Responding to comments made by the Health Authorities to BusinessNow.mt, the Malta Entertainment Industry and Arts Association (MEIA) has stressed that it is not premature to have a discussion on how future events may take place once authorities give the green light.

This newsroom spoke to the Health Authorities last week to ask whether the use of rapid testing for COVID could save Malta’s events industry this summer, once, presumably, the number of COVID cases comes down.

In its replies, a spokesperson for the Health Ministry said:

“It is premature to discuss when and how such major music events or gatherings can take place again in Malta as this depends on several factors.”

It may be premature to discuss when major music events or gatherings can take place again in Malta but it’s not…

Posted by MEIA – Malta Entertainment Industry and Arts Association on Friday, 5 February 2021

In reaction, the MEIA acknowledged that it may be premature to discuss when such events or gatherings can take place again in Malta, “but it’s not premature to discuss how they can take place.”

“We must ensure that a plan, outlining multiple scenarios, is in place,” the MEIA added.

Indeed, a lack of scenario planning has been a major cause for concern for the local events industry.

A co-founder of the widely popular Glitch Festival, Kevin Ellul, stressed that the sharing of scenario planning by the Government with the local events industry – a best, moderate and worst case scenario – would be immensely useful to local organisers who often need months or longer to plan events.

Malta attempted to be a hotspot for music festivals in summer 2020 when the number of COVID cases was down across Europe and a rising second wave of infections was less certain.

A slower-than-expected roll out of the COVID vaccine across Europe is poised to dampen chances of events taking place this summer, and will likely hamper economic recovery in general.

That being said, Lost & Found festival and Drumcode Festival Malta have already announced dates for September 2021. Should they go ahead, both events are expected to attract scores of foreign revellers to Malta’s shores, providing much-needed business to local hotels, restaurants and transport companies.

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