Large-scale music festivals set to attract thousands of international clubbers to the island this summer are to be cancelled amid coronavirus concerns. 

The four large events will not go ahead after an agreement between organisers, the government and the tourism authority. 

The events planned for August and September are BPM Festival Malta, Escape 2 The Island, Mi Casa Festival and Rhythm and Waves Festival. They were organised by Entertainment Concepts Limited

BPM Festival - the largest of the four events - released a statement on social media saying it was cancelling the event following "close conversations with our partners at the Malta Tourism Authority". 

Ticket-holders would receive a refund within 30 days, organisers said. 

Escape 2 The Island festival and Mi Casa Festivals shared identical statements while Rhythm and Waves Festival announced the cancellation on the festival website

On Thursday, Health Minister Chris Fearne announced new restrictions on head counts following a spike in COVID-19 cases, many linked to a  ‘hotel takeover’ party and a religious feast. 

However, doctors and nurses threatened industrial action if the events were not cancelled.

Among the mega-events that had been due to land in Malta this summer was the world-renowned BPM Festival.

Traditionally held in Portugal, the electronic music festival was cancelled this year until the “gem of the Mediterranean” stepped in to “save summer 2020”, according to its promoters. 

It had been set to welcome international and local partygoers for a three-day music event in early September to be held at open-air club Uno.

Another festival, Escape 2 The Island, had been promoting itself to UK revellers as offering “the biggest names in grime, drill and UK hip-hop”.

The decision to cancel the large-scale festivals comes as many other EU countries have also cancelled this year’s festival season, and contrasts with decisions made by local festivals to call off their 2020 events.

One source in the industry said that cancelling the events had been a logistical nightmare with some 700 artists booked to perform all needing to be contacted individually.

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