5 Italian music festivals that you might want to check out

A couple of weeks ago Human Human asked to their users to report music festivals that deserve to be featured on their website. Honestly, I felt very sad: in Italy we don’t have anything that can be compared, even in a remote way, to the festivals of the other European countries.

Forget about multiple stages, they aren’t expected. Forget about the three-days of music with a wide choice of bands and solo acts: you’ll listen to them in a row, one at a time. Or you may eat a sandwich or have a beer. Forget the chance to sleep on the same location where you have just finished to enjoy the gig of your favourite band, perhaps with the ticket’s price that includes camping’s cost.  If you’re lucky, there will be a nearby campsite or a hotel willing to host you, but it will not be included in the event, excluding some pleasant, but ultra-rare exceptions.

We don’t want to go into the reasons why we are the only European country not able to organize such things, not even in their smallest possible version. We just want to give you a clear view of the whole situation, so you know what you’ll have to deal with if you’re planning a holiday in Italy that includes a bit of live music.

If you’re still here and you’re still reading, you’re probably really interested in visiting Italy. Well, probably because Italy is obviously one of the most beautiful country in the world and, despite everything, there are still some really cool things that characterize our music scene, like gigs in unique places that you will not find in any other foreign country!

So, if you are in Italy this summer and you would like to attend a ‘festival’ during your holiday, here’s our advices. (Please, keep in mind that rising foreign artists usually perform in Italy months or even years later than in the rest of the world. Another mystery of the Bel Paese.)


Handmade Festival

When? June, 1st.
Where? Località Tagliata, Guastalla (Reggio Emilia).
How much is it? Free entry.

Why? Handmade Festival was the brainchild of A Classic Education/ Welcome Back Sailors’ gangs in 2007 and it’s one of the events that we hold dearest. After 2012’s edition canceled due to the earthquake that struck Emilia, Jonathan Clancy, Danilo Incerti and Alessio Artoni have raised their head, starting again last year with their greatest bill ever. The atmosphere here is relaxed and informal, there is the opportunity to enjoy great food and do some shopping on site. Bands alternate themselves between two/three stages and, excluding the very few foreign guests (Dirty Beaches will be this year’s headliner), the lineup is entirely made ​​up of the best independent Italian groups. If you want to feel involved in ‘something real’, this is the place to be.

More infos:  http://handmade-festival.blogspot.it/


Beaches Brew Festival

When? June 3-5th
Where? Hana-Bi, Marina di Ravenna  (Ravenna).
How much is it? Free entry.

Why? Try to imagine that you’ve just spent a lovely day at the beach. Suddenly, you see a man who bears an uncanny resemblance to Jeff Mangum. You think you’ve got a sunstroke and instead Neutral Milk Hotel will play that same night on the beach. For free. A dream, isn’t it? And yet it’s all true, thanks to Beaches Brew and Hana-Bi.  Since 2004, Hana-Bi organizes gigs on the beach; The National, Destroyer, The Pains Of Being Pure At Hearth, Iron & Wine, Local Natives, Grimes, War On Drugs, The Tallest Man On Earth, Anna Calvi, M-83 have all performed here. It is a long list, and we could go on and on. Everything here has always been totally free, and the same goes for Beaches Brew. Born three years ago at the behest of Belmont Bookings, because the artists themselves asked to return as soon as possible to perform at Hana-Bi, this year the festival offers a very impressive line-up for both quantity and quality. In addition to the aforementioned Neutral Milk Hotel, there will be, among the others, Lee Ranaldo, Cloud Nothings, Suuns, Speedy Ortiz and local heroes Be Forest. If your boyfriend / girlfriend would like to spend a vacation at the seaside and, on the other hand, you’d like to spend a few days listening to good music, this may be a fair solution.

More infos: http://www.beachesbrew.com/


A Night Like This

When? July, 19th.
Where? Lago Sirio, Chiaverano (Torino).
How much is it? 10€

Why? If you’re not exactly a beach guy, here’s a totally different offering. An equally stunning location in an isolated village among the mountains. A Night Like This Festival is the perfect solution to break away completely from the stress of the city and be wrapped by a pristine and extremely quiet place. A cool atmosphere, three stages and stands with local products, plus the chance to camp on site. Downsides? It lasts only one day.

More infos: http://anightlikethisfestival.com/



Where? Castello dei Ventimiglia, Castelbuono (Palermo).
When?  August, 7-10th
How much is it? 67€ (three-day pass).

Why? Ypsigrock has a long tradition but it really moved to the next recently, bringing to Sicily (often for the first time ever) interesting acts such as Shout Out Louds, Indians, Alt-J, Holy Other, Twin Shadow and Fuck Buttons. Crowned by the huge Norman castle of Castelbuono and placed inside a medieval village, the festival is, of course, also an opportunity to discover the inner heart of Sicily. Sun Kil Moon, Wild Beasts, Forest Swords, Money, Fanfarlo, Belle & Sebastian, Moderat and Anna Calvi are the first names announced for this year’s edition.

More infos: http://www.ypsigrock.com/


Bolognetti Rocks / BOtanique / Radar Festival / Macello

Where? Bologna / Padova.
When? During the whole Summer.
How much is it? Various prices.

Why? Two of the oldest cities in Italy, but also the two most dynamic ones in terms of live music. They have hosted gigs by Daughter, Destroyer, Adam Green, Mikal Cronin, Deerhunter, Ty Segall, Kurt Vile and so on. Every music nerd wishes to live there, really. So, in case you’ll be in one of these towns in the next few months (maybe because you have just started your Erasmus program?), be aware that there will be lots of awesome music-related events during the months of June and July. Often the shows are free or by donation and they range from emerging bands to real cornerstones like Slowdive. There might be some nice surprises tho.

More infos: Bolognetti Rocks https://www.facebook.com/bolognettirocks?fref=ts
BOtanique: https://www.facebook.com/BOtaniqueFestival?fref=ts
Radar Festival: https://www.facebook.com/radar.pd?fref=ts
Macello: https://www.facebook.com/MacelloMastroianni?fref=ts