19 APRIL & 23, 24 & 28, 29 JUNE 2017
Għanafest celebrates Malta’s folk music heritage within a Mediterranean context. The festival is spread across a number of days in June in Buskett Gardens. Each day there is a 6-hour programme arranged in three different sections: għana – Maltese folk song; local bands and artists; foreign bands from Mediterranean countries. Malta has been experiencing a folk revival in recent years and a new generation of talent is a clear indication of a movement that has grown with the times.
Artistic Commitment and Innovative Approaches
The folk music festival Għanafest serves as a prime platform for Maltese folk musicians and singers to expose their music to wider audiences. Traditionally Maltese folk music (għana) is performed in the intimacy of bars in small Maltese and Gozitan villages. Għanafes is committed to supporting the continued revival of this traditional music but also to create an artistic dialogue between old and new. Therefore, the organizers seek to program artistic who are looking beyond the rooted folk aspects and using the Maltese language to expose a more contemporary take on folk music. Through such a committed, the organisers are developing new audiences that are attracted to such a fusion of artistic qualities. The festival serves also as a supporting platform for new and emerging artists who are committed to the use of Maltese language in their songwriting and singing.
Apart from the main Għanafest festival that is held over a two-day period, the organisers seek to involve communities in different Maltese villages by means of fringe events related to the festival. Through the collaborations with local councils and volunteers, Għanafest selects local folk singers and songwriters to participate in activities held during prime village feasts. Performances are programmed in such a manner that the holistic effect of the fringe events is that of an increased cultural awareness and participation of local communities in an active manner.
European and International Engagement
Every year Għanafest invites international artists to participate in this annual festival. The organisers seek to engage these artists not only as performers but also as collaborators with local communities. Such exchanges are very fruitful, raising the awareness of other cultures while offering an open door to international artists to engage in the local artistic and social communities. Additionally the organisers seek to broaden the possibilities of cross-cultural exchanges and increase the profile of local folk music through the participation in international festivals and collaborating with partners mainly around the Mediterranean region.