Events
A true celebration of traditional music! Will you be heading to the Ritmu Roots Festival this June?
The festival will be taking place between the 2nd and 10th June.

Emma Galea

Ritmu. What is this “Ritmu”? The first thing that comes to mind for many locals is the song that AIDAN released last year, but the Ritmu Roots Festival want to propose a new connotation with the word…

Ritmu Roots Festival is a festival celebrating traditional music and will be taking place in three key locations around Malta between the 2nd and 10th June, 2023, with the primary programme of the festival happening at the scenic Argotti Botanic Gardens on the 9th and 10th June.

Roots Festival is a festival that celebrates Malta’s own Heritage. As a “roots festival”, Ritmu is an event that focuses on music that is part of a place’s tradition and that’s exactly how the festival starts–– by inviting guests to join in for a traditional għana performance in Żejtun.

Traditional music Ritmu Roots Festival is back this June in Malta

Photo of Mikiel Cumbo "L-Iżgej"'s garage by Alex Camilleri

But this isn’t a festival that just focuses on our own sonic heritage, Ritmu offers a whole catalogue of traditional music from gypsy-jazz to occitan polyphonic music.

Ritmu chose Argotti Botanic Gardens as their main venue as the gardens are a sight to behold and are usually quiet apart from the sounds of the wind rustling the leaves of the trees.

Traditional music Ritmu Roots Festival is back this June in Malta

Photo of Musicians La Mal Coiffée

For Ritmu on the 9th and 10th June, things will be a little bit different. Whilst the festival is one of the more intimate in Festivals Malta’s catalogue, during the main programme happening on the 9th and 10th June at the gardens, the tranquil setting will be completely transformed.

The festival features stands such as Kantuniera Mużika Maltija done in collaboration with D’Amato Records where people can browse private collections of Maltese music, a silent disco with Electronic Music Malta’s Owen Jay and SALVATI together with a stall by VogueXChange in collaboration with the Magna Żmien Foundation.

As for performances, both the 9th and 10th June will be filled to the brim with acts from near and far. Some of the performers that are lined up for the festival include Marx Axiak and Jimmy Bartolo, Eduardo Trassierra Duo and Ana Margarida who will be performing typical Portuguese fado.

Traditional music Ritmu Roots Festival is back this June in Malta

Photo of Fado Singer Ana Margarida

Additionally, following the launch at the old The Splendid hotel in Strait Street, Valletta, visitors are invited to experience Bil-Mixi Ġejt: The Life & Times of Bambinu, an exhibition dedicated to one of Malta’s foremost makkjettisti curated by Charlie Cauchi.

The Splendid won’t only act as a venue for this exhibition but will also host a programme of events with local acts such as Gitgħana who will be sharing their own unique fusion of Maltese guitar melodies and flamenco during “Ħlewwa ta’ Kitarrini” and documentary screenings reflecting upon għana and its future.

This isn’t all that’s lined up for Ritmu Roots Festival, there’s much more for you to take part in, listen to and see. Make sure to have a look at www.festivals.mt/ritmu for more information on what’s in store.

31st May 2023


Emma Galea
Written by
Emma Galea
Emma is a Gozitan writer who loves all things related to English literature and history. When not busy studying or writing you will either find her immersed in a fictional book or at the cinema trying to watch as many films as she possibly can!

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