Italy is really not known around the world for its music festivals, but one thing I can say for sure is that the country has finally evolved from just promoting opera, and the talents that are showcased around each and every festival go from headliner names to up and coming bands that are totally worth finding out about.
Personally, I’m a big fan of festivals in this country cause of the chill vibes that are already part of the culture, and the fact that many of them are in some amazing historical cities and locations. I still remember going to see Manu Chao (not exactly up and coming) in Vulci, an Etruscan Archaeological site in Lazio. We were there to see the gig and at the end just chilled in this improvised parking lot eating pecorino and prosciutto, until the sun came up. You really can’t beat that. But we’re not just talking about my experiences in this post. I want you guys to know about where you can go if this summer you’re in Italy and you can’t be bothered to see another historical site, or go to another uni meet and greet. Plus if you DO want to go to a historical site, no worries cause some of these festivals are right in them.
Off Tune Festival, Prato – 9-12 June
The second edition of the Off Tune Festival is a bit of a surprise. In Prato, a forty-minute train ride from Florence, four days of killer music: Dinosaur Jr. (9 June), Thurston Moore, King Hannah and Horse Lords (10 June), Iosonouncane (11 June), Black Lips and Bob Vylan (12 June) …
Firenze Rocks – 16-19 June
It is always the right time to visit Florence. A festival like Firenze Rocks is one more reason to visit this beautiful Tuscan Renaissance city: art, history and music in one journey. In this edition, among others: Green Day, Weezer, Metallica, Nas, Radio Days…
Ferrara Sotto le Stelle, Ferrara – 15-19 June (plus the gig of The Smile on 15 July)
Ferrara is one of those underrated cities that doesn’t get the love it deserves, but you should check it out before it gets too famous. Enjoy the magic of Ferrara Sotto le Stelle, literally meaning Ferrara under the stars. Which are the concerts not to be missed in Ferrara this year? Surely the Jesus & Mary Chain on 18 June and The Smile on 15 July.
Pistoia Blues, Pistoia – 7-16 July
Not too far from Florence, you can find Pistoia, this city with Lucca is one of the biggest promoters of Summer festivals. You can see any headliner you could think about, we’re talking about people like Elton John has played the Pistoia Blues.
Lucca Summer Festival, Lucca – 25 June – 31 July
As I anticipated Lucca is another amazing city to enjoy a good live concert. It’s already a beautiful city on its own, but during the Summer Festival, it’s mad. You have to check who you want to see, but keep in mind here you’ll mostly find big names, last time I was in Lucca (not for the festival) the Backstreet Boys were doing their reunion tour (I WAS NOT THERE FOR THAT)
Rock in Roma, Rome – 10 June – 30 July
Rock in Roma brings in all the oldies you listen to when you want that jolt of energy you need. It’s one of the biggest festivals in Italy and if you’re into music, this is the place for you. You shouldn’t miss it. Who to expect at Rock in Roma? Let’s see: God is an Astronaut, The Chemical Brothers, Testament, Exodus, Herbie Hancock, Patti Smith …
ToDays, Turin – 26-28 August
ToDays is one of those chilled festivals that bring in all the newest bands you are already listening to, I was lucky enough to go see King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard – a mouthful – and it was amazing. The crowd was so varied and everyone had a blast. You can’t miss out on ToDays that’s all I’ve got to say. In this year’s edition, you can dance and get excited with concerts by Squid, Primal Scream, Arab Strap, DIIV and many others.