Eurovision singer gets €20,000 to ‘coordinate bands promotion’

MaltaToday reveals William Mangion’s contract as ‘coordinator for the promotion of local bands’

William Mangion sings for Labour in 2013, and below for the PN in 2008
William Mangion sings for Labour in 2013, and below for the PN in 2008

Eurovision singer William Mangion is being paid €19,582 each year under the contract he has with the government to ‘coordinate the promotion of local bands’.

The Ministry for Justice and Culture signed the contract with the singer last year, soon after Labour’s election victory.

The ministry said the scale is “an equivalent of maximum Scale 10 with the government”.

Mangion remains responsible for paying his own income tax, VAT and the national insurance contribution.

Mangion, most famous for singing ‘This Time’ at the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest, is officially described as ‘coordinator for the promotion of local bands’, an entirely new position for which the government did not issue any formal call.

According to justice and culture minister Owen Bonnici, Mangion was the right person for the job because of his “vast experience in the [music] sector”.

What exactly does a coordinator for the promotion of local bands do, though? The government said that Mangion’s duties are threefold. He is responsible for “identifying a suitable place for bands to meet for rehearsals”, “compiling a database of bands and artists who need such a space” and “preparing a proposal for the organisation and proper running of this building”.

The government told MaltaToday that Mangion has created a database of 371 local bands and artistes, which includes their contact details. He has also “put forward the conceptual idea behind the setting up of a centre according to the needs of bands and artistes”.

Mangion also provided the government with a list of possible alternative sites and venues and he has “assisted the government in promoting events which showcase the talent of local bands”.

 “William Mangion has contributed, with his expertise, in providing new opportunities for local bands to perform in public,” the ministry said.

 A recording artist who wishes to remain anonymous had earlier told MaltaToday that Mangion had contacted him, requesting an updated list of email contacts for all Maltese bands.

In November 2013, Mangion said that the government was probably going to rent out venues and rent them out to bands at a subsidised rate. However, he added that any system should allow bands to choose how long they would like to rent a venue out for. 

On 14 July Owen Bonnici confirmed that the government was still evaluating Mangion’s proposals. “His job was not to simply find a garage but one should also consider the technical research required in finding the perfect place,” Bonnici said.