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What Covid? Europe’s largest music venue opens

Europe’s largest outdoor music venue, the new RCF Arena in Reggio Emilia, northern Italy, opens tonight (10 September) with a performance by Italian singer Luciano Ligabue.

Ligabue – a local superstar who has sold more than 11 million records and played 800+ shows over a four-decade career – will be the first artist to play the new venue, which has a capacity of more than 100,000.

Construction on RCF Arena, which was unveiled to the live industry at ILMC in March, began in April 2018 and is 80% complete, despite interruption caused by Covid-19.

The coronavirus crisis means tonight’s Ligabue show will take place without an audience; however, the singer will return to RCF Arena next 19 June for a full concert. A second show, Una. Nessuna. Centomila, with Fiorella Mannoia, Emma, ​​Alessandra Amoroso, Giorgia, Elisa, Gianna Nannini, Laura Pausini (also postponed from this month), will be held the following weekend, on 26 June.

Both events are organised by Arena Campovolo, one of seven companies comprising the arena’s operator, C.Volo.

“We are convinced that with the commitment of all partners and the support of the institutions, we will make this project successful”

Located in an urban park just outside the city, RCF Arena is built to a modular design to accomodate different sizes of events, from the full 100,000-capacity Green Arena to smaller concert and ‘reception’ areas.

The venue is built on a 5% (2.86°) slope to ensure clear visuals to the stage, and also boasts high-quality VIP areas and other facilities.

“Today, we celebrate the largest live entertainment arena in Europe,” comments Stefano Bonaccini, governor of the Emilia-Romagna region. “It seemed like a dream – even more impossible after the terrible pandemic still in progress – but we have pursued it with even more conviction, convinced that music, and more generally knowledge and culture, will be the engines of the restart.”

Roberto Olivi, president of Coopservice, another C.Volo partner, adds: “We participated in this enterprise because we were born and raised in this land and we like challenges.

“Of course, Covid-19 is putting this initiative to the test, but we are convinced that with the commitment of all partners and the support of the institutions we will make this project successful – thus helping to relaunch the vibrant culture and entertainment sector, which can be an instrument of economic and social revitalisation.”


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Italy’s RCF Arena presented to delegates at ILMC 32

The RCF Arena, the world’s biggest open-air arena, will be presented to delegates today (5 March) at the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) in London.

RCF Arena Reggio Emilia is the only facility in the world equipped to host up to 100,000 people for outdoor live events, with an impeccable sound system and cutting-edge technologies, a slope of 5% to guarantee the best possible views and acoustics, maximum safety, easy access and comfortable services. The arena is in the heart of Italian region of Emilia, an area with an outstanding musical tradition.

Italian singer Luciano Ligabue will open the arena on 12 September, with a completely sold-out concert. The second event to take place at the RCF Arena is the Una Nessuna Centomila concert, featuring artists Laura Pausini, Gianna Nannini, Emma, Giorgia, Fiorella Mannoia, Elisa and Alessandra Amoroso, on 19 September, which has sold over 80,000 tickets in under a month.

Delegates at the ILMC received a special PCUP microchipped, silicone smart glass for use at the arena. The glass is sustainable, suitable to be reused and re-washed thousands of times; repsonsible, with each drink registered to keep a tally of plastic and  C02 reduction; digital, with a link to smartphones for access to digital services; and safe, made from tough, flexible, non-shatter material for maximum safety.


Ligabue, 12 September: inauguration of an international programme
The construction work on RCF Arena Reggio Emilia – which began in 2018 – will continue until the definitive testing of the structure, before the inauguration and the opening to the public, set for 12 September 2020, with an event starring Luciano Ligabue.

There could be no better place than the Campovolo area, with its new RCF Arena Reggio Emilia, to celebrate his extraordinary thirty-year musical career: this is an area close to the local artist’s heart, a place he has performed several times in live events that have left their mark on the history of Italian music. And the next one, at RCF Arena, on 12 September 2020, promises to be more incredible than ever: a 30th anniversary celebration of Il Liga, set to go down in the annals of rock and to kick off a programme of events with an international dimension.

Greenery and zero-carbon solutions are the two key attributes underpinning the RCF Arena’s green credentials

Advanced sustainable design
RCF Arena Reggio Emilia is a highly sustainable project, which seeks to improve and develop the urban park it is built within (with thousands of new trees and cycle paths), to occupy the non-operative area of the airport (thus guaranteeing zero land consumption) and to reduce environmental impact (by adopting zero carbon solutions).

Greenery and zero-carbon solutions are the two key attributes underpinning the RCF Arena’s green credentials. The protection and promotion of the Arena’s natural surroundings and urban regeneration in the local area are a central focus of the RCF Arena project, alongside a range of initiatives to reduce the venue’s carbon footprint, from optimising power consumption, promoting sustainable transport and innovative waste recycling programmes to constant monitoring and accreditation of the complex’s environmental impact.

RCF Arena Reggio Emilia aims to make the most of the potential for growth in the live events sector to boost tourism in the region

With the Music Valley, more opportunities for the Metropolitan Area
RCF Arena Reggio Emilia aims to make the most of the potential for growth in the live events sector to boost tourism in the region, through the national and international promotion of the Emilia-Romagna system, the Via Emilia experience and the region’s cultural heritage.

Not only tourism, but also knowledge and work contribute to make the most of the region’s outstanding assets, the economic development of the metropolitan area, the establishment of new businesses and the growth of existing enterprises, especially in the advanced tertiary, hospitality and cultural industry sectors. RCF Arena’s aim is to make Reggio Emilia the capital of live music, and to create a Music Valley of international scope – deservedly joining the system of valleys in the region dedicated to motor vehicles, food and wellness – able to welcome, thrill and amaze people from all over Europe.


Want to know more? Take a look at the RCF Arena here and access the technical area here