The four-day Transmissions festival in Ravenna has quickly established itself as a unmissable event for lovers of experimental or just plain weird music. It fills the gap in this part of Northern Italy left by the demise of Bologna’s Netmage events.
For edition VI, the presence of The Wire magazine‘s promotional stand and a Q & A session (which I missed) proves that it is officially a hip place to be for discerning music
I attended the first and third days so I reckon I’m as qualified as anyone to offer a few reflections.
The low attendances at both shows I went to must have been disappointing to the organisers and to curator Daniel O’Sullivan in particular.
The fact that O’Sullivan put himself on the bill of three of the four days ,as part of Æthenor, Grumbling Fur and Mothlite & Mt Todd, struck me as indulgent to say the least. I can’t speak for the first and third of these performances but sincerely hope they were better than the embarrassingly bad Grumbling Fur on Day 3.
Publicity seemed generally low-key – I live just twenty minutes drive away from Ravenna and saw no adverts or flyers at all. I imagine the funds to pay for the performers was quite generous but would have thought this could have stretched to putting up more posters or at least rig up an on stage banner to create a stronger festival identity. At the Bronson Club there was nothing to distinguish the event from any other concert at this venue.
My suggestion for next year, if it survives, would be to either have an Italian as curator or co-curator to add home-grown talent to the international line-up and do a major rethink on publicising the events better.