QUICKE OF THE WEEK: A short interview with Rene Hades Farrugia (DJ Hades) & Sabrina Chircop (Aleera de Lune) – Dark Malta Crew (April 2020)

written by Marko Jakob [originally made for #coronachronicles Gothic Empire magazine]

Pix666: Hello Rene and Sabrina, I hope you are doing reasonably well and you are healthy?

Dark Malta Crew: Hey Guys. We are Both safe and healthy, which in these difficult times there’s nothing more precious than health.

Pix666: What thoughts come up in both of you when you see the date 17.04.2020 on the calendar in the next days?

Dark Malta Crew: Well when we look at the calendar, sadness is the first feeling we have. But health comes first and foremost so the only reasonable decision to take was to move the date to November.

Pix666: When were you told that you had to postpone the festival and what were your feelings about it? Did you have a lot of communication with the authorities in Malta?

Dark Malta Crew: To be honest we anticipated the authorities and moved before it was ordered to us. After a couple discussions with the authorities we realised that we would be asked to move the date so we did it immediately since for us the health and safety of the people who attend the festival is the most important thing. The Maltese Authorities were very helpful and supportive so it made our task easier.

Pix666: Please tell the readers what you have to think of as an organizer when you suddenly have to postpone a festival? I’m sure you have to cancel a lot of things, not only the festival itself?

Dark Malta Crew: It was a whole year work that needed to be moved. After we contacted all the Bands we did the announcement. We had also informed the Hotel and the transport company. Then we had a meeting with the venue to find a new date available and also the various suppliers of the festival. Also we stopped all Festival Merchandise from being printed and now we are doing 2 changes to the lineup. Also until Friday 10th April we were rebating the tickets for all the people that couldn’t travel for the festival in the new dates. Also automatically all the other purchased tickets were transferred to the new dates.

Pix666: How do you divide the tasks in the festival organisation – who is responsible for what?

Dark Malta Crew: Both of us start working on the Festival from the day after the previous festival is over. We decide about the lineup and start contacting Headliners and guest bands. Also we open applications for bands that wish to perform. Then all the logistics comes in – ie accommodation of bands, transport etc etc. During the Festival itself we divide duties. While Sabrina takes care of the front of house crew and makes sure doors and merchandise stands run efficiently, Rene takes care of the Stage and Technical Duties. Of course we cannot do everything on our own and we are lucky to have a wonderful crew to work with.

Pix666: Did you consciously choose such a late date when you postponed the festival or did you even threaten to cancel it completely?

Dark Malta Crew: Both Options were taken in consideration. We decided to postpone to late November, since after consulting with local authorities was the only option that looked viable. Unfortunately we live in a period were nothing is certain, so we are still monitoring everything.

Pix666: The schedule for the bands is pretty full in the future. Do you already know how many bands from the original line-up will be able to participate in the festival in November?

Dark Malta Crew: Yes mainly all Lineup is available for the November Edition. The changes will be advised soon on all our social media.

Pix666: How does life in Malta look in general at the moment? Do the people there comply with the regulations that the state has made?

Dark Malta Crew: Mainly the people are complying with the regulations and things are quite under control. But you still find those few stupid selfish people that do what they want and they are the biggest threat to our health.

Pix666: How has your private life currently changed?

Dark Malta Crew: It changed a lot. Right now we are obliging the regulations and staying inside as much as possible keeping our selves busy with the festival changes. The Club (The Garage) is closed too. Aleera de Lune is taking advantage of this period to refine her skills in photo editing and graphic design while DJ Hades looking for new music. Also our little dogs are the most happy with the situation, because we are spending more time with them 🙂 .

Pix666: Thank you very much for the interesting insights into the life of a festival organizer. Stay healthy – see you in the November.


photos © by Rene Hades Farrugia & Sabrina Chircop

[Interview originally made for #coronachronicles Gothic Empire magazine]