Frustrated artists, producers and entertainers are to protest on Saturday against COVID-19 rules that curb events, while uncontrolled crowds gather elsewhere.

The demonstration will take place outside parliament despite police turning down a previous application for a "controlled, seated and socially distant, peaceful protest".

It follows outrage over footage showing crowds of football supporters celebrating in Ħamrun on Thursday night.

“I am doing this because I believe in the rights of all art and entertainment workers in this beautiful industry,” said Howard Debono, the head of the Malta Entertainment Industry and Arts Association. 

From Monday, seated mass events will resume but only the fully vaccinated will be allowed in, with numbers initially capped at 100 people. MEIA is calling for a 'level playing field' with other sectors. 

Debono's post, telling his supporters he would be outside parliament tomorrow, prompted similar messages from other artists and entertainers, including singer Ira Losco, theatre director Toni Attard, and theatre producer Edward Mercieca.

Rather than a planned event, which would require a permit, each artist says they will individually turn up outside parliament at 10.30am, carrying placards saying ‘no more discrimination for arts and entertainment’.

Earlier Debono said that it was clear the Ħamrun celebrations were planned and approved by authorities, as several photos and videos showed members of the force looking on as the street party took place.

Actors from 'WhatsTheirName Theatre' who currently are running the Shakespeare production 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', will also be present at tomorrow's protest.

Due to the change in restrictions, the theatre production had to postpone their shows by a week and find a new venue for the production.

Ħamrun celebrations was the latest in a string of spontaneous mass gatherings- others included hundreds of people gathering at St.George's Bay and a large crowd that gathered in Gozo to cheer and welcome the arrival of record-breaking swimmer Neil Agius.

Originally, a protest by Malta's entertainment industry was planned for June 24, but was temporarily suspended due to further talks and negotiations with the government.

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