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Over 100 Italian Music Acts Staged a “Silent” Strike in Place of a Livestream Concert

The non-performance protest was to raise awareness for struggling live venues in Italy

Italian music acts silent strike
Lacuna Coil “Silent Strike”, via YouTube
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    Lacuna Coil and more than 100 other Italian music acts staged a “silent” non-performance strike during a planned livestream concert event on Saturday, February 27th, much to the surprise of viewers who tuned in to see the show.

    After video showed Lacuna Coil getting ready for the “show,” the band took the stage in white jumpsuits. Instead of launching into their powerful brand of heavy metal, they stood quietly.

    In an initial statement, Lacuna Coil explained, “You were expecting to see a live show while we just stood in silence. It’s not a bad joke. This is the situation of live clubs in Italy. Places where we got to meet many of you. It is with this bitter taste in our mouths that we’re asking for your support. For them a live show with no music is not a live show. A silent live club is not a live club.”

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    The silent treatment frustrated those who’d expected to hear music, but as Lacuna Coil singer Cristina Scabbia further explained in an Instagram video, the strike had a good cause: to raise awareness for struggling Italian concert venues.

    “I know that a lot of you guys have been connecting to the web site ultimoconcerto.it expecting a live concert that never happened,” Scabbia said in a social media post. “What you saw was a video of us entering the venue Alcatraz in Milano and standing still on the stage, looking at an empty club. What we did was taking part in an Italian strike.”

    The initiative was known as “L’Ultimo Concerto?” and helped spotlight the struggling live-music industry that has suffered during the pandemic the world over. Including Lacuna Coil, around 130 acts were filmed standing in silence at different venues to mark the one-year anniversary since Italian venues closed.

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    Much of the backlash from viewers was directed at Lacuna Coil, one of the biggest acts on the bill.

    “Of course, we couldn’t say anything, because the purpose was to make noise,” she continued. “So I absolutely understand your frustration, I absolutely understand your anger, and believe me, all of us [in] Lacuna Coil wanted to be on that stage to play a real concert for you. … So the point of the Italian strike that happened yesterday was to bring attention to the fact that clubs have been closed for a year because of the pandemic, and we don’t know when they are gonna be reopening again. So I want to thank you guys, because even with your angry messages, even with your disappointment, you helped us to scream even louder.”

    She added: “”[We’ll] hopefully see you in a real club, in a real show very, very soon. And thank you for the understanding. [We] love you guys.”

    The “L’Ultimo Concerto?” campaign was organized by KeepOn Live, Arci, Assomusica, and Live DMA. It was announced last month in a response to a post from struggling venues that fear their temporary closure during the pandemic will become permanent. An estimated 300,000 Italian people lost their entertainment venue jobs during the pandemic.

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    Watch Lacuna Coil’s segment from the livestream below, followed by Cristina Scabbia’s message to the fans. The other acts’ “silent” performances can be seen here.

     

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