Blog 1609 Lecannibale 01

Le Can­ni­ba­le: how to chan­ge the urban nightlife

Founded in 2011 by Marco Greco and Albert Hofer, night by night Le Cannibale has written an important page in the history of clubbing and Milanese entertainment.

Over 350 events in the last five years have been worth annu­al resi­den­ci­es eit­her in Ber­lin and in Flo­rence, plus one-shot in other pla­ces as: Spain, Sestrie­re, Nap­les, Rome, Pavia and Turin and, in addi­ti­on, they have led to col­la­bo­ra­ti­on with well-known brands (Adi­das, Nike, Tom­my Hil­fi­ger, Replay, Sera­pian, East­pak) and with cul­tu­ral insti­tu­ti­ons like Milan Tri­en­na­le. In the years Le Can­ni­ba­le has con­cei­ved and pro­du­ced events and for­mats of an uni­que ver­sa­ti­li­ty, encoun­te­ring gre­at feed­back from the audi­ence: Wun­der Mrkt, a mar­ket of gre­at suc­cess offe­ring manu­fac­tu­red pro­ducts, run on mon­th­ly basis; Kaf­ka, the brand of pri­va­te and word-of-mouth par­ties in non-con­ven­tio­nal loca­ti­ons; Rever­so, fes­ti­val focu­sing on the histo­ry and roots of the dis­co music; Phi­fest, inter­na­tio­nal fes­ti­val of pho­to­gra­phy. Le Can­ni­ba­le has also par­ti­ci­pa­ted in pro­jects like Son­i­do Clas­sics, a fes­ti­val devo­ted to the arts and musics of the out­skirts of the world.

We have inter­view­ed Albert Hofer and Mar­co Gre­co try­ing to figu­re out secrets, ways of thin­king and inspi­ra­ti­ons insi­de a crea­ti­ve organization.

Milan, Rome, Flo­rence, Ber­lin. Your job covers cities that get their own signa­tu­re style down to art, archi­tec­tu­re and crea­ti­vi­ty. A situa­ti­on sug­gested only by num­bers or is it an accu­ra­te artis­tic choice?
Mar­co: No, it isn’t a case but at the same time it’s neit­her a real choice. Often cities select us, it is their par­ti­cu­lar cul­tu­ral humus that makes our pro­jects unders­tood and con­si­de­red. The­se cities are lively, wel­co­m­ing, open to the world and con­se­quent­ly they are the per­fect con­text in which we can ima­gi­ne doing cul­tu­ral chal­len­ges. Each pro­ject of ours is plan­ned taking into account both the cul­tu­ral and the social con­text that enc­lo­se it.

Your pro­jects get star­ted on the music and they build real shows and artis­tic per­for­man­ces around the musi­cal exe­cu­ti­on. How much is it important to invol­ve and at the same time to cap­ti­va­te the spec­ta­tors with new forms of crea­ti­ve enter­tain­ment?
Albert: The­re are a lot of oppor­tu­nities that rota­te around our area of job and — if it has a sen­se — we like to take advan­ta­ge of them. We almost never do some­thing for the plea­su­re of doing it but, when we can achie­ve added value from a more com­plex pro­po­sal, we are cer­tain that it’s worth it. Many DJs and pro­du­cers of our field have widen­ed the con­cept of show inclu­ding light-design, a visu­al dimen­si­on, and so on… In some situa­tions the­se per­for­man­ces real­ly are a step-for­ward (Sohn, Tycho, just to quo­te two shows we pro­du­ced in the past), while in other cases it con­cerns a tem­pora­ri­ly fashion that adds not­hing much to the product.

It is gre­at being able to work on a com­pre­hen­si­ve all-around musi­cal pro­duct: what is now nee­ded is a fur­ther growth of tho­se who ope­ra­te in this sec­tor so as to gui­de this tran­si­ti­on towards new fron­tiers of entertainment.

How do you choo­se your per­for­mers, DJs or artists?
Albert: The choice is based on a rigid enough metho­do­lo­gy and on obvious eva­lua­tions which the­re­fo­re are gene­ral­ly shared among the two of us. The offe­red pro­duct must be con­tem­pora­ry or of gre­at value. It must gene­ra­te attention.

For us it’s a must that we can deve­lop fur­ther what we offer, work on it; every show needs that we push both com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on and pro­duc­tion. Final­ly it has to be sus­tainab­le: this means not choo­sing to pro­du­ce what we like but what has a sen­se and can per­form, among the things we like. Con­crete­ly this means not to bring artists that we like a lot but still imma­tu­re, but always to pro­po­se pro­ducts on which we haven’t qui­te any doubt at all. Our job requi­res a strong imprint of art direc­tion as well as a full under­stan­ding of the con­text in which we operate.

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In many Euro­pean Capi­tals qui­te a lot of zones pre­vious­ly peri­pheral and indus­tri­al now are tur­ning (or alrea­dy did) into crea­ti­ve and cul­tu­ral cen­ters of tho­se cities. Which have impres­sed you the most and how do they inspi­re you?
Mar­co: The deve­lo­p­ment of the sub­urbs and the cul­tu­ral spaces of aggre­ga­ti­on as solu­ti­on to the rege­ne­ra­ti­on of the districts, are pre­sent and very cen­tral the­mes in the deve­lo­p­ment of the gre­at Euro­pean cities. Every city and every coun­try has its own histo­ry and is spe­ci­fics. I pri­ze Dalton’s con­ti­nuous dyna­mism in Lon­don, Williamsburg’s unbe­liev­a­ble con­tem­poran­ei­ty in New York, the vin­ta­ge and design shops of Soder­malm in Stock­holm, the tireless charm of Canal St. Mar­tin in Paris and its cafes, the movi­da of Malasa­na district in Madrid, the street art and the cul­tu­ral expe­ri­men­ta­ti­on of Mis­si­on District in San Fran­cis­co. I might add many others places.

The street art is one of the most evi­dent expres­si­ons of the­se new crea­ti­ve districts, but not the only one. Were the­re also por­traits of towns” at the PHI­FEST, held on July 14 in Milan?
Mar­co: We reco­gni­ze the com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ve power of street art. The offi­cial art has beco­me lar­ge­ly inac­ces­si­ble, imper­vious and distant eit­her. It’s per­cei­ved as art prac­ti­sed by a hand­ful of cho­sen’ ones and unders­tood by very few peop­le. Street art does­n’t want to grace only the city envi­ron­ment, it rather wants to com­mu­ni­ca­te through it. Exact­ly like the pho­to­gra­phy, Phi­fest is an event devo­ted to the por­trait” unders­tood as result of an inter­nal and per­so­nal path that the artists inter­pret accord­ing to their own sen­si­bi­li­ty. It’s made expli­cit as a con­tai­ner of sin­gle or collec­ti­ve expe­ri­en­ces that from inter­nals beco­me exter­nals, some­ti­mes per­so­ni­fied in empty and deso­la­te city envi­ron­ments. Con­tem­pora­ry and inter­na­tio­nal artists beco­me tel­lers of sto­ries and cir­cum­s­tan­ces often hid­den behind their shots. They docu­ment the city rea­li­ty, they fil­ter the ten­si­ons and the con­tra­dic­tions, they defi­ne the limits, they iden­ti­fy the details.

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Which are in your opi­ni­on, fol­lowing Milan, the Ita­li­an cities whe­re the­re is more social cul­tu­ral fer­ment and whe­re more inspi­ra­ti­on can be drawn?
Mar­co: I know litt­le about the rea­li­ties of the other Ita­li­an cities, and I reg­ret this. I see Turin stan­ding out thanks to years of illu­mi­na­te admi­nis­tra­ti­ons, con­stant­ly pro­jec­ted towards Euro­pe and the future. I always look curious and fasci­na­ted by the cul­tu­ral Roman life and I pri­ze sur­pri­sed to see the con­ti­nued birth of new fes­ti­vals in smal­ler cen­ters in the sou­thern coun­try, often result of pri­va­te local initia­ti­ves that with pas­si­on and healt­hy irre­spon­si­bi­li­ty bet on the music, on the cul­tu­re and on their own territory.

Fave events of this sum­mer?
Mar­co: Le Cannibale’s events have been held at the Cir­co­lo Magno­lia in july: the live of Gold Pan­da, the Detroit Swindle’s djset and the fan­tastic live of Floa­ting Points. Later a very beau­ti­ful par­ty at the gar­den of Tri­en­na­le Muse­um and the fes­ti­val Phi­fest at the Ex-For­nace, a fan­tastic space as well. The last event has been the Le Can­ni­ba­le final of sea­son at Bar Bianco.

What city has bet­ter adap­ted its­elf to the Le Can­ni­ba­le for­mat, and whe­re would you like to work next?
Albert: Madrid wel­co­med us warm­ly. We have always spent beau­ti­ful times in the Spa­nish capi­tal. We remem­ber the­se trips with gre­at plea­su­re: the­re we found a fasci­na­ting city con­text, and bound with the clubs and pro­mo­ters that have boo­ked us and — in gene­ral — we felt in har­mo­ny with the local rea­li­ty. I would like to go back soon!

I dream to return with Le Can­ni­ba­le in Rome, whe­re we have had two very beau­ti­ful events and I would rlove to bring our pro­duct to Lon­don or to Mexi­co City. I don’t know how it would work in the latter,but for sure it would defi­ni­te­ly be a won­der­ful expe­ri­ence to share with our staff. May­be we will be invi­ted to throw a par­ty to Vienna.

Wun­der Mrkt is perhaps the most evi­dent examp­le of how the crea­ti­vi­ty is trans­forming the way we see things and objects, reinven­ting the use. What has most impres­sed you amongst the stalls of the street mar­kets in the­se years?
Mar­co: Wun­der Mrkt is a con­stant­ly ongo­ing pro­ject. Alt­hough very suc­cess­ful it’s always in con­ti­nuous impro­ve­ment. So is the selec­tion of exhi­bi­tors whom we select for our mar­kets from time to time. I don’t want to choo­se sin­gle objects that impres­sed me. I admi­re the enthu­si­asm which many of the exhi­bi­tors put in this work. I remain invol­ved and it’s nice to find this kind of enthu­si­asm in per­sons of all ages.

Le Can­ni­ba­le is impul­se, instinct, poe­try. A kiss beco­m­ing a bite”. Whe­re was this mani­festo born out of?
Albert: Le Can­ni­ba­le is a vel­vet fist in an iron glove — if you’ll par­don the pun. It’s a par­ty with an aggres­si­ve appearan­ce, with a strong per­so­na­li­ty, but that does­n’t want to talk only to a niche, ins­tead it thinks about being able to enter­tain very dif­fe­rent peop­le, both in terms of their age and of their back­ground. We always try to address com­mu­ni­ca­te not only to tho­se who alrea­dy fol­low us, but also to tho­se who poten­ti­al­ly have yet to come.

We belie­ve that it’s bet­ter not to defi­ne the future rou­tes in advan­ce, so as to get lost adrift and to dis­co­ver unknown places.

19 Sept. 2016 · NEUBAU EYEWEAR
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