70,000 flock to Valletta as Notte Bianca lights up capital

Valletta plays host to myriad of cultural activities and entertainment, over 100 event and 1,000 participants hosted by capital

Notte Bianca lit up Valletta on Saturday night as Malta’s capital played host to a myriad of cultural activities and entertainment, attracting more than 70,000 people.

More than 100 recreational and educational activities were held throughout the city as 1,000 participants took part during the 11th edition of Notte Bianca.

Over 100 events and 1,000 participants lit up Valletta on Saturday night • All photos by Chris Cardona
Over 100 events and 1,000 participants lit up Valletta on Saturday night • All photos by Chris Cardona

One of the attractions was Ġejja Dgħajsa which transformed Strait Street into a sea of paper boats, which moved and swayed at the slightest touch. Another attraction was Festa Festun, an interactive light installation played on one of Malta’s quirky feast traditions. This allowed members of the public to control an array of 1,000 individually addressable light bulbs along Republic Street to create grandiose visuals full of movement and colour.

In a statement, the organisers said this year’s edition proved even more successful due to improved logistics and greater social media exposure.

“Every year locals and tourists of all ages flock to Valletta to immerse themselves in the unique atmosphere created by the energy of hundreds of artistic events, the assembly of people from all walks of life, the feeling of communality through gastronomy, and of course the rich history and heritage of the city,” the organisers said.

“I am proud of the combined efforts of the Notte Bianca team and this year’s participants. From the start, there has been a true commitment by everyone involved to ensure this year’s Notte Bianca did not rest on its laurels but gave something fresh and exciting,” said Sean Buhagiar, Artistic Director.

The organisers also welcomed the use of alternative means of transport, including sea ferries that helped Notte Bianca from a logistic aspect, and the use of live streaming through Facebook which allowed those not present to experience the night’s highlights in real time.

Next year, Malta will host the European Union’s presidency, while 2018 will crown Valletta as European Capital of Culture, giving Malta the opportunity to showcase its festival organising talents to a more global audience, the organisers said.