Valletta 2018, which will be the largest annual event next year. Valletta will be given the European Capital of Culture title to continue showcasing Malta’s creative and cultural sector on a national scale.

Notte Bianca was organised by the Festivals Directorate with Arts Council Malta under the Ministry of Justice, Culture and Local Government, with the support of Valletta 2018 Foundation, Valletta Local Council, MSV Life, Farsons and PBS.

Tag someone who went to Notte Bianca last night, and someone who didn't!

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Written By

David Grech Urpani

Sarcastically ironic, Dave is a recovering hipster musician with a penchant for chicken, women's clothes and Kanye.