Into the Beyond: Polifonic Festival in Focus
The evolving Italian festival is entering uncharted territory with new events and exciting prospects.
Polifonic Festival is a growing festival emerging from the Italian underground music scene. Having been in operation since 2017 it has become a staple of the country’s musical landscape having acted as an outlet for local musicians and international guests to visit and play.
Over the years the festival has played host to key names from across the breadth of the music industry with key performances having come from the likes of Theo Parrish, Levon Vincent, John Talabot, Carl Craig, Jeff Mills and more. They have also helped to champion rising Italian artists with the likes of Nu Genea, Hiver and The Analogue Cops all having been key features of the festival programme in the past.
One thing the Polifonic crew have perhaps done best is in their approach to reaching an international community. Whilst the principal festival has always taken place in Puglia they have run numerous satellite parties all over the world in the likes of New York, London and Milan.
It is Milan in which they have been planning for their biggest venture yet – a new second edition of the festival and a chance to bring the full experience to a big city.
We spoke to the team about the importance of Polifonic’s evolution and their vision for the future.
So, how exciting is it to be able to return and host the festival following the pandemic?
“It’s very exciting! We’ve been dreaming about making a festival happen for so long, especially in Milan where we’ve been working for two years and finally, it’s about to happen. It is going to be a very special year for us.”
Has the past couple of years offered you any time to reflect or think about how you might do things differently?
“For sure – having more time to look back at the journey we’ve had has been important. You’re able to better trace the route, reconsidering new and old aspects.”
What are the core ethos and principles behind Polifonic?
“Our main principle is the link to the territory and its preservation, to do great work in terms of sustainability and build a story and sense of tradition that can be retold to the next generation.
The key to the success of the festival is in the genuine vibe that the audience creates. We try to work on every detail, ensuring that we make the experience memorable event after event. You can see this not only in the line-up but in all the other activities that revolve around the festival, from food to art.”
Had you ever imagined it might grow into what it has now?
“Good question. We started with a clear vision of what Polifonic would become but you never know; the first couple of years weren’t easy but since we first started we had the feeling that something special was happening.”
From a musical perspective, what goals do you seek to achieve when programming the festival?
“Being a festival means you have to present a transversal offer. This year we’ll produce four stages for the first time. The common denominator is the quality of the booking, we try to feature a good mix between established artists and newcomers. We have our signature blend of house, disco, techno (mainly cosmic), and electronic music-wise.”
For what are you most excited about this year?
“As I said I think doing two big events for the first time represents a big step for us…especially doing Milan for the first time during design week.”
“We had the feeling that something special was happening.”
How do you go about picking a location and how important is the setting and the environment to the festival itself?
“We changed our main location two years ago. We screened the whole area across the past few years then we came up with Masseria Capece. We have a kind of exclusivity and its exposition, natural beauty and landscapes represent a unique combination we immediately have fallen in love with. There could be no better place to get in touch with nature.
You are embarking on an edition in Milan this year, why did you feel it was time to branch out?
“Milan is our home base, we’ve been very active in the city for a long time. In the last few years, it’s been growing a lot and there aren’t many festivals which represent our scene. We feel it to be a natural extension of our work.”
Musically speaking, what value do you feel the festival brings to Italy and club culture?
“I think Polifonic, alongside other promoters, has shown that in Italy we can be organised and creative. Polifonic is the right mix between established artists and newcomers, with a strong focus on other art forms.
At which point did you decide that you should embark upon building a festival, what was the main reason for starting Polifonic?
“Of course passion drove every decision. We’ve been organising events and running parties for many years – then we felt it was the right time to start something bigger with a different approach, something more traversal in which we could converge all the ideas we’d collected over the years.”
More details HERE.