Arts Council to provide financial aid to musicians evicted from Rampole garage complex

The Malta Arts Council will provide financial assistance to displaced musicians from the former Rampol Garage in Birkirkara to continue their artistic endeavors.

The Arts Council of Malta (ACM) will provide a subsidy of €1,500 in the first year, with an additional €600 in each of the subsequent two years. This comprehensive support package amounts to €2,700 per unit (band/lead musician) over three years.

“The strategic purpose of these funds is to alleviate the high costs associated with securing new rehearsal space. This includes covering increased rent, utility bills, soundproofing and basic maintenance costs. By alleviating these financial pressures, these supports will allow orchestras to focus on their music, ensuring smoother transitions and greater stability and confidence,” ACM said in a statement.

This displacement affected quite a few artists. The current forecast includes 25 bands and artists who have either received eviction notices or have already left their spaces. Many artists living in the former Rampore have vacated their garages and looked for alternative solutions.

The main concern remains the longevity and sustainability of the musicians and bands. Birkirkara’s predecessor, Rampol, is a private company and their displacement not only disrupted their daily routines but also created a huge financial burden. “These issues must be addressed immediately to prevent adverse impacts on this type of profession.”

The ACM said the €1,500 subsidy represented significant support, covering around two years of their original costs, given that the orchestra had previously paid between €800 and €900 per year.

The assistance will be provided through a strategic financial support program called the ExRampol, Birkirkara Bands (One-off) Support Programme, with two conference calls scheduled for June and September 2024. Eligibility is awarded based on which artists are currently using the spaces. There will also be consultation with those affected, in line with the principles of participatory governance set out in Strategy 2025.

“In a time of crisis, when quite a few orchestras find themselves about to be evicted from the garages where they work, the Malta Arts Council has responded immediately by providing the assistance requested. The ACM understands the importance of investing in the alternative music sector and firmly believes in it Musicians working in this field should be included in the public funding schemes available because through their experimentation and originality of creative output, these artists are providing Made a seminal contribution to the development of the alternative music scene in Malta and Gozitan. “

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