Industry Insight Vol. Four: Nameless Music Festival – Alberto Fumagalli

Alberto Fumagalli is behind one of Italy's biggest brands, Nameless. He goes into detail about Nameless Music Festival, the day to day jobs and what's next for the brand.

| by | Features, Interviews

Organising a festival is sure to be one major job to carry out. From staging to security to booking the artists, there is a lot to do on the check list to ensure it runs smoothly. Nameless Music Festival is one of the biggest EDM festivals in Italy and Alberto Fumagalli from the brand, has checked in to talk about each of the tasks which he carries out in preparation for the festival. Also on the cards in this edition of Industry Insight is Nameless’ new venture as a record label, so be sure to keep an eye out for this brand.

Just to get things kicked off, can you tell us a bit about how you first got involved in the industry and a typical day in your life?

I started organising parties for my friends when I was 14 years old, and I never stopped doing it. At 18 I organised my first big event with some Italian DJs in a soccer field. A few years later on, I managed all the clubs in my area, and then I decided to create Nameless. I don’t have a typical day cause I’m always busy with public relations. I can be in my office all day on phone meetings, or around Italy working on new ideas and locations, or on a plane going somewhere for a meeting with an agent… The only thing that never changes is the music. I’m always listening to music!

Touring and gigs have become a major part in an artist’s income. What enticed you into becoming a promoter?

Yeah they are a huge part of artists’ income – in fact one of the most important revenues nowadays. But I don’t think that’s what is most important. Playing at a first-rate event is one of the key things an artist must do to get their music out to the world, which is why at Nameless we are always working on building our brand, making it the strongest it can be. We want to make sustainable offers to all the artists and managements so that they can use the festival as a platform. We want to showcase the local talent and embrace the international talent as well!

I think the main thing that drew me to the job was that I always loved seeing people enjoy themselves at my events! That’s why I still love it now – seeing people all dancing and having loads of fun is just awesome! It’s something you can’t explain – you just get a lot of positive vibes and energy. It’s the most amazing feeling I’ve had in my life.

In 2013 you started Nameless Music Festival. Why did you decide to enter the world of promoting festivals rather than club events?

I decided to create my own festival after visiting other festivals in the world. We never had big festivals in Italy and my dream was to try building one up starting from the bottom. I left the club scene two years ago (2014), when I realised that they are stuck and can’t develop new ideas. Today people want to an experience that brings on an emotion and an unforgettable memory and festivals are the answer.

Can you give us an insight into what work is involved in organising and running a festival and how much time is required to execute the plan successfully?

Normally I start working on the next festival the day after closing the old one. I spend all the year on the plan, trying to do everything early to save time for the end of the production. The last month is the most important period for promotions and you gotta keep your mind off any sort of problem and distractions so it’s better to have everything that you possibly can have sorted, already sorted! I think a year is enough time to make everything work smoothly.

The 2016 edition of Nameless Music Festival was certainly your biggest to date, with acts such as Alesso, Nicky Romero, Benny Benassi and Fedde Le Grand headlining the event. How far in advance do you have to book artists of this calibre and is it a challenge to find dates that fit all of these A-List stars busy schedules?

I don’t this it’s about time; it’s more about references. When I started working on Nameless, nobody wanted to confirm performance offers even if they were 3 or 4 months before the show. In the last two years everything has changed, and now with some agencies I have already started work on the offers for next years edition. It’s definitely hard to fit your timetable around the artists’ schedules; you have to be flexible and able to apply some changes on the timetable if you really want all the artists to take part in the event. It’s like playing Tetris!

Promoting the event is obviously one of your main jobs. How do you promote the festival? Social media, newspapers?

We work only with social media; we find photos and videos are the best way to explain what the “festival emotions” really are. We don’t have the festival culture that other countries have in Italy. Sometimes it’s really hard to teach people what a modern dance festival actually is like. We constantly keep our channels of promotions up and running, making sure to post a lot of stuff all through the year that will create interactions with people whilst incorporating new ideas.

How stressful can your job be and how do you deal with it?

The last two months in the run up to the festival can get incredibly stressful! It’s hard to be in charge of everything and keep calm. Right now I don’t have a solution to the stress, even though I am aware of the fact that I must be as strong as I can for me and for all the team. Every year I promise myself that I’ll be out on vacation the day after the festival, but I never end up doing it ‘cause there is always a lot of stuff to manage after the production!

What are the hardest problems that come up when organising and running the festival and what’s been the worst situation that you have found yourself in?

In Italy the biggest problem is trying to teach people what an electronic dance festival is. We don’t have that festival culture here, as I already said, and the public always think that we’re planning a basic event like an uncontrolled rave or something! Teaching people – in particular older people, that Nameless is a safe place is the hardest problem for me. Anyway the worst situation was in the first year. I had problems with the tent that I had rented and I couldn’t mount it… On the last day it was raining a lot, there was a lot of wind and it was very cold. That was a really worrying situation as those conditions are never good for a festival and without the tent it was a nightmare!

What advice do you have for any of our readers who are interested in working within the promoting and events sector of the scene and what characteristics do you feel an individual needs to have a successful career in promoting?

I think they must be a leader. The most important thing in building up a festival or event nowadays, in particular if you are not a big company, is working well with your team as a unit. If you are a strong leader and have a strong team then you’re a lot more likely to reach your goals. Being a promoter is not an easy way to make money, it’s an easy way to waste it! So be careful and follow your dreams with determination.

Can you give us some news as to what we can expect from yourself and Nameless Music Festival in the future?

I’m working on side projects under the Nameless brand. Right now we are in Riccione, one of the most famous places for vacations in Italy. We are creating a beach project called Nameless Beach, which consists of a free entry party on the beach with all the emerging talent scouted at Nameless. It’s going really well! I would love to expand it all over Italy for next year.

As a promoter of Nameless Festival, you started Nameless Records. How did you manage to cross from being promoter to record label owner and what made you want to do so?

I always dreamt of using the Nameless brand to push Italian talents all over the world. In fact I always dreamt of starting a record label for that reason. I decided to do it when I met Federico Cirillo from Universal Music Italy, who loves his job and is as obsessed with music as I am. After a few weeks we had teamed up to start Nameless Records, which I don’t think could exist without him!

When it comes to the next few editions of the festival, can we expect to see the talent who feature on the label play at the festival, and could there be a Nameless Records stage?

Right now we have actually used the connection between the festival and the label in the opposite way! A lot of talented guys that we have signed at Nameless Records we found thanks to the festival! Anyway we have an idea for something like a label stage for the next edition, but I can’t tell you more right now.

For more information on Nameless Music Festival and Nameless Records:
https://www.facebook.com/namelessmusicfestival
https://twitter.com/namelessfest
http://www.namelessmusicfestival.com/

https://www.facebook.com/namelessrec
https://twitter.com/nameless_rec

Nameless.

Just to get things kicked off, can you tell us a bit about how you first got involved in the industry and a typical day in your life?

I started organising parties for my friends when I was 14 years old, and I never stopped doing it. At 18 I organised my first big event with some Italian DJs in a soccer field. A few years later on, I managed all the clubs in my area, and then I decided to create Nameless. I don’t have a typical day cause I’m always busy with public relations. I can be in my office all day on phone meetings, or around Italy working on new ideas and locations, or on a plane going somewhere for a meeting with an agent… The only thing that never changes is the music. I’m always listening to music!

Touring and gigs have become a major part in an artist’s income. What enticed you into becoming a promoter?

Yeah they are a huge part of artists’ income – in fact one of the most important revenues nowadays. But I don’t think that’s what is most important. Playing at a first-rate event is one of the key things an artist must do to get their music out to the world, which is why at Nameless we are always working on building our brand, making it the strongest it can be. We want to make sustainable offers to all the artists and managements so that they can use the festival as a platform. We want to showcase the local talent and embrace the international talent as well!

I think the main thing that drew me to the job was that I always loved seeing people enjoy themselves at my events! That’s why I still love it now – seeing people all dancing and having loads of fun is just awesome! It’s something you can’t explain – you just get a lot of positive vibes and energy. It’s the most amazing feeling I’ve had in my life.

Nameless.

In 2013 you started Nameless Music Festival. Why did you decide to enter the world of promoting festivals rather than club events?

I decided to create my own festival after visiting other festivals in the world. We never had big festivals in Italy and my dream was to try building one up starting from the bottom. I left the club scene two years ago (2014), when I realised that they are stuck and can’t develop new ideas. Today people want to an experience that brings on an emotion and an unforgettable memory and festivals are the answer.

Can you give us an insight into what work is involved in organising and running a festival and how much time is required to execute the plan successfully?

Normally I start working on the next festival the day after closing the old one. I spend all the year on the plan, trying to do everything early to save time for the end of the production. The last month is the most important period for promotions and you gotta keep your mind off any sort of problem and distractions so it’s better to have everything that you possibly can have sorted, already sorted! I think a year is enough time to make everything work smoothly.

Nameless.

The 2016 edition of Nameless Music Festival was certainly your biggest to date, with acts such as Alesso, Nicky Romero, Benny Benassi and Fedde Le Grand headlining the event. How far in advance do you have to book artists of this calibre and is it a challenge to find dates that fit all of these A-List stars busy schedules?

I don’t this it’s about time; it’s more about references. When I started working on Nameless, nobody wanted to confirm performance offers even if they were 3 or 4 months before the show. In the last two years everything has changed, and now with some agencies I have already started work on the offers for next years edition. It’s definitely hard to fit your timetable around the artists’ schedules; you have to be flexible and able to apply some changes on the timetable if you really want all the artists to take part in the event. It’s like playing Tetris!

Promoting the event is obviously one of your main jobs. How do you promote the festival? Social media, newspapers?

Nameless.

We work only with social media; we find photos and videos are the best way to explain what the “festival emotions” really are. We don’t have the festival culture that other countries have in Italy. Sometimes it’s really hard to teach people what a modern dance festival actually is like. We constantly keep our channels of promotions up and running, making sure to post a lot of stuff all through the year that will create interactions with people whilst incorporating new ideas.

How stressful can your job be and how do you deal with it?

The last two months in the run up to the festival can get incredibly stressful! It’s hard to be in charge of everything and keep calm. Right now I don’t have a solution to the stress, even though I am aware of the fact that I must be as strong as I can for me and for all the team. Every year I promise myself that I’ll be out on vacation the day after the festival, but I never end up doing it ‘cause there is always a lot of stuff to manage after the production!

What are the hardest problems that come up when organising and running the festival and what’s been the worst situation that you have found yourself in?

Nameless.

In Italy the biggest problem is trying to teach people what an electronic dance festival is. We don’t have that festival culture here, as I already said, and the public always think that we’re planning a basic event like an uncontrolled rave or something! Teaching people – in particular older people, that Nameless is a safe place is the hardest problem for me. Anyway the worst situation was in the first year. I had problems with the tent that I had rented and I couldn’t mount it… On the last day it was raining a lot, there was a lot of wind and it was very cold. That was a really worrying situation as those conditions are never good for a festival and without the tent it was a nightmare!

What advice do you have for any of our readers who are interested in working within the promoting and events sector of the scene and what characteristics do you feel an individual needs to have a successful career in promoting?

I think they must be a leader. The most important thing in building up a festival or event nowadays, in particular if you are not a big company, is working well with your team as a unit. If you are a strong leader and have a strong team then you’re a lot more likely to reach your goals. Being a promoter is not an easy way to make money, it’s an easy way to waste it! So be careful and follow your dreams with determination.

Can you give us some news as to what we can expect from yourself and Nameless Music Festival in the future?

Nameless.

I’m working on side projects under the Nameless brand. Right now we are in Riccione, one of the most famous places for vacations in Italy. We are creating a beach project called Nameless Beach, which consists of a free entry party on the beach with all the emerging talent scouted at Nameless. It’s going really well! I would love to expand it all over Italy for next year.

As a promoter of Nameless Festival, you started Nameless Records. How did you manage to cross from being promoter to record label owner and what made you want to do so?

I always dreamt of using the Nameless brand to push Italian talents all over the world. In fact I always dreamt of starting a record label for that reason. I decided to do it when I met Federico Cirillo from Universal Music Italy, who loves his job and is as obsessed with music as I am. After a few weeks we had teamed up to start Nameless Records, which I don’t think could exist without him!

When it comes to the next few editions of the festival, can we expect to see the talent who feature on the label play at the festival, and could there be a Nameless Records stage?

Nameless.

Right now we have actually used the connection between the festival and the label in the opposite way! A lot of talented guys that we have signed at Nameless Records we found thanks to the festival! Anyway we have an idea for something like a label stage for the next edition, but I can’t tell you more right now.

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