LattexPlus Festival: three days of electro-bliss

Florence welcomes the festival’s first edition

Michelle Davis
July 14, 2017 - 11:45

This week Florence has a one-of-a-kind chance to beat the heat - literally. From Friday June 14 to June 16, local event planning agency LattexPlus will be invading the green stage of Sesto Fiorentino's Villa Solaria and the sandy Florentine coast of Easy Living's Spiaggetta Sull'Arno with a line-up of star-studded personalities of the international electronic scene. Although at its first edition, the playbill boasts high-calibre names such as techno goddess Ellen Allien, house wunderking Hunee, quirky music-nerd Awesome Tapes from Africa, Detroit club-culture staple Octave One who will perform alongside a number of local acts such as Fricat and Herva. Eye-candy features include art installations and video-mapping.

We met up with LattexPlus founder and mastermind Giacomo Gentiletti who, together with long-time partner and friend Biniam Mahdere, is readying himself to put on a real show this weekend.

 

LattexPlus Festival's official coordinated image LattexPlus Festival's official coordinated image

 

Michelle Davis: First off – tell us a bit about your name, “LattexPlus”.

We want people to enjoy themselves freely and party without compromise.

 

Giacomo Gentiletti: LattexPlus is a clear reference to Kubrick's masterpiece “A Clockwork Orange” and to Latte Plus, the Italian translation of “Moloko Plus”, the movie's main characters' favorite beverage. This choice was originally meant as a sort of provocation towards certain negative prejudices that our society holds against electronic music and the environment that revolves around it. The word Latte (milk) summons an idea of immaculate purity, something authentic and simple, which is the very message we want to give out with our events. We want people to enjoy themselves freely and party without compromise.

 

 

MD: Your motto states “Clubbing Differently”. Is this an important part of your philosophy?

 

GG: It's ingrained in everything we do. When LattexPlus became an itinerant series of events, it totally changed our way of clubbing. Although it is much more complicated than having a fixed venue, it allows you to offer your audience the excitement of an ever-changing experience. There are many aspects to be kept in careful consideration, but our philosophy is all about attention to detail and keeping everything in check.

 

 

MD: How do you find a balance between scouting and importing international acts whilst contemporaneously supporting the local scene?

 

GG: This requires a lot of skill and it is one of the underlying principles of our modus operandi. Within all our various LattexPlus formats, we try to establish a good balance: sometimes we focus more on internationally renowned artists, while others we shine a light on young Italian performers and sometimes we promote our equally talented resident deejays. This is why we prefer working within a wider time frame, as to showcase all these different elements and combine different genres and styles in one day-long event. I must add that, although the Italian market is almost exceedingly attached to all things international, the importance of having resident deejays is not to be disregarded for it plays an important role in determining the success of an event. Our deejays are very well acquainted with our audience. They know what it takes to make a connection with the dance-floor, get the energy flowing and warm it up for whoever's coming up next.

 

 

One of LattexPlus's most anticipated acts: techno-queen Ellen Allien One of LattexPlus's most anticipated acts: techno-queen Ellen Allien

 

 

MD: So how did you guys come up with the idea of creating a Festival? You've also made a very interesting choice when it comes to the main location, Villa Solaria, slightly off the beaten path of Florence's central stages.

 

GG: The idea had been buzzing in our heads for a while, ever since we started having a clear vision on what we wanted to do in terms of event planning and promoting. Organising a festival allowed us to finally condense and make the most of all the knowledge and know-how we have learned over the past 7 years of activity. Everything we have ever done was leading up to this – we consider all of our past events a necessary exercise that brought us closer to our goal.

We chose Villa Solaria because of several reasons... I went there years ago to see a Franco Battiato concert and was immediately impressed with its potential. The presence of various green and wooded areas allowed us to perfectly customise the event and infrastructure-wise Sesto Fiorentino is very well connected with Florence and its surrounding metropolitan area.

 

A map of LattexPlus Festival within the green setting of Villa Solaria A map of LattexPlus Festival within the green setting of Villa Solaria

 

 

MD: You've been playing the field for quite some time now... have you noticed any changes in your audience or in the very perception of events centred on electronic music? Do you agree with the idea that Florence is witnessing a sort of “Electronic Renaissance”?

 

GG: I believe that the audiences are more musically educated than before and this is certainly thanks to past and present event planners and promoters that have dedicated themselves to creating this kind of scene in Florence. There definitely is a greater awareness when it comes to electronic music and its numerous aspects. I wouldn't be totally comfortable in defining this process as an “Electronic Renaissance” but I can say that it has had a very positive effect on the local scene and on the city of Florence itself.

 

 

This event is listed among our best events of the week. For more info and details, check out LattexPlus Festival's website.

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