Over 130 Italian musicians stage silent protest in place of livestream concert

The protest marked a year to the day since Italian venues were forced to close

130 Italian artists staged a ‘silent strike’ instead of performing on a planned livestream show, to raise awareness for the country’s struggling live music industry.

Viewers tuned in to the stream to watch live performances from bands including Lacuna Coil. However after footage of the band setting up their instruments and donning makeup for the gig the band instead stood completely silently onstage at Milan’s Alcatraz venue.

You can view Lacuna Coil’s part of the protest below, whose actions were matched by dozens of other Italian artists.

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“You were expecting to see a live show while we just stood in silence,” said Lacuna Coil in a statement. “It’s not a bad joke. This is the situation of live clubs in Italy. Places where we got to meet many of you. It is with this bitter taste in our mouths that we’re asking for your support. For them a live show with no music is not a live show. A silent live club is not a live club.”

The protest, organised under the name ‘L’Ultimo Concerto?’, was broadcast last Saturday (February 27), the one year anniversary of Italian gig venues closing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Responding to backlash from viewers, the band’s Cristina Scabbia said on Instagram: “I absolutely understand your frustration, I absolutely understand your anger, and believe me, all of us in Lacuna Coil wanted to be on that stage to play a real concert for you.

“The point of the Italian strike that happened yesterday was to bring attention to the fact that clubs have been closed for a year because of the pandemic, and we don’t know when they are gonna be reopening again. So I want to thank you guys, because even with your angry messages, even with your disappointment, you helped us to scream even louder.”

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In the UK, meanwhile, gig promoters Live Nation has sold nearly 200,000 tickets to UK festivals this week since the government set out the roadmap out of the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

While this year’s Glastonbury, set for late June, has already been cancelled, and May’s The Great Escape is going online instead, a number of festivals taking place later in summer revealed this week that they would be going ahead as planned as the government outlined plans for England to gradually exit lockdown by the end of June.

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