Bergamo is a small, charming city in Northern Italy, an important part of the Lombardy region. Set on the foothills of the Italian Alps, Bergamo is often overlooked by tourists for its better-known neighboring cities like Milan, Verona and Venice and the popular destination Lake Como.
Though small, the city is very rich in culture and history, which is why there is something happening year-round. From concerts and festivals to celebrations of all kinds, Bergamo is a city that hardly sleeps. And if you are in Bergamo for some of Milan’s famous concerts, then you can just take the train or the bus, and you’ll be there in less than an hour.
Italy is famous for its opera, but the number of rock, jazz, techno, and hip hop concerts outnumbers the opera events. In this part of the Lombardy region, you will get the opportunity to attend festivals like the D-Side Festival, The Fara Rock Festival, The Punk Rock Raduno, Treviva Festival and many more! Make sure to book your tickets in advance and show up a bit early not to waste time in line.
Yes, there are concerts all over the place in Bergamo and to find out how to get around Bergamo to see them all, read our guide. But you don’t want to drag your bags to these fabulous concerts, they won’t even let you in with them. So, make sure to find a luggage storage service where you can keep them safe while you rock on.
The best music festivals in Bergamo in 2022
Bergamo Jazz Festival
One of the biggest jazz festivals in the world happens every year in Bergamo. Artists from around the globe take part in the event, which lasts for 4 days in March. This is one of the most prestigious music events in Italy and not only attract world-famous artists but gives young artists a chance to shine too.
Both free and paid concerts take place throughout the entire city, however, the main venues are the Donizetti Theatre (Teatro Gaetano Donizetti) and the Teatro Sociale in Bergamo Alta. This year the festival got a new artistic director, the famous Italian jazz singer and composer Maria Pia de Vito. After postponements due to the pandemic, artistic director de Vito put on a stellar festival once again showing the Italian love for jazz.
Since the first edition of the Bergamo Jazz Festival, famous musicians such as Keith Jarrett, Art Blakey, John Scofield, and Chick Corea have performed. The 43rd edition of the Bergamo Jazz Festival continued its tradition of attracting world-class performers. Taking the stage this year were the Fred Hersch Trio and Enrico Rava, Ava Mendoza, THe Jimmy Katz Exhibition, Jakob Bro Trio, and many others. There was even a special surprise performance from the artistic director herself for the very last song of the festival.
Don't miss this year's Bergamo Jazz Festival from March 17 to 20th. And make plans for the 2023 edition, which promises to be even bigger.
Festival Pianistico Internazionale di Brescia e Bergamo
After two years of being canceled, one of the most celebrated festivals is back in Bergamo, the Festival Pianistico Internazionale Brecscia e Bergamo. This year's 59th edition of the festival is the 100th anniversary of the birth of the founder Agostino Orizio.
The Piano festival will see individual artists like Helene Grimaud, Alexander Romanovsky, and Francios-Joel Thiollier. There will be other performances from the Festival Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of Tuscany, and the Little Musicians Choir as well. Performances will take place at the Teatro Grande in Brescia, Donizetti Theatre, Teatro Sociale in Bergamo Alta.
2023 will be the 60th edition of the piano festival and will be celebrating "Bergamo and Brescia, the Italian Capital of Culture." This festival dedicated to the piano is the perfect balance between classical and contemporary piano music and has won many world awards. The annual event runs from April to June with many dates and venues. Tickets are already on sale for 2023.
International Jazz Day Festival
The people of Bergamo love their jazz, so much so that they have two jazz events just over one month apart. The Bergamo Jazz Festival is the bigger event (one of the biggest in the world), but the International Jazz Day Festival is just as important, especially for rising talent. Over 100 hundred performers will take part in the annual event showcasing their talent in bars, lounges, parks and even on the street.
In the month of April, the city once again is filled with jazz artists from all over Italy. Throughout the month, a series of lectures, classes and small concerts will take place across the city building up to one grand performance at the end of April. The concerts are free except for the finale, which does require tickets.
Milan Summer Festival
Starting in June and running through to September, the Milan Summer Festival is a series of concerts including some of the biggest names like Korn, Green Day, Alice Cooper, Martin Garrix, Chemical Brothers, and The Killers. They happen at the San Siro Racetrack just outside of Milan.
There is even a special event that happens on July 3, the "So 90s Festival" which features groups like Eiffel 65, Venga Boys and headliners Aqua. If you are ready to dance to some of the best party songs of the 90s make sure to get your tickets before they sell out.
Shade Music Festival
The Shade music festival is an International Electronic Music event that takes place at the beginning of June and lasts for 48 hours.
Artists that have performed at the Fiera di Bergamo where the event is held have always been big names in the electronic scene, including Adriatique, Joris Voorn, Monoloc, Lehar, and Leon, among many others. Tickets go from $30 for a standard one-day ticket to $100 for an all-inclusive VIP for the two days and around $130 for a backstage ticket.
Punk Rock Raduno 5
Punk Rock Raduno 5 is a free admission festival taking place in Edone, Bergamo, from July 14 to July 17. It started in 2016 with the idea to bring together the best pop-punk bands from around the world, and so far, it is doing great.
The summer Punk Rock Raduno festival is a little different than other punk rock festivals. It is free, it is suitable for all ages, security checks are not very tight and there are no barriers in front of the stage. During the 4-days festival, the audience is treated to tattoo parties, raffles, art exhibits, sports events and more, making the punk rock festival an excellent place for a family reunion.
This year’s lineup includes The Lillingtons as the Methadones, Huntingtons, The Bobby Lees, Dan Vapid and the Cheats, The Mopes, and Beatnik Termites, among others.
Formerly known as the Independent Days Festival, the I-Days Festival is one of the biggest music festivals in the north of Italy. Taking place in Milan (less than an hour from Bergamo) every June, the festival attracts almost 100,000 fans over two weekends and some of the biggest names in music.
Some of the previous artists include Pearl Jam, Radio Head, Martin Garrix, The Killers, and Linkin Park. This year's lineup will feature big names like Greta Van Fleet, Imagine Dragons, Weezer, and Green Day, who are back for a second time. June 9-12 are the 2022 dates, and start planning your visit to Bergamo for 2023 to make sure you don't miss this one.
Milano Latin Festival
This summer in Assago, the heat is getting turned up with the Milano Latin Festival, a series of concerts, and other events that happen from June 9 to August 16. A stellar lineup of concerts from Latin artists like Marc Anthony, Tony Vega, Tony Succar, Anitta, Prince Royce, and many more.
Beyond the great concerts taking place, you can take advantage of the festival to learn Latin dances, taste the food from all the different countries, and discover some of the great Latin painters and other types of artists. South Central, and North America, Europe and the Caribbean, will all be represented through musical concerts, dance performances, parades, food and drink, art, and exhibitions. From historical folk music and cultural performances to the modern-day, if it is Latin, it will be there.
The International Folklore Festival of Bergamo
The International Folklore Festival takes place in August, at the same time as the Sant’Alessandro celebration or the Patron Saint day. The organizers behind the festival are Ducato di Piazza Pontida, a cultural center in Bergamo.
The one-week-long free admission event gathers folklore groups and musicians from all around the world, including Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and Oceania, to participate in various shows, including music and dances, and promote their culture.
This Festival first took place in 1983 and is known as one of the best international folklore festivals in Italy. If you happen to be in Bergamo from August 21 to August 28, stop by Piazza Pontida and enjoy this multicultural event.
Kappa Futur Festival
To find one of the most iconic electronic music festivals, not only in Italy but in Europe, just head west to Turin. The city is only 2 hours away from Bergamo, but people will be coming from around the world to party in Turin at the Kappa Futur Festival. On July 1, 2, and 3, Parco Dora will host the festival which will see some of the world's best underground house and techno DJs spin.
It will be a mix of recorded and live DJ music. Performing live will be Ben Bohmer, Carl Craig, Satoshi Tomiie, Reinier Zonneveld, Fjaak, and Mathew Jonson. Over 50,000 fans will attend the weekend event, and tickets range from general admission to full art & techno VIP experience.
For those that love their classical music, this is a chance to discover it again in settings like any other. The concerts will be held in the stunning nature around Lake Como. International classical artists come together to perform in historical and architectural locations. The Sanctuary of the Beata Vergine del Soccorso on Sacro Monte di Osuccio, the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, and the Lake Como Greenway are a few of the incredible locations.
Performances from Richard Galliano, Pavel Berman, the Symphonic Orchestra Giuseppe Verdi of Milan, and, of course, the organizers Louis Lortie and Paolo Bressan. From July 7 to 17, This is a chance to discover a truly unique way to experience classical music.
Donizetti Opera Festival
One of the most revered figures in Bergamo is the composer Gaetano Donizetti. The great composer was born, lived and died in the city, and in honor of his memory, operas are performed each year in November. In 2022 four operas will be performed starting on November 17 and run until December 4.
The operas will be on alternating nights, so you won't have to skip one to see another, and they will all take place at the Donizetti Theatre (Teatro Donizetti). This year "La favorite", "L'aio nell'imbarazzo", "Chiara e Serafina", and "Lu OpeRave" a interesting mix of opera and electronic music, are scheduled to be performed.
Planning to stay some more days in Bergamo?
If you are not in Bergamo for any of these festivals, don’t despair. Bergamo offers a vibrant nightlife, and you will get the chance to listen to live music at some of the bars and restaurants like the PDF Mottociclette live music bar or the Irish Pub O’Dea’s or dance the night away in one of the nightclubs such as the Edone or Perbacco.
Opera lovers can enjoy an opera performance at the opera house, Teatro Donizetti. There are so many things to do in Bergamo, even when the festivals are over, like free activities in Bergamo and museum hopping, too. Keep up to date with the events and attractions and don’t miss out on any!
If you're planning to stay longer in Bergamo, take a look at our other Bergamo guides for other fun activities!