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Festival stage, Source: muzikamuzika.org

Maltese song festival is back with a vengeance

Maltese song festival is back with a vengeance

‘Mużika Mużika’ will be broadcast on TVM between 18 and 20 March after an 8-year absence

At a time when Malta has to endure a second soft lockdown after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Maltese song festival is coming back with flying colours and a new name – after a recess of 8 years.

First local festival with a live orchestra

The best crop of local music talent will participate in the three-day competitive spectacle, now called ‘Mużika Mużika’, which will be broadcast on TVM between 18 and 20 March. The last time the television audience watched this festival was in 2013.

20 established and budding singers, whose songs have been selected from almost 150 submissions, will take part in the musical contest. Due to the pandemic restrictions, Festivals Malta organizers have met many challenges, including doing away with live audience and creating a specially equipped studio. The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra will accompany each singer during the show, a fact that has prompted organizers to stake a claim that Mużika Mużika will be the first local festival with a live orchestra.

Performers will be judged jointly by a professional jury composed of local and international music scene personalities and the television public which will vote through SMSs. The winning song will be awarded a cash prize to the amount of EUR 10,000, considered sufficient for a career boost. Runners-up will receive EUR 5,000 and EUR 3,000 respectively, and each song that will reach the semi-finals will get a EUR 500 subsidy. Two additional prizes will also be given away – for best music arrangement and best interpreted song.

“Painful but necessary decision”

Confronted with spiralling coronavirus cases which hopped over the record 500 daily mark last week, the government put the nation of less than half-a-million people under a soft lockdown until 11 April. All non-essential businesses, services and schools were ordered to close, all organised sports activities were cancelled, and gatherings of more than four persons were banned.

Pools, cinemas, theatres and museums had to shutter. Wedding receptions and religious activities with the exception of funerals were prohibited. Crossings to Gozo are now limited to essential travel and open to people who own property on the island.

Prime Minister Robert Abela, quoted by the Times of Malta, said ordering the closure of thousands of businesses had been a painful but necessary decision which he had taken with a heavy heart and after consulting the health authorities. He stressed that the government will continue rolling out wage supplements and other supports to the affected sectors of the economy.

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