Top musical acts in Florence this summer

The Renaissance city on the international stage

Michelle Davis
March 31, 2017 - 18:13

Music lovers and festival goers, look out: this summer the Visarno Arena will be bringing out the “fire” in Firenze. Held in the verdant innards of Cascine Park, the Firenze Rocks Festival is the apogee of three years of furious and far-sighted planning, laying the cornerstones for what is destined to become one of this year’s go-to music venues.

 

“Things are rarely created from scratch,” smiles Alessandro Bellucci, founder of Florence-based event agency Le Nozze di Figaro. “Great ideas are contagious and copying them is almost a form of flattery. The idea of organizing a music festival in our city’s largest green space actually stems from a widespread topos—just think of Rock the Park in London, Berlin’s Lollapalooza and New York’s year-long calendar of events in Central Park. Florence might not be as economically and politically influential as Rome and Milan, but it has always been an important cultural hotbed and as such, it must measure up to the contemporary international scene.”

 

Officially christened in 2015 by Pink Floyd’s Sir David Gilmour, the Visarno stage has already hosted one-off concerts by first-class acts such as Sting, Duran Duran and Massive Attack, but the 2017 playbill has positively outdone itself, boasting a number of acclaimed names from Radiohead to Arcade Fire over the span of just one month. Music overload? We think not. According to Firenze Rocks organizers, over 10,000 tickets have already been sold abroad and the festival is set to attract an estimated 200,000 visitors to the Renaissance capital.

“Geographically speaking, Florence is a central hub for all forms of transportation,” Bellucci continues. “Whether you land in Peretola or Pisa, travel by regional or high-speed train and public transportation, the Visarno Arena is easily reachable from the airport, station and city centre. Sure, we’re going to have to deal with a certain critical mass, but by looking at the bigger picture it’s easy to see that Firenze Rocks will have a massive impact on our local economy. There’s growing interest in the blend of music and tourism and Florence has got what it takes to make this important step.”

The Visarno arena will also host a series of side events and experiences to round out Firenze Rocks—from relaxing massages to live showcases featuring local bands and artists, food stands ranging from vegan and gluten-free to typical Tuscan delicacies and stalls focused on the finest Florentine craftsmanship.


HEADLINING THIS SUMMER…

June 14: RADIOHEAD + JAMES BLAKE

My Iron Lung in Florence’s green lungs? Firenze Rocks is proud to announce Oxfordshire’s legendary quintet Radiohead as its opening act alongside post-dubstep wunderkind James Blake, who will perform tracks from his latest release The Colour in Anything.


June 23: PLACEBO + AEROSMITH + DEAF HAVANA
Walk this way, ladies and gents! Aerosmith will be hitting the stage with full-blown might—Steven “Vincent Tallarico” Tyler loves Italy, so you’re in for a special show! Every You Every Me is psyched to see Placebo live and if you’ve never heard of Deaf Havana, then expect some emo-pop power!

 

June 24: EDDIE VEDDER + THE CRANBERRIES + GLEN HANSARD
Tear jerkers in store, 90s fans! Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder’s grainy, growly baritone is Guaranteed to make you sway, while suave, emotional powerhouse Dolores O’Riordan & co. will make your wildest Dreams come true! Irish folk rock troubadour Glen Hansard will lead the evening with his soulful voice and guitar playing.


June 25: SYSTEM OF A DOWN + PROPHETS OF RAGE

Prophets of Rage


Mosh pit madness anyone? When album Toxicity came out in 2001, nu-metal marvels System of a Down made it big worldwide. This will be their only Italian stop and they will be taking the stage with Prophets of Rage, rap-metal supergroup featuring members from Rage Against the Machine, Cypress Hill and Public Enemy.


July 1: DECIBEL OPEN AIR FESTIVAL

Chemical Brothers

Hey Boy Hey Girl
! Are you ready for 12 hours of nonstop live electronic music? The Decibel Open Air Festival will blow your mind (and your speakers) with hypnotic beats and groundbreaking grooves. Let special guest Chemical Brothers’ DJ set inspire unprecedented dance moves and don’t miss Iranian techno-house sensation Dubfire live.


July 8: THE XX
In the wake of their third album release, British trio The XX are sure to sprinkle some of their signature dreampop tunes over the evocative landscape of Florence’s waterside Cascine Park. Get to the venue early and enjoy the summer sunset while sipping soothing brews and soaking up those feelgood vibes.


July 11: JAMIROQUAI
The Space Cowboy is on his way to Florence and, boy, we’re dying to see him in the hat-sporting hip-swaying flesh. After seven years of discographic silence, Jay Kay is back with Automaton (freshly released at the end of March), a blend of synth-pop and disco thrills and chills.


July 18: ARCADE FIRE
Last but not least, the Quebec marauders of Baroque pop are coming to the Neighborhood! We can’t wait to flock to the court of Indie king and queen Win Butler and Régine Chassagne and hear their precious sounds echo and breathe musical vigor into Florence’s bucolic Suburbs.

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