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IRF18 Malta Roundup

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THE INTERNATIONAL RADIO FESTIVAL
MALTA 2018 
ROUND-UP

The 9th edition of the International Radio Festival (IRF) - the world's largest on-air festival - took place in Valletta, Malta, 2018.

IRF18 Malta - Video Diary

Video by Alexander Spinelli, Longbow Media

Between 29th October and 4th November, the IRF brought together global leaders from the radio industry and broadcast the festival to millions of listeners around the world, whilst celebrating Valletta as Europe's City of Culture 2018.

Once again the International Radio Festival explored the way major broadcasting organisations are tackling the changing nature of audio consumption; alongside the challenges of podcasting and on-demand audio, with industry experts and leaders from broadcasters, production and content technology companies.

The IRF18 Malta Edition started with 2 days of with programmes from the host country Malta being broadcasted live from the historic Piazza D’Armi in Fort St Elmo. Guided by IRF anchors Carly, Gaby, Nik and Normski programs included; Heritage Malta’s unique initiative 'Taste History' with Liam Gauci; multidisciplinary artist Ruth Bianco and Maltese architect Claude Borg talked about The Malta International Contemporary Art Space (MICAS); Malta’s premier lifestyle magazine TEMPLE talking about their favourite things in Malta; and D’Amato Records, the oldest record store in the world, taking listeners on a mesmerizing trip back into the past. Plus lots of great on-air personalities and entertainment from Maltese radio stations Bay 89.7, Magic Malta 91.7 and Vibe FM.

Wednesday marked the start of the international radio shows kicking off Halloween with an actual knight, BBC broadcasting legend Mike Reed who joined pirate radio pioneer Tony Prince for the United DJ’s show, followed by 102FM Tel, Aviv, Hits Radio (UK), Like FM (Russia), Rai Radio 3 (Italy), Pride Radio (USA) and Kasheme Zurich (Switzerland).  In the evening IRF gave the floor and opened the air-waves to its host country Malta with Guest of honour Minister of Tourism, Konrad Mizzi and Malta Tourism's Chairman Gavin Gulia.

In a speech Konrad said “the event was a celebration of different channels coming together and I am delighted to be hosting it in Malta’ He continued 'Malta has changed to become a city destination with a host of culture and nightlife and is a very welcoming place for holidays and business’.

On Thursday the live international radio broadcasts continued with Italy’s  non-profit radio project for teenagers Radio Immaginaria, egoFM (Germany), IFM (Tunisia), TRT (Turkey), Kronehit (Austria), Rising Star’ winner in the recent Mixcloud online radio awards Piñata Radio from France and influential pirate radio station Flex FM who’s phone lines jammed with the high number of calls. The broadcasts also received huge amounts of listeners almost crashing the website.

Thursday also welcomed industry professionals to Malta for the IRF Audio conference. With positive takeaways being that radio "as content curated by real people" is alive and kicking and evolving to meet changing audiences. Speakers included; Absolute Radio’s Content Director Paul Sylvester; Radio Consultant Trevor Dann; and with Paul Smith talking about the launch of BBC SoundsCliff Fluet exploring how Blockchain technology can benefit the radio industry; David Lowe explaining the process of creating the instantly recognisable BBC News theme music; plus Nick Pitts (Jazz FM); Lindsay Wesker (Mi-Soul); Xanthe Fuller, Head of Community at Mixcloud; Martyn Ware founder of The Human League and Heaven 17 and many more.
More about IRF Audio Conference

The remaining 3 days of the event continued to welcome radio stations from around the world broadcasting a wide variety of shows live from Malta including; Love Radio (China), Jazz FM (UK), Ibiza Sonica (Spain), The Big Time (USA), Sound of India winner RJ Devaki from Red FM, Mi-Soul (UK), Kiss FM (Australia), BBC 1XTra (UK), Mouv’ (France), Fun Kids the UK’s radio station for children and their families, M2O Radio (Italy) plus the BBC’s up-and-coming hosts, Alix Fox and Riyadh Khalaf presenting their Unexpected Fluids show, Radio 1’s outrageous new sex podcast.

Other highlights included a pop-up event by local promoter district Malta with Ibiza Sonica at the Sky Bar and a Medieval Banquet at The Maritime Museum to sample, and hear, the history and flavours of Malta.

Listen again to all the shows online @ Mixcloud