Malta should take note from another European island, Iceland, if it wants to support its artists better, according to local music promoter Ben Vincenti.
“I don’t think the arts are really appreciated in Malta. There’s a lot of talent here which is hindered because we don’t have proper infrastructure and support mechanisms to help them grow,” Vincenti, the brainchild behind Trackage Scheme, explained.
Iceland, he continued, is home to major musical names of all genres, which is partly due to the importance given to the sector.
“We don’t we have that kind of culture in Malta which is a big shame. I always look at Iceland – they have a smaller population than Malta but its a powerhouse for music, not just alternative artists but mainstream ones too.”
Artists were struck particularly hard by the pandemic. All events in the year faced the chopping block to curb the transmission of COVID-19. And with that, major chunks of their revenue streams were lost.
“It’s been a weird time. Large scale events all came to a halt – I don’t think anyone expected it.”
“But people became creative, they came out of their shells to do different stuff. We’ve seen a surge in online events in Malta like Rock the Quarantine. There was a lot of innovation that came through the pandemic, a lot of bedroom DJs and artists.”
Creatives looked at diversifying their cash flow, looking to crowdfunding and online events, Vincenti said.
But even then, insufficient support from the state meant many had to look at other forms of work.
“A lot of artists didn’t get the wage supplement – I’ve only ever seen people in the arts get the wage supplement very recently. Some artist abroad had to come back to Malta because of higher rents and a lack of opportunities. It’s been crushing.”
Despite the turbulent year, Vincenti is hopeful for 2021, with the arrival of a vaccine.
“We’re all itching to get back to our usual events,” he mused.
Until then, we all have to remain vigilant and keep social distancing. With Lovin Malta and Trackage Scheme’s upcoming event, you can do just that and still enjoy New Year’s Eve.
Start the new year with an interstellar bang with Planetarium Showcase. It’s an online, musical showcase through space and time. Their carefully-selected musical line-up will help you celebrate the end of the year with mesmerising space visuals thanks to Esplora.
Tag someone who needs support local artists!