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Take That announce four-day festival in Malta

Take That are set to curate and headline a new four-day festival in Malta called The Greatest Weekend.

The 17–20 October event has been touted as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to see the band perform in an intimate live setting, with an array of special guests.

The 90s boy band, comprising Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald, will deliver two different headline sets during the Greatest Weekend.

On Saturday night, the trio will perform their iconic album ‘Everything Changes’ live in its entirety for the first time since its release in 1993, while Sunday will see the band hit the stage for a set of smash-hits from across their chart-topping career, as well as songs from their latest Number 1 album, ‘This Life’.

The weekend will also feature performances from acts including Sugababes, Sam Ryder, Daniel Bedingfield, Ella Henderson, Gok Wan and Heather Small.

Sugababes, Sam Ryder, Daniel Bedingfield Ella Henderson, Gok Wan and Heather Small will also perform

The four-day weekend, which takes place across multiple venues, will kick off on Thursday with an opening party hosted by Guilty Pleasures.

General admission tickets start at £249 (€290), with VIP tickets priced from £429 (€500).

Take That are represented by James Wright and Olly Ward at UTA, who recently told IQ about their ambitions and touring strategy for the British icons.

This Life on Tour kicks off in the UK in Sheffield on 13 April, promoted by SJM Concerts, and includes six nights at The O2 in London, six at Birmingham’s Utilita Arena and seven shows at Manchester’s new Co-op Live, as well as multiple dates in Leeds and Dublin, with support from Olly Murs.

It will also take in stadiums in Middlesbrough, Nottingham, West Bridgford, Norwich, Bletchley, Southampton, Plymouth, Swansea and Bristol, followed by outdoor concerts in Cork, Dublin and Belfast.

 


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Liam Gallagher to headline four-day Malta festival

Liam Gallagher is to headline a new four-day, multi-venue festival in Malta.

Promoted by Live Nation, SJM Concerts and Malta-based event management company 356 Entertainment, Liam Gallagher & Friends: Malta Weekender is set for 19-22 September.

The event will take over a new purpose-built concert area in Ta’Qali for “two days and nights of incredible live music”, including a headline performance by Gallagher on the final night and a lineup curated by Gallagher across each day.

The former Oasis frontman will be joined by acts including Liam Fray, Blossoms, The Lathums, Jamie Webster, Jake Bugg, The K’s, The Mary Wallopers, The Royston Club, The View and Picture Parlour, who will all perform full sets.

Malta’s largest open air venue, Uno, will host the The Haçienda Takeover on the opening evening, spread across three rooms, in addition to after parties on Saturday and Sunday after the live concerts.

The Haçienda Takeover lineup will include David Morales, Inner City, Graeme Park, Kevin Saunderson, Greg Wilson, DJ Paulette, K-Klass, A Guy Called Gerald, Jon DaSilva, Luke Una and Tom Wainwright, while the second day will feature a day to night party at beach club Cafe Del Mar and Terrace. Boat parties will also be on offer.

General admission tickets start at £249 (€291), with VIP tickets priced from £399 (€466).

“The island has become a beacon for travellers seeking more than just a traditional holiday experience”

356 Entertainment recently claimed to have generated €51.8 million of economic impact for the island in 2023 after attracting 56,000 visitors across key events including BBC Concert Orchestra, Defected, Elrow and SummerDaze.  The €51.8m figure was calculated “based on the average spend per person, including expenditures on accommodation, food and drinks, and miscellaneous essentials”.

In 2024, the firm is planning to launch a raft of other new festivals on the island including RONG Open Air Festival, Sunny Side Festival and XXL.

“We are thrilled to have played a pivotal role in Malta’s rise as a destination and the subsequent surge in festival tourism,” say 356 directors Trevor Camilleri, Nicholas Spiteri and Gerry Debono. “The success of our festivals not only emphasises our commitment to providing unparalleled entertainment experiences but also highlights the tremendous economic opportunities our events bring to Malta.

“The island has become a beacon for travellers seeking more than just a traditional holiday experience, and we are proud to continue to realise these expectations and provide memorable festival experiences for our visitors.”

Gallagher, who is represented by Wasserman Music’s Marty Diamond and Ash Mowry for the US and Canada, and Adele Slater and Alex Hardee for the rest of the world, tours with Stone Roses guitarist John Squire in March/April, before hitting UK arenas in June for a special run commemorating the 30th anniversary of Oasis’ debut album Definitely Maybe.

The 51-year-old also has a string of festival headline slots lined up for the summer at TRNSMT Festival in Glasgow, as well as Reading & Leeds, plus open air shows at Thomond Park in Limerick, Ireland and Boucher Playing Fields in Belfast.

 


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Local promoters hail record Ed Sheeran sales

Local, independent promoters have spoken to IQ about how they’re breaking ground in their markets with record ticket sales for Ed Sheeran’s 2024 European tour.

The European leg of Sheeran’s + – = ÷ x (Mathematics) Tour is due to kick off on 8 June 2024 in Italy, making 20 stops at a mix of stadiums and festivals across the continent.

The first stadium stop on the AEG Presents promoted-outing will be at Ta’ Qali National Park (cap. 30,000), marking the 32-year-old’s first-ever concert in Malta.

According to one of the show’s local promoters, Nigel Camilleri at NNG Promotions, the 26 June 2024 concert has broken “all records” in the island country.

“The number of tickets in an hour, total number of ticket sales in one day, as well as total gross amount of ticket sales in an hour and in a day,” lists Camilleri, who is promoting the gig alongside AEG and Greatt.

“Hopefully, this will open more doors which were previously closed or only ajar”

“The adrenaline rush when the ticket sales opened was indescribable,” he continues. “It’s not often, at least in Malta, that one gets to promote a concert of an artist who appeals to such a wide-ranging audience.”

Camilleri says hosting a star of Sheeran’s size helps to put Malta – which is isolated from mainland Europe – on the map for other blockbuster tours.

“It is a great triumph for us because we have proven that the Maltese market can sustain an A-level artist such as Ed Sheeran,” he adds. “We have been working towards and building up to this moment for many years and admittedly there was an element of luck with the stars aligning for it to happen.

“As a company, it is a major feather in our cap and hopefully, this will open more doors which were previously closed or only ajar.”

Bulgarian promoter FEST Team is also hoping the success of Sheeran’s show at Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia (31 August) will be a calling card for other A-list artists.

“[We hope] more prominent artists will acknowledge Bulgaria as a substantial market with tour potential”

“Our aspiration is that the success of this event will encourage more prominent artists to acknowledge Bulgaria and the Balkan region as a substantial market with tour potential,” FEST Team’s Stefan Elenkov tells IQ.

The Sofia-based full-service promoter sold all 60,000 tickets to the Bulgaria date in the first 24 hours of the on-sale. It beat the previous record set in 2009 by Madonna who sold 19,000 tickets in the first 24 hours for a 55,000-capacity show.

“This indeed is a truly remarkable achievement,” says Elenkov. “It is important to mention that a show of this magnitude hasn’t taken place in Bulgaria since 2009.”

Staging the biggest-ever concert in Bulgaria, which is yet to be included in the Schengen Area, hasn’t been without its challenges but Elenkov says his team has been “excited to embrace them”.

“After dedicating eight months to negotiations and detailed planning, we managed to successfully overcome various infrastructural and logistic challenges associated with the venue,” says Elenkov.

“Ticket Station Bulgaria is handling a show of such magnitude for the first time and has met the tour’s criteria”

“Anticipating Bulgaria and Romania’s inclusion in the Schengen area, we expect even fewer logistical challenges, making future tour planning considerably more structured. The routing Budapest – Bucharest – Sofia – Athens—would essentially become practically borderless.”

Another source of pride for FEST Team is the reported absence of tickets for Sheeran’s Bulgaria date on Viagogo.

“This demonstrates our success in implementing stringent security measures, ensuring that only real people have bought tickets for the show,” adds Elenkov. “This marks an important milestone – Ticket Station Bulgaria is handling a show of such magnitude for the first time and has precisely met the tour’s criteria.”

Sheeran’s team has long taken an aggressive stance against the secondary ticketing market, opting to use 100% mobile digital ticketing technology to keep tickets in the hands of fans.

The tour’s local promoters in Lithuania also have a lot to celebrate after sales for Sheeran’s two 2024 dates in the country broke “all previous entertainment sales records” across the Baltic states.

“By selling the most tickets of any artist in the Baltics, Sheeran has set yet another record”

According to L Tips Agency – which is organising Sheeran’s concerts in the Baltics for the third time – the first concert sold out in just over 24 hours the second is already more than 50% sold out, nine months in advance.

Provided both dates in Lithuania sell out, Sheeran will perform to 90,000 fans across the 3 and 4 August at Darius and Girėnas Stadium in Kaunas.

“In 2019, he set the record for the most visited international artist show of all time in Latvia with an attendance of approximately 50,000 people,” says Gints Putnins, owner of L Tips Agency. “Now a new record has been set for the whole of the Baltics!”

The Agency, which is one of the largest independent promoters in the Baltic States, is promoting the concert alongside FKP Scorpio.

Folkert Koopmans, founder & CEO of FKP Scorpio, adds: “By selling the most tickets of any artist in the Baltics, Ed Sheeran has set yet another record. We’re proud and happy to be promoting the shows and couldn’t have done so without the support of all local stakeholders and our partner agencies. L Tips Agency’s work has been invaluable in making the second-ever music concert in Kaunas stadium possible. We’re already looking forward to seeing everything coming together in August 2024!”

The 32-year-old’s forthcoming Dubai concerts could become the best-selling shows in UAE history

Sheeran’s record-breaking streak doesn’t stop at independent promoters, nor does it stop in Europe. As previously reported in IQ, the 32-year-old’s forthcoming Dubai concerts could become the best-selling shows in UAE history, according to All Thing Live Middle East CEO Thomas Ovesen.

The British singer-songwriter is due to play the Sevens Stadium from 19-20 January 2024 in what are being called the largest open-air concerts ever to take place in Dubai.

The dates, which will see Sheeran perform “in the round”, will be his first in the Middle East since playing at the city’s Autism Rocks Arena in November 2017, which attracted a sell-out 23,272 crowd.

Last month, Sheeran concluded the North American leg of his Mathematics tour, with the final date on 28 October at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Sheeran is represented by Marty Diamond and Ash Lewis at Wasserman for US and Canada, and Jon Ollier at One Finiix Live for the rest of the world.

 


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OneRepublic to headline Isle of MTV Malta 2023

MTV has announced that OneRepublic will headline Europe’s biggest free summer festival, Isle of MTV Malta 2023.

The Ryan Tedder-fronted band will top the bill at the event, now in its 15th year, at the 50,000-cap Il-Fosos Square on 18 July, with additional performers to be confirmed.

The festival, which is staged in partnership with the Malta Tourism Authority, will be followed by Isle of MTV Malta Music Week, a series of club nights and parties across venues on the island from 18-23 July.

“Isle of MTV Malta’s 15th year is going to be bigger than ever as we once again light up il-Fosos Square with epic performances from today’s top artists,” says Bruce Gillmer, president of music, music talent, programming & events, Paramount and chief content officer, music, Paramount+. “OneRepublic are long-time friends of MTV and, after their epic performance at the 2022 MTV EMAs, we can’t wait to see them wow fans in Malta.”

“It offers a fantastic opportunity for Maltese artists to exhibit their talents on the international stage”

Over its 14 editions, Isle of MTV Malta has welcomed acts such as Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg, David Guetta and Martin Garrix.

“Isle of MTV has always been of great importance for Malta as it not only brings together thousands of music fans from all over Europe but is a sterling platform to showcase the island’s unique and vibrant entertainment scene,” adds Malta’s minister for tourism Clayton Bartolo. “In conjunction with renowned names in the music world, it offers a fantastic opportunity for Maltese artists to exhibit their talents on the international stage which in turn promotes Maltese culture and helps to enhance the island’s rich artistic heritage.”

The event will broadcast on MTV on 15 September in more than 150 countries across TV, digital and social channels.

 


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€300k fund for Malta rock concerts and festivals

Twenty festivals and concerts in Malta are set to benefit from a €300,000 fund devised to support their events.

The Rock’N Malta fund was set up by government body Festivals Malta in a bid to raise the profile of Maltese culture in the community and to promote Malta internationally as a festival destination. It opened applications for 2023 to event organisers last July.

“Since the launch of this [scheme] in 2017, we have managed to offer support to several local artists and organisers to produce rock concerts and all subgenres of this genre,” says Dr Owen Bonnici, minister for national heritage, arts and local government.

“After a call for applications was issued in July 2022, the agency received a very positive response, out of which 20 applicants were successful and will benefit from this fund.”

The programme for 2023 will include Rock the South, Rock Wired, Venti Music Fest, Plaguefest, Dark Malta and Music Playground,along with standalone concerts by international acts Mike and the Mechanics and former Eurovision winners Lordi.

“This fund also helps the agency to reach new audiences through international artists”

“Through the Rock’N Malta fund, Festivals Malta is fully investing in rock music with the aim of helping artists who are still at the beginning of their career,” says Festivals Malta chair Aaron Zahra. “This fund also helps the agency to reach new audiences through international artists who already have several followers in our country.”

Nick Morales, organiser of three-day rock festival Rock the South, which celebrates its 10th year in May, tells the Times of Malta the event will receive €10,000 from the scheme, which will fund roughly a third of its costs.

“Funds are very important to improve the event’s logistics and bring bigger acts,” says Morales.

Separate to the initiative, Malta has hosted Europe’s biggest free music festival, Isle of MTV, annually since 2007. Attracting crowds in excess of 50,000, it has welcomed acts such as Lady Gaga, Rita Ora, Enrique Iglesias, Marshmello and Bebe Rexha.

 


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Pollen teams with 50 Cent on Malta getaway

Music, travel and tech company Pollen has shared further details of its 50 Cent festival collaboration Green Light Gang, which heads to Malta from 22-26 September.

The rapper is headlining the four-day “island holiday experience” offering live music, parties, beach walks and other activities, and has curated a supporting line-up of hip-hop and R&B talent.

Confirmed acts include Akon, Fat Joe, Heartless Crew, DJ Premier, Remi Ma, So Solid Crew, Trina and Jeremih, while venues will include nightclubs Uno, Cafe Del Mar and The Castle.

Hotel options start at £499, with add-ons such as champagne brunch and cruises, jet ski safari and other VIP packages also available.

Pollen previously teamed with Bring Me The Horizon on a four-day festival in Malta

“Influencer marketplace” Pollen previously teamed with rock band Bring Me The Horizon on a four-day festival in Malta in May.

Other artist-curated weekenders organised by Pollen Presents include the Unruly Culture Splash Weekender in Croatia with Popcaan, Diplo’s Higher Ground festival in Cabo, Mexico, the Kurupt FM Weekender in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and J Balvin’s Neon Weekender and Justin Bieber & Friends – both in Las Vegas, US.

Founded in 2014 by brothers Callum and Liam Negus-Fancey, London-headquartered Pollen runs two offerings: Pollen Presents, which curates experiences for customers across travel, music, and more; and Pollen+ which partners with promoters and music festivals to offer customers who book through its platforms perks at events.

The company raised US$150 million in a Series C round earlier this year.

 


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Bring Me The Horizon to curate festival in Malta

Bring Me The Horizon have announced plans to curate a four-day festival in Malta next year.

The event, which will take from 26-30 May 2022, will feature a handpicked line-up by the Sheffield rock band, a full live show and an exclusive retrospective set from the band alongside a host of club nights, pool party takeovers and boat parties.

The line-up and location are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

The weekender is organised by Pollen, a UK-based startup that develops an ‘influencer marketplace’ for events.

Other artist-curated weekenders organised by Pollen Presents include Diplo’s Higher Ground festival in Cabo, Mexico, the Kurupt FM Weekender in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, J Balvin’s Neon Weekender and Justin Bieber & Friends – both in Las Vegas, US.

“[We’re going to] come up with as much madness as you’d expect from a fully metal, rock festival”

“We’re buzzing to be hosting a Bring Me The Horizon-themed festival in Malta next year, coming up with as much madness as you’d expect from a fully metal, rock festival,” says frontman Oli Sykes.

“As well as our headline set we’re also going to be doing a special throwback set with some songs we haven’t played for years, and have an insane lineup of friends and guests coming out to perform too. It’s basically going to be the greatest weekend ever.”

Pollen, founded in 2014 and previously called Verve, works with organisers, promoters and ticketing platforms to negotiate a certain amount of tickets to an event that will be marketed through the members (anyone who books a group experience), according to Tech Crunch.

The members, in turn, decide which events they want to promote to their networks. Those who manage to shift tickets (which are not sold by Pollen but by ticketing partners), get rewards including free trips, VIP upgrades, and private group events. Pollen generates revenue by taking a cut on each sale.

The startup, which raised $60 million in funding in October 2019, has worked with the likes of Live Nation, Ticketmaster, Eventbrite, StubHub and SeeTickets.


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Mediterranean signals hope for 2020 festival summer

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, festivalgoers will get their chance to dance in the Mediterranean sunshine this year, with a number of festivals taking place in Greece, Malta, Croatia and on the southern coast of France

The first festival to return, Xlalala Presents-promoted Long Beach Festival 2.0 welcomed 2,000 festivalgoers over two days of performances in the northern city of Pydna from 24 to 25 July.

Although mostly seated, audience members were able to stand and still remain distant from each other at the Terra Republic festival site, which usually welcomes up to 50,000 concertgoers.

Hygiene regulations and temperature checks were in place at the festival, which featured performances from Greek acts including Stelios Dionisiou, Pyx Lax, Villagers of Ioannina City and Planet of Zeus.

Long Beach Festival will return next year with an extended, four-day programme from 4 to 8 August.

Xlalala Presents’ Athens event, Urban Athens, is set to go ahead from 7 to 8 August at Terra Vibe Park with the same line-up.

Also taking place from 7 August is GEM Festival, a four-stage, three-day event on the Greek island of Zakynthos, or Zante, with acts including Andrea Ferlin, Anushka, Paul van Dyk and Romeo Blanco.

The festival has reduced capacity at its 110,000 square-metre site and will not allow camping. Guests will be temperature tested on entry, with those showing signs of a high temperature being tested for Covid-19. Everyone entering the festival’s VIP area will also be tested.

Tickets for the festival are priced at €30 for a one-day pass and €170 for a full ticket, with VIP passes costing €1,250.

Festivals are also making an appearance this summer in France, with the Panda Events- and Allover-promoted Les Croisières Électroniques (Electronic Cruises) taking place in Cannes Bay from 2 to 9 and 23 to 30 August.

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, festivalgoers will get their chance to dance in the Mediterranean sunshine this year

The cataraman-based event will see up to 100 music fans a time board from Cannes Bay and Lerins Island for a day of music, dancing and water sports.

Tickets start from €70, with VIP options also available.

Family Piknik festival, postponed from July, is another event entertaining French music fans, bringing two days of live music to the grounds of Montpellier Airport, with sets from Charlotte de Witte, La Fleur, Rodriguez Jr, Tom Pooks and Mind Against.

With a limited capacity of 5,000, the event is taking place on 12 September. Tickets, €40 regular and €100 for a backstage pass, are available here.

Across the Mediterranean, the island state of Malta is also preparing to welcome back festivalgoers, with BPM Festival Malta (Fatboy Slim, Amelie Lens, Maceo Plex), Escape 2 the Island festival (AJ Tracey, Fredo, Aitch), Rhythm and Waves festival (Chase and Status, Shy FX, Wilkinson) and Mi Casa festival (Gorgon City, Hannah Wants, Sonny Fodera) all open to international revellers at the end of August and throughout September.

A fifth Maltese festival, Back.In the Future, has been called off due to “lower than expected ticket sales”. The event, due to take place at open-air venues Gianpula Village and Uno Malta from 29 to 30 August, was to feature acts including Chase and Status, DJ EZ and Wiley.

Ticketholders will receive an automatic refund and will also be offered complimentary guestlist entry to Escape 2 the Island and/or Rhythm and Waves festivals, as well as a €50 drinks credit.

Croatia, normally a hotspot of summer festival activity, is far quieter this year as authorities introduce stringent social distancing restrictions. Mainstays including Dimensions, Ultra Europe, Outlook, Sonus and Hideout are among those forced to cancel this year’s edition.

Some are still forging ahead, however. BSH Island festival, set to take place at the Noa Beach Club from 7 to 12 July, was forced to scrap its original format just a week prior to the event, downsizing from 5,000 capacity to 900 for an alternative, socially distanced festival.

Trance and progressive festival Awake is also going ahead in a socially distanced manner. With a reduced capacity of 1,000, Awake will host acts including Cosmic Gate, Paul Thomas and Paul van Dyk from 20 to 23 August on Zcre beach.

Tickets for Awake, including hotel, villa and apartment packages, are available here. Day tickets start from €40 and four-day passes priced at €152.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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Malta to host trio of festivals this summer

The southern European island state of Malta is preparing to welcome festivalgoers over the next few months, as it gets set to become one of the only European countries to host large-scale music events this summer.

With one of the lowest rates of Covid-19 in Europe, Malta is lifting lockdown measures – including all international travel restrictions – on 15 July. It is one of 60 countries included in a list of “travel corridors” with the UK, meaning those travelling between the two countries will not need to self-isolate on arrival.

Escape 2 the Island, organised by UK-based promoter Bass Jam, will see artists including Aitch, AJ Tracey, Fredo and Charlie Sloth perform at the Malta Fairs and Convention Centre (MFCC), an indoor and outdoor events venue in the town of Attard, from 28 to 30 August.

The festival is organised in conjunction with the Malta Tourism Authority and Visit Malta. Tickets for the event went on sale on Friday (3 July), priced from €99 for general admission and €129 for VIP.

From 4 to 6 September, Rhythm and Waves festival will take place at outdoor events arena Gianpula Village, with performances from Andy C, Chase and Status, Netsky, Subfocus, Shy FX and Wilkinson.

The southern European island state of Malta is preparing to welcome thousands of festivalgoers over the next few months

Tickets are priced from €119 for general admission and €149 for VIP and can be bought here.

Global dance music brand BPM is holding its inaugural Maltese edition from 11 to 13 September at open-air club Uno Malta.

The line-up for the festival, which has previously taken place in Mexico, Portugal, Israel and Costa Rica, is yet to be announced. Fans can register for pre-sale tickets and further information here.

The fate of events in fellow Mediterranean festival hotspot, Croatia, is hanging in the balance this year, after authorities banned events from taking place on Zrće beach on the island of Pag last week, leading to the cancellation of BSH Events’ BSH Island festival. It had previously been believed that clubs and events on the beach would reopen this week.

Pag is typically home to Hideout, Sonus, Zrce Spring Break Europe and Austria Goes Zrce festivals.

Neighbouring Serbia will host Exit Festival in August, with acts including Amelie Lens, Maceo Plex and Nina Kraviz performing to a 50% capacity crowd at the Petrovaradin fortress in Novi Sad.

 


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Competition: Win 2 tickets to IMS College Malta

International Music Summit is offering IQ readers the chance to win two tickets to this weekend’s IMS College Malta.

IMS College, which aims to offer delegates a “crash course in electronic music”, returns to the Mediterranean island from Friday 7 to Sunday 9 July after a successful debut last year.

“As IMS approaches its first decade, it feels right for us to put even more focus on inspiring the new generation of producers, performers and industry protagonists,” explains IMS co-founder Ben Turner. “IMS College Malta year one was a revelation for us: a different approach to curating a summit, considering the audience was so open to absorbing all forms of education and instruction about this incredible culture of music. We thank our partners and the government of Malta for seeing the value in taking such an approach to educate whilst we entertain.”

Up for grabs are two tickets, worth €70 each, which grant access to both days – and all associated keynotes, panels, workshops and masterclasses– and all three nights of the summit, including night-time DJ sets by Sven Vath, Agoria, Richie Ahmed and Todd Terry.

More information on the summit is available at www.internationalmusicsummit.com/college.

To enter, email [email protected] before midnight on Wednesday 5 July with the subject line “IMS College Malta competition”.

IMS College Malta 2017 competition

 


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