Wembley Pavilion Turns Up In Malta

Ruben Caruana was so impressed with the temporary pavilion Wembley used for concerts during the London arena’s refurb that he bought it and had it shipped to Malta.

Now known as the Malta Fairs & Convention Centre, a singularly more salubrious moniker than "the tent," it’s been open to hosting conferences, exhibitions and live music shows since December.

In cahoots with Fairs and Exhibitions Ltd., and the government-funded Malta Trade Fairs Corporation, Caruana – managing director of the Maltese events company Sign-It – cut an estimated £2 million deal with Arena Structures to have the 10,000-capacity temporary venue packed up in containers for delivery and construction in Valetta.

Arena account director Simon Marsh supervised the building’s removal from Wembley and delivery to Malta, while a company crew of six set up in Malta and prepared for the arrival of some other temporary structures to slot alongside it.

Now it’s all standing on what was previously a plot of barren ground next to the country’s national stadium. The venue owners put down tarmac after installing the foundations and drainage.

They also invested in a full temperature control system, event mains power, new toilet and catering facilities, and three specially designed arches with 35-ton capacities.

The arches are built on rails so they can be positioned anywhere along the venue, allowing it to meet the demands of most international touring productions.

The build took a month and the venue opened with a conference for 2,500 delegates from the Thomas Cook travel company.

It has since hosted the World Championship motor cycle stunt display, a concert by tenor Andrea Bocelli and the finals of Malta’s Song For Europe, which went out live on national TV February 3rd.

Knowing that most agents already know the building from the time it stood at Wembley, Caruana and Dr. Francis Zammit Dimech – Malta’s minister of tourism and culture – are hopeful they’ll be confident in sending their acts to play on the island.

Dimech said a venue with the versatility to host any event will radically improve the events culture of Malta and bring considerable economic benefit to the island.