An estimated 70,000 people flocked to Valletta this evening as another edition of Notte Bianca lit up Malta's capital.

Visitors to Malta's largest festival could attend around 90 different events spanning all four corners of the city, with performances and historical sites opened up to the public free of charge.

"This year, Notte Bianca saw a huge leap of quality," said artistic director Sean Buhagiar. "We worked hard and I thank my large team who put their heart in the work, to achieve a bigger success."

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Culture Minister Owen Bonnici thanked visitors and participants and said the festival helped make culture more accessible to a wider audience.

Colour, light, sights and sounds in Valletta. Video: Arts Council Malta

Photo: Jonathan BorgPhoto: Jonathan Borg

The festival featured two major collaborations this year. The first, with Spanish theatre group La Fura dels Baus, involved an interactive performance which required the use of an app.

The second, NOTTE BLANK, drew visitors to Fort St Elmo, where they discovered a variety of musical and artistic collaborations spread across the historic fortification. 

Digital media projects such as Ajru, an interactive installation of bird-like objects banding together in flight, proved a hit with pedestrians walking past the National Library.

Photo: Chris Farrugia/Arts Council MaltaPhoto: Chris Farrugia/Arts Council Malta

Singer-songwriter Claire Tonna made a return to the local music scene after a two-year hiatus with a performance of songs from Leonard Cohen's catalogue, while Belgium-based pianist Gabi Sultana gave a recital of Philip Glass' works to honour his 80th year. 

Sammy Bartolo’s fans 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 is organised by the Festivals Directorate with Arts Council Malta, with the support of the Valletta 2018 Foundation, Valletta local council, MSV Life, Farsons and PBS.

White Night festivals began in St Petersburg, Russia to celebrate the city's longer summer days. Other countries followed that lead, with similar festivals now on the cultural calendar in places such as Paris, Melbourne, Tel Aviv and Montreal.

Photo: Jonathan BorgPhoto: Jonathan Borg

Photo: Joseph Agius/Arts Council MaltaPhoto: Joseph Agius/Arts Council Malta

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