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How to research the "local scene" in cities I'm looking to move to in Europe - WAY OFF TOPIC

Some of you know I'm looking to move to Europe in 2020 - and those of you that didn't, now you do!

This isn't a deciding factor necessarily for our move, but I'm trying to get an idea of what the local music scene is like in a few different cities in Italy. What I mean is:

1) What's the gig situation like?
2) Are there places that have live music?
3) What are the popular musical styles for live music?
4) Is it all college-age bands?
5) Is everyone playing "That's Amore" on accordions all night?
6) Are there standard features of the US local scene - open mic nights, jam nights, etc.?

Basically I want to know where I can get some detail on what local, working musicians do in places like Rome, Bologna, Milan, Turin, Florence, etc... I know what it's like to gig in San Francisco, and I have resources to check on other cities in the US, but I'm unfamiliar with how similar/dissimilar things are outside the US.

When I was in New England in to 90's, the classic rock bands got all the local gigs. Here in San Francisco it was funky jazz and reggae for a while, now I'm not sure. What say you for Italy, or other places in Europe?

All you non-US residents - give me the skinny!

Comments

  • Change title of post to cities in Italy, no? Come to Istanbul, all the koefte and kebap a musician can eat!

  • edited July 11

    Well, Italy is the motivating factor and primary focus, but any and all info is welcome here since no final decisions have been made as to the end point. Besides - I don't know that there are too many Italians here beyond myself, Alessandro of apeSoft and Maurizio of Amazing Noises. That and I DO know that there are a multitude of our UK brothers ( @AlterEgo_UK @MonzoPro @Spidericemidas et al), as well as @flo26 in France, @Samu & @Max23 in Germany (I believe) amongst others, and @jakoB_haQ in Sweden....

    Opening up the question to the full roster of EU denizens (and those who will soon no longer be :wink:) makes for more possible responses, no?

    :smiley:

    So give me the rundown on Istanbul - who's gigging? Older cats or younger? Jazzers or rockers or something in between? Restaurant gigs? Bars? Dance clubs? All of the above? None of the above?

    You have no idea how hard something this intangible is to research....

  • @Daveypoo said:

    You have no idea how hard something this intangible is to research....

    I'm located in Gothenburg, Sweden but I'm not too familiar with the gig stuff...
    (There are some free local papers spread around town with that kind of info).

  • @Samu said:

    @Daveypoo said:

    You have no idea how hard something this intangible is to research....

    I'm located in Gothenburg, Sweden but I'm not too familiar with the gig stuff...
    (There are some free local papers spread around town with that kind of info).

    Dammit - I was close... I knew you'd mentioned where you were but I got it mixed up.

  • I’m Italian myself but living in the Netherlands. I think the electronic music scene is quite developed here in the Netherlands. You’ve got music festivals all around pretty often. Even (modular) synths events and the like. But I’m sure you could find a nice scene in big Italian cities as well. Rome, Milan, Bologna. Nice places.

  • I'm just living through your dream here at my desk @Daveypoo

  • Any and all of these places will blow you away musically Dave ... been going off for centuries actually. Do a lot of it.

    How's yer Italian Dave? Google is yer friend - eyes and ears even. Even better if you use Italian search terms ... like "Studi di sound design a Roma" or "Scena musicale di Firenze"... gets you things like this: http://www.theflorentine.net/lifestyle/2013/03/live-music-in-florence/ - but for the locals - news and the like ... this is just in English you'll see - and it's a bit old true but gives you an idea of how the place bops.

    Just a bus ride is a musical experience ... lucky lucky bugger! Watch the pasta.

  • @kinkujin said:
    I'm just living through your dream here at my desk @Daveypoo

    You're killing me over here.

  • PS: Apesoft.

  • @Soundscaper said:
    Any and all of these places will blow you away musically Dave ... been going off for centuries actually. Do a lot of it.

    How's yer Italian Dave? Google is yer friend - eyes and ears even. Even better if you use Italian search terms ... like "Studi di sound design a Roma" or "Scena musicale di Firenze"... gets you things like this: http://www.theflorentine.net/lifestyle/2013/03/live-music-in-florence/ - but for the locals - news and the like ... this is just in English you'll see - and it's a bit old true but gives you an idea of how the place bops.

    Just a bus ride is a musical experience ... lucky lucky bugger! Watch the pasta.

    My Italian gets better by the day - I've done some searches in Italian as well, but don't always know the best way to word something so it's not "textbook" Italian and more "local colloquialism" Italian if that makes sense. These definitely help though - thanks.

    I know these places are hopping - Rome and Firenze were when I was there last With kids though I don't often have time to explore later in the evening when we're on vacation.

  • edited July 11

    Hi Davey!
    I'm trying to collab with this crowd and the picture they trow is sort of accurate about how is going in Barcelona...

    This is a campaign about change. Your contribution today will help further the careers of musicians such as Zaq Squares, Liam Cloud, Adeline, Edu Quindos and The Monkey Men, to name a few. We’ve built a platform where artists can connect with Producers and a dedicated content and marketing team. We need your help to grow our efforts.
    "But what's the problem? There's always live music everywhere in Barcelona"
    Each song you hear in Spotify or iTunes requires a Producer, a Recording Studio, Mastering and a Marketing Team so that the song gets discovered, played and shared-- and thus benefits the musician. That overall cost is often overlooked.
    Pursuing any career is a challenge, but for musicians in Barcelona it has become exceptionally hard. It doesn’t matter if you are a local Catalan singer-songwriter or an expat British band, the perception here has started to be that buying drinks in a bar or music venue means live music comes with a drink (and that the musicians get paid well). People willingly pay 15-20 euros on a DJ who plays other people’s music, and 40-50 on a night out, but often hesitate to pay as little as 5 euros to see a live band.
    We are beginning to change that. Our project pays musicians a fixed artist fee plus a percentage of the door— which is unusual for Barcelona. Your contribution of any size, from €1 to €100 will not only help keep these events going, but also fund recording time and marketing for artists, and videos for the best songs.
    The calibre of the Producers we have working with us is impressive. Get involved, be part of change.

    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/barcelona-music-project-frontpagenewsbcn-com#/

  • Excellent - thanks @TheDubbyLabby

    I'm still bummed we couldn't sync up when I was in your town last year - sorry about that. I'll take a look into that link.

  • @Daveypoo said:
    Excellent - thanks @TheDubbyLabby

    I'm still bummed we couldn't sync up when I was in your town last year - sorry about that. I'll take a look into that link.

    My fault, don't worry mate... Barcelona has these such things, ultrafast city, too much people, rent prices going nuts... politics about Independence...

    It's hard to live there and extra hard for broken people like me :lol:

    If you come again I will schedule a meeting day just for meet us. Lately I'm more in that mindset avoiding that sucking-life rhythm Barcelona has.

  • Don't let the day to day bring you down, @TheDubbyLabby - all those same things describe me here in California too. Super hard to live here as well.

    Every place looks great when you visit since you don't experience the same daily grind as the residents. Barcelona was magical to me, but I also got an extremely limited view of what real life looks like. We'll find a way to connect - hopefully I'll be much closer to you than I am now sooner than later.

  • I could see that about Barcelona, in a lot of ways it felt like NY to me with how big and fast paced it is. Weird hours too, that whole eating dinner at 9PM thing I never got used to.

    Best advice I can give is to get a Facebook account. Don't give it more info than you have to, just enough to get it running and then start searching for local music groups. I hate FB, but when I moved to Europe I found that it was just so much easier to find out what was happening via that outlet. I never actually used it for chatting or anything, but for just hunting for info about shows and events I might be interested in, I was able to find links to seperate websites. Eventually I was able to delete the account again.

  • @LinearLineman said:
    Change title of post to cities in Italy, no? Come to Istanbul, all the koefte and kebap a musician can eat!

    A chance for some veggie kebab then? 🥙 😂 I don’t eat animals 🐑 I’m affiliated with :smiley:

  • @Daveypoo said:
    Don't let the day to day bring you down, @TheDubbyLabby - all those same things describe me here in California too. Super hard to live here as well.

    Every place looks great when you visit since you don't experience the same daily grind as the residents. Barcelona was magical to me, but I also got an extremely limited view of what real life looks like. We'll find a way to connect - hopefully I'll be much closer to you than I am now sooner than later.

    California... wow... I have some friends there and it has so many things in common with Barcelona so I can understand you... in fact there is the rumour floating over Barcelona where Silicon Valley Corps wants to open operation office here... (so the World Mobile Congress and [email protected] area in junction with making Barcelona a massive tourist city etc)

    I live outside the city (less than 50' in train) but I have some good friends struggling there to make their living and every year goes a bit harder.

    About your last sentence, I hope to change (for better) my situation from today to next year (let's see) but if it goes well I will visit you anywhere and take that beer, mate!

    <3

  • @Tarekith said:
    I could see that about Barcelona, in a lot of ways it felt like NY to me with how big and fast paced it is. Weird hours too, that whole eating dinner at 9PM thing I never got used to.

    Best advice I can give is to get a Facebook account. Don't give it more info than you have to, just enough to get it running and then start searching for local music groups. I hate FB, but when I moved to Europe I found that it was just so much easier to find out what was happening via that outlet. I never actually used it for chatting or anything, but for just hunting for info about shows and events I might be interested in, I was able to find links to seperate websites. Eventually I was able to delete the account again.

    Agreed in both things.

  • @Tarekith said:
    I could see that about Barcelona, in a lot of ways it felt like NY to me with how big and fast paced it is. Weird hours too, that whole eating dinner at 9PM thing I never got used to.

    Best advice I can give is to get a Facebook account. Don't give it more info than you have to, just enough to get it running and then start searching for local music groups. I hate FB, but when I moved to Europe I found that it was just so much easier to find out what was happening via that outlet. I never actually used it for chatting or anything, but for just hunting for info about shows and events I might be interested in, I was able to find links to seperate websites. Eventually I was able to delete the account again.

    Thanks, @Tarekith . I am fully immersed in FB unfortunately, mostly due to self-promotion over the years of being a musician, teacher, etc. That's a great idea - I'm already a member of a number of other FB groups on topics I'm interested in, but haven't looked for local music stuffs for the cities I'm interested in. I'll look out for those.

    @TheDubbyLabby I live just outside San Francisco (30 minute bus/subway ride) and about a 45 minute drive from San Jose, so yeah - I don't have a lot of good to say about the effects of Silicon Valley on the area. It's tough everywhere but it is sad to hear that Barcelonans are struggling like we are here in SF as well. Both are such beautiful cities - we saw and felt a lot of similarities to SF when we were in Barcelona - and it's a shame that the locals are fewer and fewer. Cost wasn't initially a factor in us wanting to move, but it becomes more a reason daily. The cost here is absolutely destroying me - it's paralyzing in a very real sense.

    I am glad to hear that you're looking to better your situation - I am too. Let's meet up on the middle of our crazy-ass lives and have a couple of beers while the world burns, at least.

    My wife and I were just marveling over the various connections we've made via the internet and how we're creating a web-like community across the world. I'm so excited to get out there and actually MEET more of you all, and that is NOT an empty gesture. There are NUMEROUS folks here I owe a beer to (or equivalent beverage of their choice, alcoholic or non) and I am very much looking forward to making good on that promise.

  • @Daveypoo Yes I feel you... don't worry and let's hope better times come :smiley: <3

  • @TheDubbyLabby SOON - better times will come soon, sir. Don't lose faith!

  • @Daveypoo said:
    @TheDubbyLabby SOON - better times will come soon, sir. Don't lose faith!

    Considering your question... What are the most important factors to you when deciding where to move? I guess it will be easier to choose judging from that.

  • @JennyBright said:

    @Daveypoo said:
    @TheDubbyLabby SOON - better times will come soon, sir. Don't lose faith!

    Considering your question... What are the most important factors to you when deciding where to move? I guess it will be easier to choose judging from that.

    Well, the music scene isn't necessarily a deciding factor - here's what is:

    Mid to Large city
    Transportation hub
    Decent public transport
    Reasonable cost of living (less than Milano - where I live now is comparable to Milano)
    Open minded/liberal attitude

    There's more, but they get esoteric at a certain point. In regards to music - I want the option of lots of musical styles, lots of venues to play, a good community of musicians at all levels and ages....

    I dunno - not having lived overseas before, I'm trying to mitigate my expectations and have more of a "what can this place offer me" mentality. Makes it easier to choose a place.

    Besides, nothing has been decided and I'm open to suggestions, so I figured I'd pose some questions here and see what people have to say.

  • edited July 26

    Language is a factor,it can be enjoyable to invent your own reality when you have no clue what people are saying. It's much easier to learn one when you are surrounded by it. Becoming fluent might even change your perception of a place in a negative way!

    Rent and availability of housing is a huge consideration, especially in the well known cities. Often there are hidden gems close to big cities where you can make friends a lot quicker and getting a place will be easier! You can always travel to concerts and festivals etc

  • Just wanted to say, good luck with the hunting and this huge move when you eventually find your ideal location.

    Would be fun to have you over here in the UK of course, but you gotta move to the place that feels right for you and your family.

    I popped over the border once from Austria into Italy. I was on a tour by coaches and trains from UK into France, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Italy. Love the French. Love the Germans. Love the Italians. All very different and interesting people and cultures. All wonderful places.

    Wherever you settle, I wish you all the happiness, good health and continuing musical adventures!

  • @Daveypoo said:

    @JennyBright said:

    @Daveypoo said:
    @TheDubbyLabby SOON - better times will come soon, sir. Don't lose faith!

    Considering your question... What are the most important factors to you when deciding where to move? I guess it will be easier to choose judging from that.

    Well, the music scene isn't necessarily a deciding factor - here's what is:

    Mid to Large city
    Transportation hub
    Decent public transport
    Reasonable cost of living (less than Milano - where I live now is comparable to Milano)
    Open minded/liberal attitude

    Public transport isn't usually an issue in European cities.
    Open-mindness can be - in my experience, the larger the city the better.

    There's more, but they get esoteric at a certain point. In regards to music - I want the option of lots of musical styles, lots of venues to play, a good community of musicians at all levels and ages....

    That's a difficult one. If you want choice and variety, I believe it's hard to find a European equivalent to some better places in the U.S.
    You might be a bit more lucky in cities with many music students, but if you see a decline in active hobby musicians in your area then be prepared to find stage 2 of this in Europe.

    I dunno - not having lived overseas before, I'm trying to mitigate my expectations and have more of a "what can this place offer me" mentality. Makes it easier to choose a place.

    That's a very wise thing to do.
    From all my travels I can say that as long as you're open-minded yourself, you will have no difficulty to meet open-minded people, at least in larger cities.

  • edited July 28

    @BlueGreenSpiral said:
    Language is a factor,it can be enjoyable to invent your own reality when you have no clue what people are saying. It's much easier to learn one when you are surrounded by it. Becoming fluent might even change your perception of a place in a negative way!

    I have a working fluency in Italian and study/practice daily. This will improve drastically when I move and am forced to speak it minute to minute daily.

    Rent and availability of housing is a huge consideration, especially in the well known cities. Often there are hidden gems close to big cities where you can make friends a lot quicker and getting a place will be easier! You can always travel to concerts and festivals etc

    When I say "mid to large city", thus doesn't have to mean the city center necessarily... I live a short bus or subway ride from a major city now and that's fine... Just trying to get as much info while stateside as possible.

    @Spidericemidas said:
    Just wanted to say, good luck with the hunting and this huge move when you eventually find your ideal location.

    Would be fun to have you over here in the UK of course, but you gotta move to the place that feels right for you and your family.

    Before finding out about the citizenship route, the original idea was to move to the UK. Unfortunately it's extremely difficult to be eligible for a UK visa and that was a hurdle we weren't able to jump in 18 months of trying. Then we found out about my eligibility for Italian citizenship recognition and thought that was our golden ticket.

    Then there was the Brexit vote. It became pretty clear that the UK doesn't really want us right now, unfortunately.

    Wherever you settle, I wish you all the happiness, good health and continuing musical adventures!

    I appreciate that. It's a very long road...

    @rs2000 said:

    Open-mindness can be - in my experience, the larger the city the better.

    And in Italy especially this can be tough, but I've been very lucky to land in good places. This is why Bologna is high on the list - everything I've heard is that is pretty liberal for a Northern Italian city.

    That's a difficult one. If you want choice and variety, I believe it's hard to find a European equivalent to some better places in the U.S.

    This is definitely a bit of a crap shoot - again, just trying to approach each city without expectations and let it present what it has to offer.

    You might be a bit more lucky in cities with many music students, but if you see a decline in active hobby musicians in your area then be prepared to find stage 2 of this in Europe.

    Again, Bologna - hoping that with a college crowd there'll be an interest in live music. Unsure at the moment... We'll see.

  • I didn't realise you were more or less set on moving to Italy @Daveypoo
    It was a late night post!

    Also so used to being able to go anywhere in Europe that I forgot about the visa thing
    Hope it falls into place for you, I don't know much about Italy apart from the food is amazing :)

  • @BlueGreenSpiral said:
    I didn't realise you were more or less set on moving to Italy @Daveypoo
    It was a late night post!

    Also so used to being able to go anywhere in Europe that I forgot about the visa thing
    Hope it falls into place for you, I don't know much about Italy apart from the food is amazing :)

    Me too - there's a lot still to do, but I appreciate the support.

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