Concert Culture In Malta: Thriving Or Dying Out?
Where Are The Concerts?
I consider myself to be quite a big music guy. So when Lewis Capaldi came to perform in Malta last summer, it got me thinking - why don’t major artists really tour or perform in Malta.
Aside from the free/cheap festivals that occur every summer, Malta seems to be missing out on big weekend-long festivals & European tours from A-class stars, despite our pretty ideal geographical advantages & great facilities (places like Ta’ Qali, MFCC, Manuel Theatre, Fosos).
It’s easy to say that fans can just go see shows abroad, but concert & festival tickets are usually quite expensive. If you add those costs together with flights, accommodation & general living expenses, you usually end up going broke.
Lack Of Genre Diversity
Don’t get me wrong - it’s great having the opportunity to head to festivals every summer in Malta for fairly low prices or no fees at all.
However, a common issue seems to be that these government-funded festivals only manage to bring artists that are losing relevancy or aren’t mega “popular” in the industry. Another problem is variety - they don’t manage to balance different genres to cater to a wide variety of listeners.
There’s always a bit too much Pop & when they include Hip-Hop artists, they’re usually losing popularity every year. Rock & alternative music also tends to be completely ignored. A massive factor that comes into play here is Radio Stations.
Radio Stations & Their Influence
Even though people prefer listening to their own music in the car, usually through streaming platforms like Spotify & Apple Music, Maltese radio stations are still quite popular.
However, radio stations seem to try gauge people’s interest by constantly playing their most streamed hits or new releases by huge artists. It’s something quite trivial in marketing, but it severely disregards music that doesn’t quite hit Malta’s mainstream audience.
Our local radio stations end up over-saturated with over-played pop-based songs, thereby making it an easier sell to bring pop-based artists over to perform in Malta.
Better Pricing = Better Concerts
Maltese people frequently spend large sums of money for expensive tickets to attend concerts & festivals overseas. However, would they consider spending the same amount locally?
The festivals that Malta organises are usually very cheap or even free. This leads to the line-up being mediocre, or full of B & C-list artists.
If local festivals had to up their prices slightly to get more popular artists & feature different genres, people might slowly start getting used to higher prices for better gigs. They’d get the opportunity to see artists that are still in their prime & people would be more excited to watch.
Visit Malta does give financial aid to major public events. Thanks to these contributions, we get to experience concerts like Isle of MTV, SummerDaze, Sam Ryder & Lewis Capaldi.
These events give a massive boost to the local concert scene, which shows how important it is for larger entities to financially support Malta’s entertainment industry & keep it growing.
Aside from backing events with mainstream artists, they can also help with events that experiment with artists from different genres that aren’t played on the radio as much. With the right kind of marketing, you could target new audiences of tourists who’d flight to Malta for these concerts.
Visit Malta falls under the Malta Tourism Authority, whose aim is to “promote & advance Malta as a quality & sustainable tourism destination”.
Providing financial aid to set up some big festivals with great line-ups that features a variety of genres could help do just that.
Potential For Growth
Club Havana Malta frequently brings international Hip-Hop artists to the country to perform in their clubs. They brought Arrdee back in June 2022 & are bringing down Aitch in March of this year.
Investments like these are helping Maltese people become more accustomed to smaller, more intimate gigs. Visit Malta could also invest in events like these, as they widen the country’s music portfolio & attract different audiences from the mainstream.
Malta is an easy country to travel to. International tourists love visiting for the good weather & beaches. Investing in the country’s concert scene will help boost both the country’s tourism sector as well as the entertainment industry.