The Xperiology team decamps to Bella Italia each year… and one of the first highlights of this summer’s vacanza was a visit to the world-class Umbria Jazz festival in nearby Perugia.
Hosted by our loyal Ticketing Technology Forum delegate Mirco Bezzi, who heads up the challenges of ticketing and digital marketing for the 14-day festival, the Xperiologists sampled the delights of Marcus Miller performing his smooth and funky Afrodeezia album – along with tributes to Bowie and Prince – at the festival’s main venue: Arena Santa Giuliana.
An athletics stadium for the resident military school for the rest of the year, at Festival time the track is covered and transformed into Arena Santa Giuliana: an open air venue for up to 6,000 spectators. It’s not perfect for jazz (and more suited to rock and pop acoustics) but it’s the best the city can offer – despite years of discussions over an indoor arena.
The Festival provides a welcome annual boost to the city’s tourism fortunes – filling hotel rooms and restaurant tables – but for a world-class Festival (which is ranked alongside North Sea Jazz and Montreaux as the best trio in Europe) the city’s facilities do not reflect the truly brilliant programming.
More’s the pity… as well all know in the venue business: investment in infrastructure is as wise as investment in content. The two go hand in hand.