Valletta 18 boss in unprovoked Facebook spat with Brikkuni frontman

Brikkuni frontman’s Mario Vella’s classic comeback to Jason Micallef: ‘You’re f**king with somebody else’s cock. Earth Garden doesn’t need you’

Bruiser: Valletta 2018 chairman Jason Micallef
Bruiser: Valletta 2018 chairman Jason Micallef

Brikkuni frontman Mario Vella is a thorn in the side of those who are addicted to popular approval: people like, possibly… Jason Micallef, the head of the Valletta 2018 Foundation which is stewarding the capital city’s tenure as co-European Capital of Culture.

For how could anyone explain the unprovoked stumble of Micallef, the chairman of the Labour Party’s media company and formerly a party official, into a Facebook chat with Vella after the latter’s performance at Earth Garden?

So began the day’s tit-for-tat between Micallef and Vella, when the V18 boss decided to post a comment on Vella’s wall as the singer gave thanks to his audience for turning up to Brikkuni’s gig on Thursday at the festival in Ta’ Qali.

Brikkuni frontman Mario Vella
Brikkuni frontman Mario Vella

“I enjoy seeing those who mock V18 forget their frivolity and their ‘wannabee’ statuses so that they participate in festivals like Earth Garden which are financially supported by V18. Good on you Mario for telling your fans what you like when it suits you #valletta 2018,” Micallef, 47, posted in a comment on Vella’s status.

Brikkuni had already performed twice at Earth Garden before the V18 backing.

Micallef’s was an uninvited jab, and a bold one at that, coming from someone whose resignation was demanded by 100 artists in a petition, and by a group of MEPs. “The V18 chairman squabbling with local musicians over Facebook… *slow clap*,” said one Facebook user.

Vella certainly pulled no punches with the sarcastic V18 boss. “That’s my only regret [the V18 backing]… we certainly won’t participate any time sooner if this twinning persists. We get by without you.”

Micallef then retorted: “Oh, principles everywhere and always sir. V18 treats everybody equally, including those who insult the foundation on social media. Earth Garden is enjoyed by everybody despite your insensitive and rude attacks on V18’s success.”

Vella was quick on the draw: “Earth Garden has been a success for a decade and doesn’t need you. Don’t try and fuck with somebody else’s cock… you can have all the power you want, but your only legacy under this embarrassing regime will be a gentrified city and a cultural panorama more sterile than your boss’s politics. Crawl back into your hole.”