20 YEARS OF LIVE CLUB. Since 2002, The Cage has been organizing concerts in Livorno, making people happier and facilitating their inner growth.
On May 5, 2002, Livorno beats Alzano 3-0 and regains promotion to Serie B after 33 years of absence. In the midst of the city’s celebration, two diehard fans have an intuition. Sporting success is not enough: Livorno deserves more. Livorno deserves a live music venue. A venue that is loud, where the volume is cranked up to a thousand, where people sweat, dance, and sing. In short, a “live music club” in European style where things get real chaotic.
And so Toto Barbato and Mimmo Rosa, who had been active in the city’s cultural scene for several years, transform a shabby warehouse on the outskirts into the first Circolo Arci The Cage. The Cage is an instant success: hundreds of people from all over the city flock to the grand opening, and the first concert by Delta V sells out (the first of many). It should be noted that Livorno has always been historically resistant to initiatives of this kind, but where others have failed in the past, The Cage wins the challenge: in the following two years, the venue solidifies its reputation with performances by artists such as Punkreas, Shandon, One Dimensional Man, Bugo, Giorgio Canali, and many others. In 2004, the Circolo Arci The Cage finds itself with so many members that the administrative police immediately orders its closure because the venue “does not carry out the usual recreational activities in line with the circle’s statute”… or something like that, well. In response, The Cage transforms into the Cultural Association The Cage and continues to organize rock’n’roll events without anyone bothering.
At the end of 2005, after shaking up the Livorno summer with ten intensive days of electronic music during the “Effetto Venezia” event, Toto and Mimmo understand that it is time to take a big leap, the leap that is needed.
It’s time to fly solo.
Rock finds a home in a beautiful warehouse in the city’s industrial area: no residential buildings nearby and the freedom to make noise until late at night.
These are the years of definitive consecration. From 2006 to 2009, the entire underground rock scene passes through to leave its mark. The Cage nights become a real trademark: live music in the early evening, and DJ sets until late in the night for the aftershow. The venue becomes a fundamental gathering point, where all the young people from Livorno—and not only—eventually end up at The Cage.
From 2005 to 2009, The Cage is also entrusted with the complete management of the Old Fortress during the hot Livorno summers. Every summer weekend, thousands of young people dance and sweat under the stars until dawn.
The association also manages to bring the Italia Wave Festival to the city, which from 2005 to 2007 breathes the sea breeze of the Livorno coast.
Things seem to be going smoothly for The Cage. Or so it seems.
On February 6, 2009, a devastating flood hits Livorno. The small Ugoni Torrent gets angry and literally breaks through the venue’s wall, burying it in mud and sludge. A tree trunk—yes, a trunk!—splits the stage in two and completely destroys the audio equipment. The Rock dream seems definitively drowned.
In the fall of 2010, the municipality announces a competition to manage the Teatro Mascagni in Villa Corridi. Toto and Mimmo present a solid candidacy, with a clear and concrete project. The two partners overcome the competition and win the public tender. The Cage Theatre is born in February 2011.
From this moment on, The Cage becomes one of the best clubs in Italy and known throughout Europe. The theater allows for high-level productions, the kind that truly rock. Notable Italian and international artists take the stage of the small theater.
Toto and Mimmo’s dream has come true. Livorno finally has a live club that rocks as it should.
Livorno finally has its Rock Theater.
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