The expected cancellation of all outdoor cultural events this summer has sent the message that the arts and music sector is of no importance to health authorities, with one theatre producer highlighting how even Destiny will be out of a job.
“Whether she wins or loses, she will be jobless,” Wesley Ellul said on Facebook. “She cannot come home and sing any size concert because according to our public health department we cannot hold any events in Malta this summer.”
Destiny is currently representing Malta at the Eurovision Grand Final, which is set to take place in Rotterdam this Saturday.
Meanwhile, in Malta, Valletta Cultural Agency Chairman Jason Micallef announced that public activities will not be allowed until at least September, spurring a flurry of online reactions by artists, musicians and stakeholders in the scene.
“A seated outdoor event which is socially spaced with 100 or 300 audience members who tested negative, or are fully vaccinated, cannot happen,” Ellul continued.
In order to emphasise his point, Ellul alluded to how even Destiny, who has experienced international success, will even struggle.
“Like Destiny, over 12,000 people have been out of work for 15 months – people who have spent their lives in the arts and behind the scenes which hundreds of thousands of you enjoyed,” he continued.
While it deprives the nation of a cultural outlet, it also deprives people working in the industry of an income, and a means to put bread on the table.
“These people still have loans to pay – families to feed – many were planning a slow beginning this summer when it is safe and before another possible lockdown,” Ellul said.
Meanwhile, restaurants are allowed to serve patrons until 5pm with plans to extend opening hours until midnight as of 24th May. Bars will once again be allowed to reopen on 7th June.
“The public health department thinks that, while 300 people can attend a boozy wedding or can dine at restaurants without masks on, a safe seated socially distant audience in a controlled ticketed outdoor environment… is much too risky for us to go to back to work to put food on the table,” Ellul ended.
While it has not yet been confirmed that outdoor cultural events have been cancelled until September, an announcement is expected to be made during Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci’s press conference at 12.30pm.
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