Two Maltese musicians had their sets cut short during their performance at the EuroPride concert on Saturday evening, spurring online controversy after they posted their disappointment on social media.

“We are immensely disappointed after we were stopped mid-song yesterday to finish earlier than expected,” popular Maltese band The Travellers wrote on Facebook.

Held at the Floriana Granaries on Saturday, the EuroPride concert featured headlining act Christina Aguilera alongside local musicians The Travellers and Ira Losco. 

However, during their set, The Travellers had their microphones turned off during a rendition of ABBA’s Lay All Your Love On Me, leaving the crowd to sing the lyrics while the stage went silent, ending their performance.

Speaking to Times of Malta, the band’s lead singer Chris Gatt explained that they had originally agreed to go on stage for 30 minutes. 

However, as the show was already behind schedule, the band questioned production staff “multiple times” if they should shorten their track list before going out.

“We never had a problem cooperating with the show’s organisers or playing less than our scheduled time because we understood the situation they were in,” Gatt said.

“But, more than that, at no point while we were playing did we receive instructions to stop playing early.

“Professionalism demands that there is clear communication and although we had four songs left, we expected the organisers to have the decency to let us finish the song we were playing, even if we were not informed,” the singer said.

At the time of writing, the post garnered over 300 comments as fans reassured the band that the experience was enjoyable, regardless of its sudden stop.

“It's really a pity. You gave a great performance and we enjoyed every moment of it. They silenced you but the crowd echoed your tune,” Glenn Borg wrote.

“It was so shameful!!! You rocked guys!!!!” Joanne Mizzi echoed.

Embarrass the band

Ex-Eurovision singer Ira Losco also had her set cut short, however, according to local music producer Howard Keith Debono, the ending was not as abrupt as the singer was told to not perform her final song while she was on stage.

In his own Facebook post, Debono said that production staff communicated to the sound team to stop the set and “switch off the sound immediately”.

Debono, who was doing the sound for both artists, emphasised that this type of practice should never happen during a professional production and that there is no justifiable reason to “embarrass” a band in front of over 30,000 people.

“Are we seriously back to the 80's when these things used to happen in Malta? The local community is very angry. I am extremely disappointed,” he wrote while also hinting that there are more issues to be talked about but did not give further details.

Questions regarding the incident have been sent to the Reforms and Equality Ministry, which was in charge of EuroPride events.

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