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Arena Market: Italy

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The country’s largest arena is the Unipol Arena in Bologna. At 20,000-capacity, it has truss of 1,300 m2, five big screens of 6.70x5m, nine cafés, plus VIP offer, it is a multi-equipped, cutting-edge space. Forthcoming shows include Editors, The Cure, Ozzy Osbourne, Shawn Mendes, and Måneskin.

Following two “terrible” years due to Covid-19, Mediolanum Forum near Milan is looking ahead to a record-breaking year, with the number of events “unprecedented in our 30-year history,” says CEO Giancarlo Sarli. “There are all the conditions for this trend to continue in the next few years; we hope this will in part make up for the negative effects that we have suffered in 2020 and 2021, due to the pandemic.”

He says live music in recent years saw exponential growth in the number of young and emerging artists, particularly in rap. “Our schedule has been enriched with their arrival and, thanks to social media, they’re achieving success and popularity in a very short time, which was unthinkable until about ten years ago.”

Following two “terrible” years due to Covid-19, Mediolanum Forum near Milan is looking ahead to a record-breaking year.

Equally, massive heritage acts continue to be popular. “The new mix of events gives us the opportunity to have a very young audience that, unlike a more mature audience, has more free time, and therefore arrives at our facilities well in advance of the start of the show.

This behaviour creates an increase in demand for things such as food and beverage, so we’ve added new products such as hot dogs, hamburgers, and energy drinks, which are popular with younger people, and that’s proving a successful strategy.”

The renowned venue has recently carried out works that will see its capacity increase by up to 25%, providing permissions are granted. In addition, the dressing rooms have been completely renovated, which Sarli says “was highly appreciated both for the quality materials used and for the choice of colours, which are very warm and welcoming.”

Public areas have also been refurbished, including refreshment points, merchandising spaces, toilets, and sampling activities. “A few years ago, a 5G antenna system was implemented, which allows perfect connectivity within the arena even at sold-out events,” says Sarli. “Now we are working on a ‘smart arena’ project.”

Live Nation-operated Pala Alpitour in Turin is now a leading concert venue, with a maximum capacity for live music of 18,500.

The venue is installing solar panels on its roof in order to improve its energy efficiency. Examples of acts performing at Mediolanum Forum, which can be configured for 3,000 people to 13,000, include Hans Zimmer, Dua Lipa, Sting, Alicia Keys, and Eric Clapton. If final approval is given by authorities, it will grow its capacity to 15,800.

The venue’s parent company ForumNet also manages Palazzo dello Sport in Rome, a stunning-looking 11,500- capacity venue originally designed for the 1960 Olympic Games in the Italian capital. Forthcoming acts include Mika, Bryan Adams, Simply Red, and Stromae.

Built as a host venue for ice hockey during the 2006 Winter Olympics, Live Nation-operated Pala Alpitour in Turin is now a leading concert venue, with a maximum capacity for live music of 18,500.

Past performances at the arena include Madonna, U2, Ariana Grande, Vasco Rossi, and Tiziano Ferro. Sustainability is important at the venue, which has achieved the coveted ISO 20121 standard, which sets out the requirements for the organisation of sustainable events so that they have minimal impact on the environment and the community. It can be configured for as few as 3,000 people.

Local-authority run Vitrifrigo Arena on Italy’s eastern (Adriatic) coast has hosted more than 1,000 concerts in over 20 years, attracting more than 20million people. Formerly known as Adriatic Arena, the Pesaro venue has a capacity of 13,000. Its tenant basketball team is the Victoria Libertas Pesaro. It’s seen performances from Måneskin, Cirque du Soleil, and Salmo.

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