The new festival, spearheaded by a former ID&T and Q-dance partner, says it's one of the first Dutch events to gain a permit for this summer
Sign up for IQ Index
The latest industry news to your inbox.
The Italian promoter celebrates the 25th anniversary of Lucca Summer Festival, while its La Prima Estate event is returning for a second year
By James Hanley on 09 Jun 2023
Italian promoter D’Alessandro e Galli (Di & Gi) is all set for a historic season as its flagship Lucca Summer Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary.
The month-long Tuscany concert series, which kicks off later this month, has welcomed the likes of the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Roger Waters, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Tom Jones, Van Morrison, Roger Waters, Stevie Wonder and Ennio Morricone since launching in 1998.
Staged in the Mura Storiche area, next to the Lucca City Walls, the 40,000-cap event also utilises a second, 8,000-cap venue and has already sold out its opening two nights by KISS (29 June) and Simply Red (1 July). Other artists include Bob Dylan, Norah Jones, Lil Nas X, Blur and Robbie Williams, who headlines the closing night on 28 July.
“I think it’s one of the best line-ups we’ve ever had, we are all convinced about this,” Di & Gi’s Enrico D’Alessandro tells IQ. “We have legends of music like KISS – who have chosen Lucca for their very last show in Italy – Simply Red and Blur with their reunion tour.
“We also have Robbie Williams coming back, the Chemical Brothers and newer acts like One Republic or Lil Nas X, so we are very happy. It is selling very well – KISS and Simply Red are already sold out and other shows are close to selling out.”
“The major change is that we are no longer going to have six nights in a row, we are splitting the six nights over two weekends
He continues: “Lucca Summer Festival is very established. It took 25 years because the first edition was 25 years ago. But I think it is now established among the European festival field.”
Meanwhile, Di & Gi’s 10,000-cap La Prima Estate, which debuted in 2022, is returning for its second year with a slightly tweaked format. The festival will be held over two weekends from 16-25 June in Lido di Camaiore on the Tuscan coast, an hour from Florence.
Targeting a younger demographic to Lucca, weekend one will be headlined by Nas, Bon Iver and Bicep, with the second weekend topped by Alt-J, Jamiroquai and Metro Boomin.
“The major change this year is that we are no longer going to have six nights in a row in one week, we are splitting the six nights over two weekends,” explains D’Alessandro. “But the concept is still the same: to try to offer the audiences something more than a live concert because, that’s what people are demanding now. And right now, 75% of the tickets have been sold outside Tuscany, so people are coming to experience a vacation.”
La Prima Estate has been designed to combine the festival and holiday experiences, with the beach and stage just a few minutes walk away from each other, yoga and mindfulness courses on offer in the morning, as well as sailing and windsurfing lessons, and cycling trips with professional cyclists up into the Versilia hills.
“The Italian audience has a different conception of a festival. They prefer a more comfortable situation”
“We announced it [last year] while the country was still in a state of emergency because of Covid, so we had only three months to promote such a new festival with such a different format, but we had a good result in the end,” notes D’Alessandro. “We did something like 20,000 people and we ended up being the most mentioned festival in the Italian media. The idea of a festival that could be associated with a vacation was something that caught their attention.”
The event will also feature domestic talent including Dardust, Nation of Language, Elasi, Ele A and BigMama, as well as international acts like Japanese Breakfast, Chet Faker and Kings Of Convenience.
“I think that the Italian audience has a different conception of a festival,” suggests D’Alessandro. “It wouldn’t work to have a multi stage festival with music starting at noon, because they prefer a more comfortable situation, so we’ve kind of created a hybrid with more artists, but only one stage and starting at sunset. We saw some [Italian] festivals trying a format more similar to the European kind in the past, but it didn’t really work.”
D’Alessandro adds that ticket prices for both Di & Gi festivals have been kept as low as possible.
“I think our ticket prices are lower than the average for concerts in Italy right now,” he says. “We think it’s the right thing to do, even if costs are increasing. The post Covid situation is very difficult; it’s difficult to find personnel and it’s difficult to find all the material you need to build the venue. Because of that, we had a different strategy this year: we actually started to set up the stage on 8 May – 40 days before kickoff – because we were worried about the risk of not being ready in time.”
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.