Maltese performing artists are taking their acts to a virtual stage this weekend in an online performance organised by Comedy Knights.
The group created the concept after many other independent artists and members of the performing arts scene have found themselves out of work since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Comedy Knights, mainly known for its annual Christmas comedy sketch, came up with a solution: uniting local artists and bringing their performances to the public through live streaming, while simultaneously fundraising to provide the performers with some form of financial support.
The fundraising event, aptly titled Artists You Knighted will place on Saturday 6 June between 7pm and 11pm.
“These are difficult times for everyone, but it increasingly seems like the performing arts industry will be among the hardest hit, taking the longest to return to its pre-COVID days,” the organisers said.
Instead of waiting around for government financial handouts, Maltese creative entrepreneurs have stepped forward to explore ways of assisting the local arts scene.
Although the new eased measures for indoor theatres come into effect on Friday, these are still subject to specific conditions, which include the maximum number of patrons that the premises can hold at any one time, crowd management and disinfection, among others.
While the measures are necessarily stringent, they make it impossible for any independent producer to create a financially viable live performance.
On 6 June, each artist will perform or showcase their work from the safety of their own space. The virtual space is also an interactive one, allowing the public to comment and interact with these performers, as well as support the artists by donating money.
Half of the proceeds collected will go directly to supporting the artists, while the other half will go towards setting up an NGO with the aim of uniting local performing artists in their support of one another over the long term.
The festival line up includes artists such as Renzo Spiteri, tenor Nico Darmanin, West End performer Colin Zammit Lupi, Tony award-nominated and American Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis and musician Joe Roscoe.
The marathon will be streamed on the Comedy Knights Facebook page.