If you are already looking around the internet for next summers’ live concerts and free festivals and asking your friends suggestions, here is an idea you haven’t had yet: Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia.
This event is not really a regular festival that takes place outside a city on an outdoor venue, this festival takes place inside Perugia, on its streets, alleys, and squares. For ten days in July the whole historic centre of the city becomes a stage that hosts not only international known guests, legendary jazz men, blues men, pop-stars, or orchestras but also artists performing at street corners, bars and cafes at any time of the day and most of the night.
Umbria Jazz is one of the most relevant jazz festival in the World, started in 1973, it has seen an incredible list of legends stopping by and entertaining the always plentiful audience: the festival became popular in short time and in 1975 the crowds, ready to listen to Charles Mingus and Chet Baker, filled the streets, really overwhelming the city. People slept rough everywhere, demanding food and water, packing every corner, and using church’s gardens as campsite. A success.
Miles Davis left a strong mark too, especially in ’85 and ’89 when he performed in this beautiful location right across the city’s botanic gardens.
Artists such as Sting, Prince, Phil Collins, Keith Jarret, BB King, Herbie Hanckok, Lady Gaga, and John Legend performed during this incredible stretch.
The festival offers many concerts throughout the city which are completely free of charge, in different spots of the centre and at any time, lasting until 3 a.m. For the most important concerts there is a ticket to pay, that usually goes from 15 to 50 euros, depending on the artists and on the seat. This year headliners are Massive Attack and David Byrne, many names have yet to be announced.
The right way to enjoy Umbria Jazz is not just going to a single gig and have an ok time but it is also finding a concert you didn’t know you like in a random spot of the town, spending the evening enjoying the concert on the square and the night in the bars right behind it. So keep this idea in mind when planning next summer.
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