F.O.A. Boccaccio: a political and cultural Italian squat space since 2003, a different kind of experience

F.O.A. Boccaccio mixes people with different political backgrounds with global issues and the need for a change. Now getting ready for the Summer Festival in July 2015!

Hi Guys! LiveTrigger team is very proud to interview you, because of your good work in the last years to organize events and to create something new in the Italian independent musical panorama. Tell us something about Foa Boccaccio. What’s the concept behind Boccaccio? Can you describe how it’s born and its evolution, please?
Our experience started more than ten years ago, in 2003, here in Monza, near Milan. We were looking for free spaces to organize happenings, live gigs, theatre, to speak about political items, to build together a new kind of space in our city. We can define ourselves as a typical example of political and cultural Italian squat experience, mixing people with different political backgrounds (left wings or anarchist or something like these), looking for good practices of action inside and outside our squat, trying to change a little bit of the world all around, cooperating with other guys in Milan or in Italy in different struggles or cultural projects. We survived ten evictions and since 2011 we’ve been staying inside a former sporting field.

How is it to be one the most important hub for alternative, hardcore and punk music in Monza? What’s the idea behind your musical choice?
Generally we try to organize our musical program offering different kinds of music (from reggae to tekno, from hip hop to jazz), but since the very beginning we’ve been keen on hosting people playing hardcore or punk music, because we find a natural affinity with these guys going all around the world only for “food and gasoline”, speaking about the same themes we usually deal in our daily political activity with, believing in d.i.y. in the same way of our squat.

And what about Boccaccio local audience?
Boccaccio is in a good geographical position because it’s in the middle of two different “audience areas”: firstly Milano, the big city, secondly the territory around Monza, which is called Brianza, composed by many little towns. People come to Boccaccio from these different areas…few people instead are coming from Monza.

What do you think about other independent movements in your area and in Italy? Are you connected with other movements in Italy or outside your country?
We’ve been on the scene for more than ten years, so that we could see many changes within the independent movements: generally speaking, we have to underline that people (unluckily) tend to prefer more and more sound systems or commercial dance floor… it’s difficult that young people decide to go to a live gig, where people play live music (not cover bands of course!). Few young people start now playing guitar or bass or drums… now everyone dreams to be a dj or something like that. Live music and independent movements have to organize and build new networks, as people did in the ’80s… here in Milan something is going on and of course we try to support these experiences of networking. We want to see our space full of people coming for concerts (as it used to be some years ago) and not only when we organize tekno parties.

Tell us something about your city and the EXPO, that is the biggest commercial event in Milano-Monza area this year. What do you think about it? Is it good or bad opportunity for the musical movement?
In general terms Monza is out of the EXPO game. Boccaccio is part of the noEXPO movement from 2008, so that in the outline we think this big event is only a great money machine for few people, for few time. If we want to build new opportunities for musicians we have to work everyday in our cities, in the streets as on the web, to promote our activities, to work in our space to make it more comfortable (unluckily normal people don’t like standard squat locations…), to involve new people in organizing gigs…

So, I’m a band, a musician or a dj, I’m booking a tour and I’d like to play in one of your shows. Give me your three most important recommendations.
1) Love music, hate Fascism
2) Contact us on FB two or three months in advance and don’t hate us if we can’t satisfy your request
3) Don’t forget bring your sleeping bag with you

Do you work often with promoters and booking agencies or do you work directly with musicians? Which one of these two approaches do you enjoy the most?
We use both the approaches…generally we prefer to work directly with musicians but recently we met some good promoters and we continue to work together with them. Many agencies usually stay far from squat because they know it’s quite difficult to do some business working with us.

We know you are planing to organize a festival the 24th, 25th and 27th of july 2015. Tell us something about it.
We planned a three-day festival (24.25.27 july) with many bands. For us it’s a sort of summer fest to close our activities, so we want to say goodbye to all our friends to see everybody on September, ready for a new great season.

What do you think about LiveTrigger? Do you think it could be a good tool to facilitate the process of booking and organizing shows? Do you have any suggestions?
Yes, of course, it could be a good tool and we like to be part of it. It’s a good possibility for bands and clubs to organize shows in do it yourself mode!