A Chat With Tommy Verdun From FuturFestival
Welcome to Festivals Insider's Organizer Q&A series. Here, we have intimate conversations with some of the festival market's most exciting and influential innovators.
We had the pleasure of catching up with Tommy Verdun of FuturFestival, an Italian electronic music festival held every summer in the stunning, industrial grounds of Parco Dora, Torino. A guaranteed weekend of heavy hitters, and spectacular sunshine that every festival-goer should add to their bucket list.
What is your name and what is the name of your festival?
My name is Tomas Verdun and the name of our festival is Kappa FuturFestival.
When did the festival start and what inspired it?
The festival started in 2012 with the first edition and it was inspired by our founders who were passionate, really passionate about electronic music, and they were also passionate festival-goers. And you know, it was their desire to create and organize and produce a festival that they wanted to attend. So that's what inspired it basically.
When and where does it happen?
It takes place in Torino, Italy, in Parca Dora, which is a central public park, and it takes place every year, on the first weekend of July.
Tell us about the site and how it influences the festival?
Well, the site as I said, it's at Parco Dora, and it's a public park, very close to the city centre. It's, it used to be a factory for Viet, the carmaker, so it still has a very industrial feeling. There are pillars of the old factory, you know, that still remain in the park so it influences the festival in the sense that it gives it that sort of underground and industrial feeling but being so close to the city centre, it also has a very pop if you want, you know, popular feeling as well.
And you know, being in the summer and a daytime festival, it's always, you know, quite sunny, usually, hopefully. So, you know, there's this contrast between the industrial feeling of the park, you know, given to it by its original use, but also, you know, the development that it's had since the factory was disused. It's now been turned into a public park and so it has both that industrial and underground feeling but also that, you know, happy summery and pop feeling as well.
What kind of musical artists play at your festival?
Well, we are an electronic music festival, but we cover pretty much all genres of electronic music. So, we have four different stages and usually, you know, they all have their individual sound. So, we will have a, you know, a techno stage so with slightly more underground music vibes, then there will be you know, a house, funky stage, there will be a more probably commercial in the sense that it's more, it's more of them. You know, the, although it's a genre, obviously, that it's not mainstream, but you know, within the genre, there are mainstream artists and we will have another stage that will host these artists. And so, yeah, I mean, we cover pretty much all genres within the electronic music industry.
Who was the first act you ever booked?
The first act that was ever booked by our founders, I believe, was Danny Tenaglia for a club, gig interview some years ago.
What’s the most memorable set or sets for you?
Well for me, as it is for all of our, you know, all of the organisers, it's, it's quite difficult to, you know, watch a set for a long time because, you know, we're always running around with the different things that we have to do during the festival. So I have to say that I don't get to watch the sets as much as I would like, but the most memorable one for me, I think it will be Kerri Chandler in 2016.
Who is the target audience for your festival?
The target audience for our festival is basically the world, because you know, this is a festival that has been growing internationally since it started. You know, the popularity of it grew quite a lot, especially in recent years.
So, so yeah, we have a lot of fans, from all over the world. I mean, we, we covered in the last edition that we were able to hold that was 2019. We covered 110 different nationalities. from everywhere, I mean, Asia, North, South America, Europe, some African countries as well. So we, you know, our audience is pretty much the world.
What is unique about your festival? What sets it apart?
Well, from the feedback that we receive, I think the location is a big plus for us. It's seen as one of the most incredible locations for festivals around Europe and the world, and I think that's given by the fact that it's not a location that we build, it's already there and so it's more original, in a sense. Apart from obviously, well, the stages and the bars, and then and all the facilities that we build, you know, the frame is there already. So I think it gives it sort of a more original feeling.
Also, I think that the fact that it's such an international so, you know, the vibes are very, you know, happy vibes. You know, people who come to the festival, they end up, you know, meeting lots of people from all over the world. So I guess that the location and the vibes that are created by our audience are the things that set us apart.
Anything else you'd like to tell us about?
We won the International Festival Award that was held in Ibiza in 2019, so that is sort of where we are at at the moment. And, you know, we are working towards a future that can sort of consolidate this, this reputation that we built and possibly grow it even further. And that is, that is our goal for the next editions.