Uncertainty over local politics and disagreements over the site have caused Italia Wave Festival to leave Florence after only a year and move to the coast at Livorno.
Antonello Chini, stand-in mayor for the Campi Bisenzio district since Fiorella Alunni was booted out, wouldn’t commit to staging this year’s event because he could also be out of a job come the April 26 elections. It was too long for the festival to wait.
The move has been on the cards since February, when Italia Wave head of communications Silvia Poledrini told Pollstar that Livorno mayor Alessandro Cosimi had shown an interest.
She said there’s also been talks with other cities but Livorno was the most likely choice because it enables the event to remain in Tuscany, where the regional authority has been a keen supporter.
Cosimi was set to join festival arts director Mauro Valenti, Province of Livorno president Giorgio Kutufà and Tuscan regional president Claudio Martini at an April 12 press conference that confirmed the move and announced that The Chemical Brothers and The Verve are already confirmed for the July 16-19 lineup.
Poledrini said about 100 acts will be on the bill and the full list will be divulged at a second press conference May 1.
Apart from the political issues, the festival needed to move because, originally scheduled to happen on a 30-hectare park site at Villa Montalvo in Florence’s Campi Bisenzio district, Mayor Domenici then moved it to Sesto Fiorentino.
"It’s also on the edge of the city but the site is just land. We had to take all the water and electricity in, which was a huge extra cost," Poledrini explained.
The main arena at the new site is the city’s 40,000-capacity soccer stadium. There will also be a 10,000-capacity arena at Rotonda d’Ardenza, a terrace next to the sea, and a 2,000-capacity electro stage at the old fortress that once guarded the entrance of the old Mediterranean seaport.