Ask most people what comes to mind when thinking of music festivals and the answers are likely to be similar: big name bands, big stages and a vast open space (be it field, beach or forest). While that sort of experience is obviously great, that's not the only form a music festival can, or should, take.
It's important to recognise and celebrate some of the smaller festivals that aren't always able to shout as loudly as those with bigger budgets and grander set-ups. Festivals that have their own unique charm, and portray exactly what is so great about the huge diversity in music festivals across the globe.
Next in our ongoing quest to shine a light on the lesser-known gems is Flash Festival, an event in its relative infancy having hosted the debut in the Tuscan countryside in the spring of 2017. Come May, the next instalment will see performances from the likes of Bradley Zero, Eclair Fifi, DJ Boring and more, so we took the time to speak with festival co-founders Benedetta Venturini and Karl Schussig to find out more about this intimate and inviting Italian idyll.
Where is your festival set?
In Castiglion Fiorentino, a historic town between Florence and Rome in sun-soaked Tuscany. Peer over the fence and you’ll see our private airstrip; look a little higher and you’ll catch a stunning castle. It’s paradise.
What is the festival’s ethos?
We embrace the Tuscan way of life – sharing the nature, style and taste of the region. Ironically, we’re not about flashiness - just rustic, beautiful food and wine and carefully curated artists.
What kind of music am I going to hear?
In the daytime, our music revolves around local selectors and blissed-out singer-songwriters. When the Tuscan dusk falls, it’s all about disco and house grooves until the not-so-small hours!
When I come, where am I going to stay?
Hopefully the dance floor for most of the time! For sleeping, you’ve got two options - either DIY camping with your own tent, or you can try our fully kitted-out glamping (think comfortable mattress, crisp linen etc.)
What kind of people am I going to find here?
Food, wine and music lovers from all over the world. Festival-goers who want to experience more than just music, who want to avoid large crowds and have space to bust a move with new and old friends. We don’t want to sound as cheesy as our parmigiana, but we like to think of ourselves as a super friendly mini family - it is capped at 1000 people, after all.
What am I going to eat and drink?
We work with local chefs and wineries to bring the best food of your life. We’ve got hand-stretched pizza, fresh fettuccine, natural Tuscan wine, crumbling pastries, tear-and-share antipasti. Flash Festival opens on Thursday with a massive Tuscan feast…
What is one of your favourite memories of a previous editions?
Chaos in the CBD closing Saturday night with 90s house classics. It felt like everyone at Flash Festival knew each other and the crowd was one big massive group of friends dancing into the early morning.
Pick a song that embodies your festival
'Saw You For the First Time' by Laurence Guy. This laid back house jam lets you take a step outside the party and embrace the moment. It’s those refreshing sunny vibes we can’t get enough of – hence Laurence Guy is back for 2020.
How would you describe your festival’s atmosphere?
A euphoric dose of Vitamin D, served with true Italian hospitality. Flash is very social with wine-tasting masterclasses and pasta making workshops you meet people from all around world that become lifelong friends. Hangovers don’t exist here - one morning yoga session or a quick lounge in one of our hammocks and you’re good as gold!
What is your festival’s spirit animal (mythical or real)?
A carb-loaded bumble bee happily buzzing around the action looking for that honey (or wine).
Flash Festival 2020 takes place from 14-16 May – book tickets, packages, transport and extras here