The magic of Italy

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When Sonica Festival took place for the 1st time in 2005 on Bolsena Lake, Italian psytrance movement was still in its early stage and old italian trancers were mostly traveling abroad and attending psychedelic events in other countries or continents.
Sonica Festival became a landmark for the trance culture in Italy, giving birth to several breeding grounds all over our geographical boot, having been the first psychedelic festival experience for the largest national audience.
Time has passed and after 10 years the italian psytrance movement appears to be now well-establidhed and grown in numbers of new adopters, including a wide-range of new cultural and musical trends.


Important Artist from Italy:
DUST (looney moon records)

More artists:
Italy is the land of great psytrance pioneers such as Etnica & Pleiadians, Lotus Omega and M-45, followed by great old school Djs like Edoardo, Gino, Fog, Phobos, Pixan. The new scene is now living a great rebirth with new talented producers such as Dust, the high-light of Looney Moon Records who inspiring the most psychedelic italian producers like Dharma and Hypereggs, or Ilai from Antu Records focused on the Psy-progressive style and heading now the italian progressive network.


Important Psytrance label from Italy:
Looney Moon Records
More labels:
The most important Italian psytrance labels of all ages were of course Etnicanet and Neurobiotic records for all the first decade of the 2000s, but nowadays represented by Looney Moon Records and Blacklite Records, counting several releases every year in the last 5 years and doing a very good work scouting and producing new talented artists from all over the globe. A small number of minor labels is by the way present in the country mainly keeping the focus on the underground scene.


Important Party/Festival label from Italy:
Sonica Festival
More Parties/Festivals:
After Sonica festival and totally created on new spiritual basis, we can mention Human Evolution Festival Festival by The Evolution Family in Tuscany region and Black Moon Festival by Goa-Project in Marche region. Although some lack of skills, both these 2 new festivals are now trying to reach an international audience, involving artists from the main international scene and creating now a strong competition within the national borders.


Important Deco artist from Italy:
Looney Moon Deco
More Deco artists:
Looney Moon Deco is the only reputable international deco-team based in Itlay. They lately started to work together with Delta Process visual-team, combining the creativity of very professional video-mapping shows with great artistic stage and dancefloor designs.


Preferred music styles inItaly:
Psytrance and Psygressive, Forest, Dark, High-tech
When parties are starting? When they are closing or have to close?:
Weekends parties use to start during Saturday late afternoon and ending on Sunday around lunch time.
Are there clubs that open in the morning, is it easy to find one, do peoples have open private afterhours…:
Afterparty culture is not so developed in terms of day-time clubs and after-parties happen often in private places such as villas or farms mostly located in the countrysides
Tell us about prices. Average entry for a party (small - mid - big-sized), beer, water etc.:
Prices in Italy are usually low. Entrance ticket's costs for a one-night can range between 5€ and maximum 15€ with free drink. Beer cost is always between 2,50€ and maximum 4€, water cost is normally fixed at 1€, cocktails are in a range between 5€ and 7€.
Are there traffic controls after parties / festivals, which kind of tests are used?:
Drug screening is mainly focused on alcohol test but in rare cases tampons are used to detect cannabis or amphetamine.


Points of interest:
There aren't fixed places of interest for trancers different from clubs. You can find several meeting points all over italian cities where people use to gather for spending time like wine bars, smart-shops or trendy clothes shops. For sure worthy of mention it's in the last years the Gipsy Fashion Wear ( in the center of Naples where lots of infos about international festivals and local events are weekly spread around by the crew and promoters hanging out at this place.
Best places for activities:
Italy is a very beautiful country to visit, offering stunning landscapes from the North to the South. Apart from historical visits to old cities, ruins, churches and museums the best Italian tradition is anyway related to wine&food, where every region can delight you with very special dishes and handmade grape nectars we hearty suggest you not to miss.
Best place to stay:
Venice, Florence, Rome and Naples are absolutely the best Italian cities where you can find comfortable places to stay at any range of cost. Italy has plenty of hills, lakes, sea and mountains far from the metropolitan environment that can be visited for a short holiday to have a real taste of Italian traditions and costumes.
Best place to eat:
Just come to eat Pizza in its capital, Naples. You can experience it in a very traditional way within old pizzerias, where you can enjoy it at any time of the day.


Something curious from Italy:
The Southern Italy is the most safe place to party compared to the center or to the north where controls are always more strict and common. The sparkling southern culture allow people to feel protected and more free to enjoy any kind of event.


Gino Sonica
His/Her role in the Psytrance community:
Gino is founder and executive producer of SONICA FESTIVAL since year 2005. Now a veteran about psychedelic music gatherings, he begins his active participation since 1990, immediately keen on acid-techno frequencies of that age. In 1993 he buys his first desks technics-1200, after having been collecting a large vinyl archive and, getting in touch with local insiders, Gino starts to collaborate for the production of several parties in Italy with famous artists from London and Detroit underground scene. After a pause, gone-by 1996 to 1999, when he's been traveling throughout South American as well as Oriental cultures, Gino comes back to psychedelic scene attending most of the best events around the globe. His dancefloor-driving experience melted with his professional know-how in event management led him to project and create SONICA FESTIVAL together with other partners from Rome, where He's based since 1998. Dj Gino plays his natty dj-set in many international festivals and clubs. His style is an harmonic fusion of psychedelic and cyber frequencies, and his musical research aims to constantly upgrade the worldwide dance music trends. He is usually able to present two different dj-set, for open-air or indoor stages, dynamically shifting clever selections of contemporary acid sounds with pumping and rocking beats. Gino released a few VA compilations starting with Chacruna on December 2008, on Echoes Records and on May 2010, he founded Sonica Recordings releasing Sonica VA Comp Vol II on June 2010; Healing Lights VA Compiled by Djane Gaby on May 2012 and Sonica VA Comp Vol III on Oct 2012. He's currently compiling a new VA for Sonica Festival 10 years celebration, to be released on early 2015.
Info about the author:
Gino is going to produce "Sonica Festival 10 years Celebration" for the next summer 2015 and he's now focusing on developing the psy-trance culture in South Italy and specially in Naples, his native land. He is here now planning several monthly parties with important artist guests from the main international trance scene. On the 29th November he's producing a great indoor event performing Eat Static live, celebrating the 25th year of the historical band that fired up the dance-floors of the first great UK raves and festivals of the early 90's:
Authors Email:
the author:
UK psychedelic trance and forest