Trotta Makes Sure Of Record

“We wanted to make sure that it really is the biggest show before we started talking about it,” was how Barley Arts press officer Elena Pantera explained why the Italian company took more than a couple of months to announce that it has broken the European box office record.

“We had to get our figures agreed by the Società Italiana Autori ed Editori – the local performing rights society – and that can take some time,” she added.

Ligabue’s September 10th show in front of 165,264 punters at Reggio Emilia airport beat the 146,000 tickets that Fran Tomasi sold for a U2 gig at the same venue in September 1997.

“I think the record will probably stand as long as the previous one,” said Barley Arts chief Claudio Trotta, who organised the event with Ferdinando Salzano’s Friends & Partners and Ligabue manager Claudio Maioli.

“First of all, you need an artist who has the balls to do such a huge show and the stature to sell the tickets. It also takes a lot of investment and you need a fantastic team to put it together. Maybe you have to be a little crazy to even try it.

“It took nine months from the time the idea was first conceived and that’s why we call it our baby. It’s not the sort of thing that will get done every year,” he explained.

Ligabue performed an astonishing three-and-a-half-hour set across four stages connected by catwalks, with each segment of the show relating to a different phase of the Italian rock giant’s 17-year career.

To make sure all the entire crowd got a good sight of the action, the show was beamed across the audience from eight giant screens.

— John Gammon