The street festival circuit has become a way of life for many artists, and an increasing number of people appreciate visiting this kind of event, whether they are art fans or not. Festivals tend to include a healthy mix of local and international artists who present fascinating works, from murals to posters, from dance to acting to circus performances. We have selected three upcoming street art festivals that will take place in Italy in spring and summer 2016.


Poster Street Art Festival in Bologna (1-8 May 2016)

Born in 2013, the Street Poster Art Festival – also known as CHEAP – is a yearly festival that involves an international open call and a selection of guests invited to carry out site-specific projects scattered throughout Bologna’s urban landscape and outskirts.

Street Art Poster Festival in Bologna (1-8 May 2016)

images from CHEAP Street Art Poster Festival on Facebook


Through the annual Call for Artists, the festival creates a space for participation: the call targets not only street artists but also graphic designers, photographers, and visual artists in general. Each year’s call has a specific theme, and for the year 2016 artists are invited to explore the idea of “edge” through images: the edge understood not only as a geographical boundary, but also as the ultimate horizon above and below which we experience emotions, erect obstacles and build possibilities for change.

Guest artists for the 2016 edition includes German trio Mentalgassi, who covers urban objects (such as recycling bins) with photographic wheatpastes; Italian environmental engineer Andreco, who is specialized in urban sustainability; and a project born in Rome called Sbagliato, with the aim to interfere in the monotonous flow of information to which we are exposed in our daily lives.

You can admire the works of these and other guest artists while also participating in different events programmed during CHEAP, such as a street parade, the projection of a short movie and a documentary, a ‘bike pride’ parade, and live concerts and parties.


International Buskers Festival in Pennabilli (1-5 June 2016)

Located near Rimini in Emilia Romagna, the town of Pennabilli welcomes buskers since 1997, when it decided to allow street artists to perform even if an old national security law prohibited it. Every year in June, it celebrates the Artisti in Piazza (Artists in the square) International Buskers Festival, which has reached its XX edition in 2016.

International Buskers Festival in Pennabilli, Italy

photos by Nicola Gori & Francesca Bocchini and Artisti in Piazza on Facebook


Among the exhibitions by 60+ artists that will participate this year, you should not miss the sounds of Amar Corda (Italy – Netherlands) mixing the typical swing manouche with the melody of Italian music; Denmark’s Brunette Bros with an eccentric puppetry show in their old Truck-Theatre; the acrobatics of Circo el Grito (Italy – Uruguay) and Compagnie Dare d’ART (France); and “Juri The Cosmonaut”, a show between circus and science by Giorgio Bertolotti (Italy).

During the event, Pennabilli’s medieval center becomes the stage for Italian and international artists, with sounds, lights, words and colors animating the magical atmosphere. Shortly after this street art festival, Pennabilli also hosts another amazing event, the National Antiques Exhibition and Market, in July.


Street Theatre Festival in Certaldo (13-17 July 2016)

Mercantia is an amazing street theatre festival, one of the most exciting of the kind in Europe. It takes place in the town of Certaldo, near Florence in Tuscany, celebrating all that is strange, colorful, loud and musical through theatre, craftsmanship, contemporary art and the unique medieval borough. The theme for 2016 is “abundance”… you can just imagine how extravagant it will be!

The festival takes place in Certaldo Alto, the ancient part of town on a hilltop, which can be accessed easily by funicular or on foot. Within the historic walls, in Certaldo’s medieval squares, cloisters and parks you can gaze at the amazing or fun performances by clowns, mimes, contortionists, ventriloquists, illusionists, fire-eaters, actors and street musicians. The event is a fantastic way to bring together medieval traditions with modern and contemporary ways of expression.

In the lower part of town, the modern Certaldo Basso, you can find street stalls selling hand-made crafts, herbal remedies as well as local food and wine.


Are you planning a special occasion in Italy? Make it unique and authentic: enjoy an experiential journey by involving all of your senses and by interacting with the locals and their territory! Contact Italian Special Occasions DMC to plan, create and organize your bespoke experience.


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