Sunday morning brought to a close the 2018 Gibraltar Music Festival. Whether you loved it, loathed it, or simply weren’t in attendance, it’s been a strange year for the festival.
The build up was marred by heavy criticism for the losses made by the 2017 festival, and the losses, as a whole, the festival has made since it’s inception.
There has been complaints over the crowd the festival appears to be drawing, and the way the festival is run. With people purchasing tickets for food and drink but unable to return them for cash should they not use them.
So as the stages are packed away, the question on everyone’s lips is will the festival return in his current form?
A very successful beginning, which was organised locally, the quality of scheduled acts was ever improving and the endorsement of MTV should have been a real statement of intent. An opportunity to bring attention to local acts and to Gibraltar in general.
However, since power was handed over to MTV the quality of artist has declined, become repetitive, whereas the cost of the ticket has increased.
Geographically the festival is fantastic for Gibraltarians, families, people with children because it’s enjoyable and close to home.
Something special on the doorstep, an event that Gibraltar should be proud of. The way it was originally designed to be.
However, it appears to have lost it’s way.
Last year the festival had a reported loss of £3.1 million, and according to reports only 6,200 people watched the highlights program when it was broadcast in the UK. A statistic which becomes even more embarrassing when the Government claimed that with MTV Gibraltar could reach audiences of up to 1 billion viewers.
Of course this is a completely ludicrous figure. You would be surprised if the largest festivals in the world, such as Glastonbury, Coachella, amassed those kind of statistics.
Either the Government was delusional in their predictions or were simply mis-sold the kind of brand MTV is these days.
Take today’s schedule for example, there is TEN hours back to back of Catfish, with Big Brother highlights sandwiched between two episodes of Teen Mom. This is not a brand which has music at the forefront of it’s appeal anymore.
It’s essentially a reality television channel for teenagers. It’s not a gateway for music enthusiasts.
So will now be a turning point?
Political parties are asking for the organisation of the festival to be handed back to locals. Whether or not that will be the case remains to be seen, but in it’s current state, and driving a continuous loss it’s obvious that changes need to made in order to keep this once great idea alive.