30 December - 18:30/19:30 - Saudi Arabia Pavilion

31 December - 16:30 - All Wasl Plaza

    31 December New Year's Concert Italian Pavilion


Official hashtags #WeArein Puglia #nottedellataranta


New Year's Eve to the rhythm of pizzica at EXPO DUBAI 2020. Puglia will be the protagonist of the most magical night of the year with La Notte della Taranta. Three prestigious events are scheduled for 30 and 31 December in the world showcase of projects, ideas, and innovative models. 

The objective: to make the Puglia region's cultural excellence and tourist destinations known to the large public of the universal exhibition, which hosts 192 nations and has already exceeded 7 million visitors. 


"Pugliapromozione's presence in Dubai is part of the new strategy of repositioning the Puglia brand on international markets in anticipation of the reopening of tourist flows, after the restrictions imposed by the authorities due to the Covid 19 pandemic," says Luca Scandale, Pugliapromozione's general manager. This action by Apulia is part of the broader framework of the national action put in place by ENIT - the Italian Tourist Board for the relaunch of Italy as a destination. According to the most recent ENIT data, Italy turns out to be the most sought-after luxury segment destination in the world, not only for the richness and variety of its cultural and high-end offer, but also in function of the capacity shown in the management of the pandemic with the guarantee of high standards of health safety offered to national and international travellers". 

"The collaboration of Pugliapromozione," continues general manager Luca Scandale, "with Fondazione La Notte della Taranta allows us to strengthen the institutional partnership in the promotion of the destination Puglia in new emerging markets.


"The choice of Italy and Saudi Arabia to host the Notte della Taranta in the most important scenario of the Universal Exposition decrees the incomparable success of the Popular Orchestra as an international reality of World Music that dialogues with the peoples of the world through the identity language of the pizzica - underlines Massimo Manera, president of the Fondazione La Notte della Taranta - . The research in the field, the result of the collaboration with the Saudi folk group, once again confirms the Foundation's vision: to bring the music and dance of Salento into the future. It is no coincidence that we will play and dance under the dome of the Expo, Al Wals Plaza, which means, connection'. 




DECEMBER 30th - In the Saudi Arabian Pavilion there will be the first show with the Popular Orchestra and the Saudi Folklore Performance Group that will blend the ancestral rhythms of the Arabian and Salento folk traditions in two appointments: at 6.30 pm and 7.30 pm there will be the vibrant show with the dance of various Arabian regions "Al Khubaiti" and the "Pizzica d'amore" of Salento. This will be the first major international event since the start of the pandemic. 


31 DECEMBER - At 4.30 p.m. La Notte della Taranta will enchant the audience at Expo 2020 Dubai in the iconic All Wasl Plaza. A live show structured as a great folk festival, an immense inclusive round-up of the beauty of Puglia with the hypnotic sounds of the tambourine from Gargano to Salento. 



It will be a countdown to the rhythm of pizzica on New Year's Eve at the PADIGLIONE ITALIA, which has chosen Apulia to welcome in the New Year amidst the magnificence of Italian art.

The Popular Orchestra from 11.30 p.m. will mark the wait for the tricolour midnight while the Dubai sky will be coloured by the fireworks launched from the Burj Kahlifa. An extraordinary concert with Consuelo Alfieri (vocals, accordion and tambourine), Salvatore Cavallo Galeanda (vocals and tambourine), Giuseppe Astore (violin), Attilio Turrisi (beating guitar), Leonardo Cordella (accordion), Carlo De Pascali (tambourine) and dancers Lucia Scarabino, Serena Pellegrino, Ludovica Morleo, Stefano Campagna, Fabrizio Nigro and choreographer Mattia Politi.

In the first Universal Exposition in history hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, Puglia will light up the New Year for millions of visitors with three exceptional performances, coloured by the tambourines and scarves of the dancers branded #WeAreinPuglia.   

SOCIAL MEDIA: You can follow the events in Dubai through the official hashtags #WeArein Puglia #nottedellataranta. 


New Year's Eve at Expo 2020 Dubai is a project supported by Regione Puglia, Puglia Promozione in collaboration with Fondazione La Notte della Taranta. 




La Notte della Taranta is the biggest and most important popular music festival in Europe and will celebrate 25 years of history in 2022.

Since 1998, La Notte della Taranta has made possible the international promotion and dissemination of the music and dance of the Salento: the pizzica.

An annual summer event, it attracts thousands of people from all over the world to Melpignano, a small town in the Salento region of Grecìa. It is a true ritual where the ancestral power of the tambourine transforms the night of music into a great dancing and free community.

The 'pizzica' is a dance belonging to the tarantella family used in the past as a cure for the 'tarantate', disadvantaged women who, according to popular belief, were plucked by the poisonous spider. A small orchestra and the dance of the pizzica with the intercession of St Paul and other saints, again according to popular belief, led to healing. The socio-anthropological phenomenon of tarantismo is well described by Ernesto De Martino in his 'La terra del rimorso'. 

Today, the Taranta people no longer believe in the legendary bite of the tarantula, but the spider has become the symbol that creates a new and contemporary ritual around the zoomorphic deity: the Taranta. There is no longer exorcism but worship around the dancing god. Those who come to Melpignano or dance the pizzica anywhere in the world no longer need to be attacked by an external element to share in the ritual. There is no tarantismo device in our time, but La Notte della Taranta was the trigger for a new way of conceiving dance and music in Salento, and the Concertone is the lighting of the votive fire of this modern gathering that ends every year at the crack of dawn. During the pandemic, the Concertone was broadcast in 2020 by RAI 2 and in 2021 with an extraordinary success by RAI 1. In 2021, the Popular Orchestra created the digital Concert REINCANTO for Europe, which is available free of charge on ItsArt, the platform of the Art of Culture of Italy.