Victoria International Art Festival (VIAF) is a live testimony to voluntary work, which can neither be measured nor priced. The professional artistic input by the organisers, started by the late Mro Joseph Vella and currently led by Artistic Director George J. Frendo is priceless. It would be impossible to present a range of concerts and cultural events over a five-week period if the staff asked for a fee. Also, since the beginning, VIAF has offered all of its editions free of charge to its patrons, and this has been appreciated by all and sundry, not least by the musicians who over the years have convened on Gozo from all over the world to delight audiences with their wonderful performances.
This year’s transitioning onto an online platform has, primarily, been made possible through the incredible cooperation and generosity of the many musicians who were scheduled to perform in this 23rd edition. Most of them agreed to voluntarily record specifically for the virtual Festival this year: a few even hired superb halls to do this and asked professional cameramen and technicians to do the job. If VIAF needed any proof that it is a valued and valuable project surely this is it!
Judging from the number of views that the festival had online, which is increasing exponentially as the Festival unfolds, the organisers know that they have managed to turn a potentially disastrous situation into a golden opportunity. Transitioning online has not been easy, and without the help of the staff, most notably Dr Mario Farrugia, this project would have never seen the light of day. Through its online platform VIAF is now reaching all four corners of the world, with an increasing cohort of foreigners now tuning in to listen to these beautiful concerts. Musicians are also sharing links and encouraging friends, professional and lay people alike, to enjoy the daily concerts.
We do urge all listeners to donate freely. You may do so by following this link on Get Involved page. Every drop counts and we thank you beforehand for your kindness and generosity. Your donation helps the organisers sustain this amazing project in no small way.
On YouTube you can see all the performances.