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6 must-visit festivals in Malta this summer

With Malta now reopened to travellers, these festivals offer the raucousness of live, late-night music with the serenity of a holiday

By Rolling Stone UK

In partnership with Malta Tourism

Unlike British festivals, where rain and mud is often a guarantee, those abroad offer the raucousness of live, late-night music alongside the mellow serenity of a much-needed holiday. Just as all-night partying can be offset by all-day sunbathing, that end-of-festival existential crisis can be cured by a quick culture trip around the local sights.

No better is this than at festivals in the Maltese Islands, which offer sunny skies and glistening heat, made all the more sweet by the country’s historic setting, azure waters, and breathtaking beaches. What’s more, there’s no wasted time at the campsite, as the island boasts a vast array of bars, restaurants, galleries and museums, as well as hidden gems, all sure to keep you entertained while you sweat out (or drink through) your hangover. And, after two years off thanks to a certain, er, global pandemic, 2022 is set to bring the loudest, wildest, non-stop parties back to an island renowned for its electrifying nightlife.

Luckily for tourists, Malta has finally reopened its borders, meaning visitors from all over the world can return for the island’s unmissable festival season. Like most countries, those touching down in the archipelago will need to be fully vaccinated (three doses), have proof that they’ve recovered from COVID in the past six months, or have a negative lateral flow or PCR test result. You can find Malta’s specific COVID-19 travel information here.

Once you’ve established the COVID rules, you just need to decide which festivals you’re set to attend. To help you figure it out, we’ve rounded up some of the best events on Malta’s summer itinerary.

Drumcode Malta (Picture: Courtesy of Malta Tourism)


June 16-20

For those in Malta now — or who have the enviable ability to hop on a flight at a moment’s notice — DLT:MALTA is set to begin tonight (June 16). The four-day festival is hosted by UK-based events company Days Like This, and marks their first overseas event. Taking over some of the island’s top venues, including Café del Mar Malta, Gianpula Village, Uno Malta, and the newly-opened Bora Bora Ibiza-Malta, DLT:MALTA boasts a thunderous line-up of Afrobeats, house, dancehall, and R&B artists, including Wizkid, Kaytranada, Rema, Shenseea, and many more. As there’s only 3,000 tickets — and it’s already started — you better grab your tickets now.

Isle of MTV

July 19

Now in its 14th year, Europe’s biggest free summer festival, Isle of MTV, is set to return to Malta in July. The one-day event — previously headlined by the likes of Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg, and David Guetta — will transform the idyllic Il-Fosos Square, situated in the heart of the island, into a cacophonous party. This year’s headline acts include Grammy-nominated artists DJ Marshmello and French Montana, with the rest of the line-up set to be revealed. The one-day festival will also be followed by Isle of MTV Malta Music Week, a series of club nights and parties across the island. For now, you can secure your spot in the crowd at July 19’s (free!) Isle of MTV event here.

Traditionally painted passenger boat transports passengers between Valetta and Vittoriosa in Grand Valetta Bay in Malta (Picture: Courtesy of Malta Tourism)

Summer Daze Malta

August 10-17

Heading into the heat of the summer, Summer Daze Malta kicks off on August 10, taking over the island for a whole week of dance music. Though the line-up is still set to be announced, the festival promises some of the most popular artists in the EDM, pop, and house music spheres, with DJs from all over the world flying into Malta for the festival’s first iteration since 2019. To stay up-to-date with the line-up, sign up here.

Glitch Festival

August 13-16

After a two-year hiatus, the fifth edition of Malta’s house and techno Glitch Festival promises to be bigger, bolder, and better than ever. The stellar line-up, which includes the likes of Honey Dijon, Nina Kraviz, Amelie Lens, Mall Grab, and Palms Trax, is set to be hosted in some of the coolest spots on the island — think: rooftop pool parties, secret rave caves, and wild boat parties. Alongside the main festival — which comprises seven stages, including an intimate Boiler Room stage — this year’s iteration will also feature an opening party, held in an intriguing “one-off location”, as well as a blow-out boat party for the festival’s closing day. You can get your tickets here, and see the full line-up here.

Glitch Festival (Courtesy of: Malta Tourism)

Elrow Malta

September 14

Elrow, the self-proclaimed “craziest party in the world”, is set to bring its explosive house and techno line-up to Malta in September, marking the third edition of the festival on the island (and the first since 2019). The group, which hosts electronic music events across the world, is stopping off for its one-day event on the island, promising immersive experiences and trippy, psychedelic scenery, all against the backdrop of a booming line-up of world-renowned house and techno artists — still set to be announced. To get updates and find out more information, you can follow Elrow on Facebook here.

Drumcode Festival Malta

September 15-19

If you think summer is over by September, think again. Closing out Malta’s party season is Drumcode Festival, which is set to take over the island for four days of head-splitting house and techno. Gracing this year’s line-up are the likes of Adam Beyer, Chris Liebing, DJ Rush, Joris Voorn, Maceo Plex, Monika Kruse, and so many more. The venue is set to be purpose built so is still TBC, but there’ll be seven stages for raucous partying and a hedonistic end to the summer. You can find out more, and book your ticket, here.