The Malta Independent 23 May 2024, Thursday
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Maltese artists Ira Losco and The Travellers have sets cut short during EuroPride performances

Sunday, 17 September 2023, 11:23 Last update: about 8 months ago

The popular local band "The Travellers" posted a statement on their online platforms to express their disappointment at their treatment by concert organisers during their performance during EuroPride Valletta 2023.

The Maltese group were reportedly beginning to perform ABBA's classic track "Lay All Your Love on Me" when the band's music and lead microphone were suddenly switched off. Resultantly, the onlooking audience booed at this decision before singing the song's chorus in unison.

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On this Sunday morning, the group wrote on Facebook: "We are extremely disappointed that yesterday we were stopped in the middle of a song to finish earlier than expected".

Moreover, the band also expressed the need for local talent to be given equal treatment to foreign artists, hoping that such an incident is not repeated again in the future to any other local artist.

The band concluded their online post by thanking their fans for their support and by stating that equal treatment in today's society is a priority.

Local singer Ira Losco also posted about her performance, and she also noted that her set was forced to conclude sooner than she expected. Losco mentioned this briefly while thanking her fans and everyone else who attended EuroPride performances.

"Thank you to all of you who watched our set yesterday (which had to be cut short out of our control)", Losco said.

Saturday's concert was notably headlined by famous international pop star Christina Aguilera.

 

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Howard Keith Debono, who said he was doing the sound both for The Travellers and Ira Losco, also spoke out on social media.

"I will not go through the details at this stage, to avoid hurting anyone, but allow me to re-assure everyone and protect the local acts as well as the local sound company and suppliers that The Travellers set was cut short in the middle of the set with 4 songs left to go. I was doing the sound both for The Travellers and Ira Losco as I normally do for big shows. This was not because, in any way, the sound company or myself did anything wrong, or there was a technical issue during the show or anything of the sort or as some might assume, The Travellers went above the allocated agreed time. It's important that this is crystal clear! Gone are the times when local acts go up on stage unprepared, not sure how long their set is. Everything is well rehearsed and timed. Ira Losco's set was also cut short but at least the communication was done on stage as well so she was informed by stage not to do the last song."

He said that repertoire sets are sometimes cut short due to running delays. "Which to be honest, is a lame excuse because professionally unless there's a technical issue, act of God, transportation or health and safety issue there is no justifiable reason!"

He said in cases where there are emergencies, "the way it's done professionally is in the following manner: 1. The stage manager either informs the band before they kick off the set that they are running late (...) 2. If that is not done and the show started already and say there is an emergency situation with regards to health and safety, unfortunately the stage manager would have to inform the band on stage accordingly. They finish the song , say thank you to the lovely audience, or stop the set themselves to explain what is happening if they spot someone hurt. None of the above happened!"

"What should have never happened but happened is: It was communicated through the talkback system, which is between stage and the Front of House (FOH) 40 metres in front of stage, to stop the set and switch off the sound immediately. The Front of House has nothing to do with what happens on stage (...) Is the front of house engineer, meant to embarrass the band in the middle of the show in front of 30k people without the band in any way aware of what's happening? Definitely no. No one at FOH had any idea what was happening other to be told stop the show. I even thought someone might have died or (that it was) for health and safety reasons so I faded down the sound, after of course advising the stage this is a mistake" and that this is not done. He questioned why they told the FOH when they should have instead communicated with the band on stage.

"If anyone expects people working at FOH to jump over the crowd, get up on stage or call the band on their mobile whilst the band are on stage (...) then I have no words but shock!  Are we seriously back to the 80's when these things used to happen in Malta ? The local community is very angry. I am extremely disappointed."

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