by Serena Belcastro
Hey Pretty Birds,
How has your summer been so far?
About a week ago, I visited Sicily for the gazillionth time and allowed myself to be pampered by the warm atmosphere of Ypsigrock. Thanks to the passion and dedication of the all-Italian team behind this international festival, it has grown significantly over the years. Each year, for 4 days, Ypsigrock transforms the small town of Castelbuono, in the province of Palermo, into a whirlwind of emotion made of amazing music, friendships new and old, ice-cream, granita, memories and dreams. Musicians play inside the courtyard of the town’s Medieval castle and by the Church of San Francesco. With these stunning backdrops as the festival’s main stages, performers cannot deny the power of the atmosphere that embraces Castelbuono during “Ypsi.” Every single one of these artists has admitted that Ypsigrock is one of the best festivals and most memorable venues they’ve ever played at. I feel the only explanation for this is that Ypsigrock feels like home and you end up feeling hopelessly tied to this place. Every corner of Castelbuono becomes an integral part of the festival, and everyone, including the artists themselves, feel like citizens of a place reminiscent of never-never land. After all, the official hashtag of Ypsigrock 2015 is: I GUESS I’M STILL A TEENAGER. This is a reference to the fact that this was, indeed, the festival’s final edition as a teenager, yet it also speaks to the carefree spirit and suspended reality that the festival creates on a higher level each year. This was the same philosophy sustained by my dearest friend and music journalist, Stefano Cuzzocrea who passed away a few months ago and found a new home on the aftershow stage dedicated to him. This year, the “Ypsi” magic enraptured the likes of artists such as The Notwist, Metronomy, Future Islands, Battles, Temples, The Sonics, East India Youth, Bipolar Sunshine, Hinds, The KVB, among others. Check out the photo gallery for a full report on these intense days filled with music and love.
We’ll see each other next year for the festival’s twentieth edition!