Malta gave Francesco Gabbani 12 points at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest and the Italian singer returned the favour by celebrating his 36th birthday in Malta along with Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and other local tourism big shots and music personalities.
Gabbani was in Malta yesterday to address a press conference ahead of next month’s Mediterranean Stars Festival, a free concert at the Fosos which will feature some of Italy’s and Malta’s biggest names in music.
“I’m celebrating my birthday as a ‘Knight’s Templar’ at a press conference in what used to be the hospital of the Knight’s Templar in Malta,” Gabbani said, referring to the Mediterranean Conference Centre which used to be used by the Knight of Malta.
The audience cheered and broke out into an impromptu rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ as soon as it was announced that it was Gabbani’s birthday, with even Mizzi, seated a few seats away from the Italian singer, joining in.
He was later presented with a birthday cake and posted a photo of himself standing next to Mizzi to his Instagram page.
Oggi festeggio il compleanno facendo il "Cavaliere Templare" per la conferenza stampa di Radio Italia Live, nella sala che era l'ospedale dei Cavalieri Templari a Malta! Sono qui ma sento forte tutto il vostro affetto, grazie per gli auguri e a breve… novità!#RILive Radio Italia solomusicaitaliana
Posted by Francesco Gabbani on Monday, September 9, 2019
Apart from Gabbani, the concert on 4th October will also feature the likes of Alessandra Amoroso, Gigi D’Alessio, Elisa, Gue Pequeno, J-Az, Mahmood, Max Pezzali, Raf, Umberto Tozzi and Boomdabash.
Malta’s own Ira Losco, The Travellers, Nicole Frendo and Red Electrick will also perform on the night, as will Algerian singer Cheb Khaled, renowned for his 1996 song Aicha.
Mizzi said this festival forms part of the government’s strategy to bring major festivals to Malta in the shoulder months so as to spread the festival season across the calendar. The Mediterranean Stars Festival will also be held a day before Notte Bianca in Valletta, meaning tourists coming to Malta for a weekend break will be able to attend both events.