Having just returned from this years Matala Beach Festival ,an event I have supported and given my time to as an artist since its beginning 3 yrs ago,I feel I must publish my feelings about this years shambolic affair .
My wife and I have been working with the organisers for nearly a year to ensure GB Blues Band and 9 other bands and artists involved in the Bands against poverty movement here in Crete got a chance to play and raise money for the charity's of Crete . Sadly the organisers despite all there promise of help let us down badly , The promised Kiosk didn't arrive until mid day on the second day ,no tables for the kiosk . We had to chase to get food vouchers for the bands who gave there time free,so many broken promises .My own Band GB Blues programmed to play the main stage on Saturday were cut because the organisers couldn't co ordinate the times for sound checks ,giving two acts 3hrs each during Saturday afternoon ,all the audience got was 6hrs of some premaddona banging a kick drum while the tried to get the sound right ,Totally unnecessary as was later demonstrated by Hugh Cornwell of the Stranglers who turned up late after Easy jet lost his equipment . Hugh Did a 15min check with borrowed kit and blew the crowd away .
On a more positive note the Earth stage where most of the B.A.P bands played was well run and had great sound thanks to the guy who manned it almost single handed for 4 days ,Antonis you are a star and I thank you for all your help and support ,You did a great job and gave us super sound . I played an hours set with Boston flutist Cindy Scholl and Cretan guitarists Antonis Koulendakis and Mixhalis Ikosipendiakis to a small but appreciative crowd.
The organizers lost out on the opportunity to raise much needed funds for the less fortunate people of Crete by failing to keep their promises ,If GB had been allowed to play a collection would have been taken during the performance ,and as there was nearly 100,000 people attended over the 4 days this could have been a substantial amount .
Matala is the biggest free festival in Crete and could be the best if the organizers learn how to organize .For me it was a disaster and personally cost me an awful lot of money to not appear as I and the other BAP bands all gave their time free
However to end this gripe on a positive note on Sunday night we had an impromptu party at the hotel with Tonis Sfinos and the Playmates (one of Greeces top show bands ) this was fantastic and a great honour to play with these guys as they are true professionals and real nice .Please check out their act on you tube as they deserve to go international .