Decibel Open Air made a truly triumphant return at the start of September with a real breath and depth of international musical talent in a stunning setting. The world renowned festival is vast in size, scale and scope and that makes for a supersized experience unlike any other. It is held in the gorgeous Florence at Parco delle Cascine and was lucky to be bathed in great weather all weekend.
In all, 50000 people attend with most from Italy but a sizable amount from the rest of Europe. They are all friendly and welcoming, with lots of big smiles and no end of energy to keep dancing hard all weekend long. The production too is out of this world with punchy sound systems delivering the music nice and loud and clear, great lights and lasers and epic stage designs.
There are three in all – the Main Stage and then elrow on the Saturday with its own famously colourful and vibrant production and then Scottish techno sensations Terminal V hosting their own first international stage. And what a stage it was with I Hate Models, Reinier Zonneveld, Adiel and 99999999 all smashing it out of the park. The tartan army was out in force to support with Scottish flags everywhere in the crowd on this stage.
For many, the highlight was the epic Amphitheatre stage which is an old roman amphitheatre and hosted the live acts. Caribou did his thing in magical fashion and the acclaimed 2ManyDJs stole the show with full band performances playing all their Soulwax classics like ‘Crush on You’ and their remix of The Chemical Brothers’ ‘Hey Boy Hey Girl.’ All this came after UK pair Overmono warmed up with their electric rave, acid, house sound. This is surely one of the most unique stages at any festival anywhere and the quality of the line-up brought real class and depth to such a historic setting.
The Main Stage which we visited on Sunday also needs plenty of your attention. It is a towering presence with electric production that fires every synapse in your body. It is closed down in thrilling fashion by the one and only Nina Kraviz with her acid laced techno after big sets from Peggy Gou, Paul Kalkbrenner and Michal Bibi all build the vibe and the mood throughout the evening. Earlier in the afternoon, UK tech house titans Solardo really get the crowd locked in with their smart selections.
Electronic music is a universal language and that proves the case as everyone grows closer together at this festival. Add in the delicious food that was on offer, rich local culture to explore, ease of getting about, well run operation and top crowd and you have an unmissable event. Decibel Open Air will be back in 2023 with dates announced soon, and we will be there for sure.
Photo Credits: Elephant Studio