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News • January 25 2004

Problems creep in for foreign artists for EU May 1 celebrations

The promotion companies making proposals for May 1 celebrations are being asked to keep their offers valid until a month before the big event, and it remains unclear whether this will allow them to attract big international stars.
The tender document makes it clear that the main event should have an international dimension and calls on proponents to organise something that will attract tens of thousands of people.
Proposals for Malta’s EU entry celebrations were submitted up to 20 January, but a few of those submitting for the tender are not impressed by some of the arrangements.
While the government has made it clear that it does not intend to keep the proponents waiting long, it remains unclear how the foreign artists engaged can be kept on tenterhooks for so long and up to a date so close to the event, should the government leave its decision up until the last days.
One of the bidders pointed this out to the Ministry for Youth and the Arts: "No true international artist can be expected to wait ten weeks without any form of contract signed and any payment effected. Confirming artists at the end of January 2004 is already very late in the day. Expecting the artists to wait till mid-April 2004 for full confirmation is asking the impossible." The proponents said they would not be able to "confirm the availability of a foreign artist for the eve of May 1, 2004, beyond the date of Monday, 26 January, 2004."
If the rock band U2 were coming to Malta, for example, it would be unlikely that they would wait that long.
The ministry’s reply was not totally reassuring: "Respondents should rest assured that it is not Government’s intention to protract unduly the award of the tender."
Those tendering have to propose an entertainment spectacle including a grand spectacle of lights and fireworks and an audio-visual programme, focused on the Grand Harbour area for the evening of 30 April.
In the meantime MaltaToday had learned that two of the favourite consortia bidding for the tender have made their peace following threats from one of the groupings and joined forces.
The tender for the organisation of celebrations could be put in peril if Malta’s recent experience with tenders is anything to go by.

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