The 10 Best Music Festivals in Italy
Italian people love music and they love to party, so it’s only natural that some of the best music festivals in the world are to be found in Italy. Many music festivals in the country have gained iconic statuses and feature performances from some of the most iconic names in the industry.
Many of these festivals are held in historic towns, providing backdrops of great cultural significance and natural beauty. I have compiled a list of some of the best Italian music festivals that you should not miss out on if you are visiting Italy.
1. Rock In Roma
When: June and July (1 month)
One of the main music festivals in the Rome summer calendar, Rock in Roma has been taking place for over 20 years. Unlike a traditional music festival which takes place on several consecutive days, Rock in Roma is spread out over a month with concerts being held regularly. More than 370,000 people attend this event which is held at key venues in the city, including the Capannelle Racecourse, Circo Massimo stadium, and the Auditorium Parco Della Musica.
This festival is known for the quality of its headlining artists which includes a diverse mix of top international talent from different musical genres. Bruce Springsteen, Duran Duran, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Chemical Brothers, Slash, Toto, Nine Inch Nails, ZZ Top, Radiohead, Green Day, and Smashing Pumpkins are some of the more prominent ones that have appeared so far.
2. Kappa FuturFestival
When: July (3 days)
Held in the historic city of Turin, the Kappa FuturFestival is noted for attracting not just Italians but music enthusiasts from over 75 countries. An abandoned industrial space called Parco Dora, which once served as a car factory, is the rather unlikely space for this festival which focuses on dance, house, and trance music. The tanks, tall pillars, and chimneys of this industrial area are used to erect stages and create a one-of-a-kind atmosphere.
The Kappa FuturFestival was first held in 2008 as a New Year Eve’s party and was Italy’s first daytime festival. It has since morphed into a three-day event that goes on from noon to midnight. When they are not dancing to the beats produced by some of the best international and local artists, revelers can enjoy their drinks and a diverse selection of food at the food court.
San Teodoro, Sardinia
When: September (8 days)
SunAndBass is an exciting music festival that takes place in San Teodoro, a town on the beautiful island of Sardinia. As the name might suggest, it focuses exclusively on drum and bass music. The stunning natural landscapes, sparkling sea, and unspoiled Caribbean beauty give this festival, which has been held since 2003, a special feel. A family-friendly atmosphere, delicious food, and sunny beaches make this a great event for all music lovers.
Over a period of 8 days, musical performances are held at key venues across the city, each with its own distinctive charm. These include the Al Faro Hotel, Ambra Day bar, and Ripping Club. Outdoor venues include Ambra Night, where revelers can dance on the beach under the stars. Bal Harbour has pools and palm trees that provide an art deco Miami vibe while La Cinta Beach, overlooking Tavolara Island, hosts drum and bass music, often with a Brazilian flavor.
4. Firenze Rocks
When: June (4 days)
Florence, the city that is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, plays host to this rock festival which is considered the biggest of its type in Italy. Firenze Rocks is held at the Visarno Arena, a large green space at the center of the Tuscan capital. Although a relatively new addition to the music festival calendar, this event has become very popular in a short time, attracting over 200,000 people from Italy and around the world.
This festival boasts a star-studded lineup of the best international talent. Aerosmith, Radiohead, Guns n’ Roses, Foo Fighters, Iron Maiden, The Who, and Maroon 5 are some of the rock icons that have performed at Firenze Rocks. Organized by the City of Florence, Le Nozze di Figaro, and Live Nation, this event rivals some of the best rock festivals in Europe.
5. Mi Ami Festival
When: May (4 days)
The Mi Ami Festival is held in Milan, the fashion capital of Italy, and is known for showcasing the finest musical talent in the country. The selection of music is eclectic and covers a wide range of genres and styles. One of the core values of the event is providing a spotlight for exciting new artists, some of whom are unsigned, allowing them to bring their music to a wider audience and, perhaps, even land a record deal.
Four venues are used for the festival: Stage Dr. Martens, Galaxy Bud2 Hill, Rilegno Stage, and Pegusus. Plenty of food trucks are on hand to offer a varied range of food, including vegan fare, and festival-goers also have access to free water, lockers, and toilets. Camping sites are not provided so those staying for the festival’s full four days will have to find accommodation nearby.
6. Movement Torino Music Festival
When: October (3 days)
Originally held in 2006, in partnership with the Detroit Electronic Music Festival to celebrate Turin being awarded the Winter Olympics, the Movement Torino Music Festival has become an annual fixture in the city. The yearly growth in popularity has seen this event become one of the most popular dance festivals in the country and, arguably, the leader when it comes to indoor concerts of electronic music.
Attendees are treated to high-quality dance music, along with 3D digital projections and special effects. Top-notch artists and DJs from Italy and around the world perform on three main stages at Lingotto Fiere. Coinciding with these shows, a week of performances takes place at other noteworthy locations across the city.
7. Ypsigrock Festival
When: August (4 days)
Italy’s premier indie rock festival, Ypsigrock festival is held in the medieval hill town of Castelbuono, in the heart of Sicily. The location is truly breathtaking as it lies between the Madonie Mountains and the north coast of Sicily. The stunning natural beauty is complemented by the impressive facade of the Castle of Castelbuono which provides the backdrop for the festival’s main stage.
Ypsigrock festival is relatively small, attracting 3000 people per day, but makes up its size with quality. The atmosphere is intimate and friendly while the lineup includes a selection of top artists and DJs from Italy and abroad. The city has a wide range of accommodations for festival goers, but most opt to stay at the beautiful camping grounds inside the Madonie Regional Park.
8. Decibel Open Air
When: September (2 days)
The beautiful city of Florence plays host to Decibel Open Air, an electronic music festival that is one of the biggest dance parties in Europe. Over 50,000 revelers fill the 160 hectares of Cascine Park, dancing to the beats put down by the best international and Italian artists and DJs. Top artists such as Caribou, Cosmo, and Vitalic as well as noted DJs such as Amelie Lens, Fisher, Dimmish, and Micheal Bibi attract people from all over Europe.
First held in Seattle, USA, Decibel Open Air has quickly caught on in Italy. Three stages are used to host the various shows which run from midday to midnight. The international vibe is matched by the awesome sound, laser special effects, and spectacular stage design. When they are not enjoying the music, visitors can take time to sample the delicious local cuisine and explore the rich culture of Florence.
9. Lucca Summer Festival
When: June and July (1 month)
Lucca Summer Festival is one of the most important events of the Italian summer. Held in Lucca in Tuscany, the festival lasts for a month with concerts taking place in key venues across the town. Some of the biggest names in the music industry have performed at this festival, including the Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, Elton John, The Cranberries, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, James Brown, The Eagles, Rod Stewart, Paul Simon, Norah Jones, and Mark Knopfler.
Most of the performances are held at the Piazza Napoleone, a bustling town square that was built and dedicated to Napoleon by his sister. Other venues that are often used for this festival include the former Ballila Field, Piazza San Martino, or Piazza dell’Anfiteatro. On occasion, the Porta Elisa soccer stadium or the Pino stadium is used for accommodating very large crowds.
10. Nameless Festival
When: June (3 days)
One of the largest dance music festivals in Italy, Nameless Festival takes place in Annone di Brianza, Lecco. Surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Alps and located close to Lake Como, the area offers visitors ample opportunity for sightseeing when they are not grooving to the beats put down by some of the best DJs and artists in Europe.
Featuring a mix of electronic music and hip-hop/rap, the festival, which was launched in 2013, has grown to feature 110 artists on 4 stages, attracting over 100,000 people. The festival organizers actively try to be as inclusive as possible, creating an event where everyone feels welcome. Apart from the great music and awesome surroundings, the Nameless Festival is noted for its sense of camaraderie and community.
Music festivals in Italy encompass a wide range of musical styles and provide a unique opportunity to enjoy the unique charms of the country while partying with like-minded Italians. Apart from listening to great music, festival-goers can enjoy delicious Italian cuisine and explore the attractions of the different regions of this exciting country. Each festival has its own appeal and will provide a memorable experience that you will remember long after the event is over.