A leading Maltese DJ has called out musicians being banned from performing at festivals over petty criminal charges from years back after a high-ranking police official was found to be using cocaine.
“Can you imagine the police selected a number of DJs to whom they give trouble getting event permits because, according to their stone-age mentality, they play heavy techno and – according to them – because of that people take drugs?” Joven Grech, of Tenishia, said online.
His comment came after superintendent Maurice Curmi tested positive for cocaine use during a test at the Floriana Police Depot.
A handful of Malta’s musicians had found themselves being barred from performing at local festivals or experienced severe difficulties in obtaining permits to host events due to small infractions from years back. For example, one popular underground DJ was reportedly barred from performing at a popular summer festival held in Ta’ Qali due to having been found with soft drugs many years before.
Saying that DJs like himself had to “go through hell” to host events, he lamented the fact that such negative stereotypes were often associated with performers when drug use was found at the higher echelons of the Maltese police force.
“I’d like to ask which party this officer was taking cocaine at when all DJ events are at a standstill,” Grech said sarcastically.
Saying he had spoken to Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri about “changing this attitude” from law enforcement towards local DJs, he emphasised that his only goal was to perform music, and not make people do drugs.
“It’s the police’s job to stop that stuff coming into the country, not ours!”