fot. Festiwal Malta

Dominika Kulczyk wants to buy Poznań’s Malta Festival

The Malta Festival is the largest cultural event organised in Poznań. The festival has a tradition of over 30 years, but has run into financial difficulties. Help to save the event was expressed by Dominika Kulczyk, who issued a statement on the matter

The Malta Festival is a cultural event that has been taking place for 33 years. During this period it has managed to attract 2.5 million spectators. Every year, for a few days the streets of Poznań are transformed into a huge stage. Performances and cultural events are often organised outdoors and can be attended by all residents. Artists from all over the world used to come to Poznań on the occasion of the festival; the event attracted big names

In recent years, however, the festival has fallen into financial difficulties. The problems began 10 years ago, when one of the concerts was cancelled due to a structural defect in the stage. The performer received an honorarium and the audience was refunded their ticket money – the amounts were significant. This started a years-long expensive process with the company handling the technical side of the festival

Another problem was the pandemic in 2020 and the impossibility of organising events with audience participation. The perturbations related to the outbreak of war in Ukraine also did their part. Michal Merczynski – the initiator, organiser and long-standing director of the event – bid farewell to the festival in his current role in July this year. “This is the last edition of which I am the director,” he announced, thanking the audience and artists for 32 years of shared experiences. The vision of Poznan without Malta has become a reality. In an open letter to the Poznań authorities, many people from the world of culture and media appealed for help for the festival: directors, actors, musicians, writers and journalists

The Malta Festival comprises hundreds of artistic events with the participation of the most eminent representatives of the world of culture. We have hosted Nobel Prize winners Olga Tokarczuk, John Maxwell Coetzee and Orhan Pamuk, and featured performances by, among others, Goran Bregović, Buena Vista Social Club and Radiohead. The rank of the event is confirmed by the awards it has received, including EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe, which Malta Festival Poznań was awarded in 2016 as one of 12 out of 1,200 festivals competing for this prestigious accolade. ‘We were the first in Poland to receive this award,’ recalls Magdalena Sroka, Malta Festival plenipotentiary

Unexpectedly, Dominika Kulczyk expressed her support for the festival

When I heard about the festival’s troubles, there could only be one decision. Poland and my Poznań cannot lose Malta, and Malta cannot lose Michał Merczyński,’ says Dominika Kulczyk

Interestingly, the first patron of the Malta Festival was Dr Jan Kulczyk

The Malta Festival is a great communal spectacle, an experience for artists, audiences, volunteers and the entire Maltese community. If this tradition were to be interrupted, it would be a great loss, not only to Poznań. Dominika Kulczyk’s declaration is very important,” stresses Michał Merczyński

photo Maciej Zakrzewski

If Dominika Kulczyk succeeds in taking over the festival, it will probably be held in a new edition. The focus of the artists and the audience is to be on women – their art and the themes close to them

If we believe that culture and art change reality – and it is precisely changing the reality of women that is my goal and the goal of the Kulczyk Foundation, which I direct – then involvement in the Malta Festival fits perfectly with our strategy of action. By organising a festival that would empower women, point out their problems, promote a balance between men and women and build harmony between the two worlds, we will be able to successively improve the situation of women and change the attitude of men,” explains Dominika Kulczyk of her decision

The formal owner of the rights to Malta is the Malta Foundation, which is currently in restructuring proceedings. Talks are underway between entities in Dominika Kulczyk’s group and the court supervisor who is leading the process of selling the rights to the festival as part of the restructuring proceedings

The outcome of these talks is, of course, uncertain, but I firmly believe that a solution will be worked out so that the festival will gain a new owner and the Malta Foundation will be able to repay its debts,’ says Magdalena Sroka, Malta Festival’s attorney

source: press materials

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