Claudio Baglioni arrives in Malta for concert of 'giants'
On stage that evening, he is being accompanied by two more of Italian music's "true giants" - Riccardo Cocciante and Gianni Morandi - in an unprecedented joint performance. It was the first time they would be on stage together throughout the concert, said the local organisers, NnG Promotions and the Tourism and Culture Ministry.
The event, which is free, can be enjoyed from any point at the waterfront - even the restaurant area, they said, aiming for a dispersed crowd and explaining that the stage area would not be blocked off. Watching the show from boats in Grand Harbour was also being strongly welcomed and encouraged - unlike the case of other concerts, where organisers would be perturbed by the advantage the public would take of the somewhat open location to watch concerts for free.
As regards the anticipated size of the crowd, it was hard to say, but being a free event on a Saturday night, with the only festa in St Julians, it was likely that the audience would be vast. Around 12,000 people can fit on the quay alone, and groups will be sectioned off as they walk in, for security purposes, the organisers said.
The three singers are also expected to attract an older crowd and the event would be family-oriented to an extent, they said. Following requests for seating, they pointed out that there would be no VIP section at the concert. Meanwhile, public transport arrangements, which have proven to be successful in previous large-scale events, were also being seen to, and discussions are being held this week with bus owners, the Public Transport Association and the Malta Transport Authority (ADT).
Organised to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the birth of the O'Scià project, the show was conceived and promoted by Mr Baglioni to awaken institutions, political parties, the media and public opinion to the phenomenon of migration.
Local organisers stressed that the concert was aimed at "putting pressure on Europe to take the problem of illegal immigration seriously and not, as has been suggested, as a show of solidarity towards immigrants". Mr Baglioni began the project alone from the beach of Lampedusa, in the hope that music would help people reflect on what he considered to be one of the most painful and complex issues of the moment.
Since then, O'Scià has grown into a foundation, supported by a number of institutions, which intends to take the concert to Libya and the Canary Islands after Malta. The Malta event is attracting foreign media, and an Italian video troupe, as well as around 20 journalists from Italian newspapers, the organisers said. The concert, hosted by Italian TV personality Fabrizio Frizzi, starts at 8.30 p.m., with performances by local guest singers Ira Losco, Ivan Filletti and Ivan Grech from Winter Moods, who are expected to join in the show and its protagonists towards the end.
Realised with the support of the Italian Interior Ministry and the National Heritage and Culture Ministry, the event is also enjoying the cooperation of Malta's Justice and Home Affairs Ministry.
by Fiona Galea Debono
9, Tourists Street
Tel: 356 21 578100
Fax: 356 21 578635
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