Whether you’re a bona-fide rock roadie type or just a casual concertgoer, there’s one music event this summer in Florence that’s an absolute must: the Rockin’ 1000 That’s Live Village. Expect a “full-blast” experience, to put it mildly: around 1600 musicians from Italy and far beyond will come together to perform classics from global rock radio. But how did it all begin?
You may recognize the Rockin’ 1000 general manager Fabio Zaffagnini (pictured below) from a certain viral video that came out of Cesena, in Emilia-Romagna, several years back. Until July 2015, Fabio was just another avid music fan eager to bring one of his favorite bands—the Foo Fighters—to his humble hometown. “It was a joke at first,” he says. “I wanted to have the Foo Fighters come to my hometown, but there’s no way they would have come without a special invitation.” But with a passionate mindset and a pinch of madness, he dreamed up the idea of creating the largest-scale tribute to any rock band ever achieved, inviting 1000 people to play the Foo Fighters’ hit song “Learn to Fly” together in one spot and ending the video with a formal plea to the group to come to Cesena.