A Look at the 2024 Lucca Summer & Pistoia Blues Festivals



The 2024 Lucca Summer Festival is currently underway until July 26 with multiple concerts each week in Piazza Napoleone. Some of the artists coming to Lucca include Rod Stewart, Sam Smith, Smashing Pumpkins, Duran Duran and Toto, to name several of the talents. Lucca itself is a historically rich city located in Tuscany famous for its musical legacy, well-preserved Renaissance architecture and city walls. 

The 45th edition of Pistoia Blues will begin on July 4 and continue through to July 13, with a variety of singers and bands set to perform against the beautiful backdrop of the Piazza del Duomo of Pistoia and Fortezza Santa Barbara. Pistoia’s main stage has seen over 400 artists including the likes of David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam and Chuck Berry, demonstrating the quality of the artists invited to this festival. 


From Miami to Ibiza and now to Lucca, nostalgic trio Swedish House Mafia are sure to entertain their audience at the only Italy date on their calendar on June 30. After a long hiatus, the house music legends are due to reunite. Best known for their early 2010 hits ‘’Don’t You Worry Child,’’ ‘’Miami 2 Ibiza’’ and more recently for their collaborations with the likes of Fred Again, The Weeknd and A$AP Rocky to name a few. Having reconstructed dance music as we knew it, they were the first to bring such sounds from the clubs into the concert and stadium sphere on a whole new level, becoming the first group to headline and sell out Madison Square Garden in 2011. Swedish House Mafia describe their newest album, Paradise Again, as containing ‘’[T]he most dangerous songs we’ve ever made.’’

With Tom Morello opening, July 6 is the only Italian date for Smashing Pumpkins on their THE WORLD IS A VAMPIRE tour. The band, synonymous with the sound of rock in the 90s, released the album ATUM in January of this year but promise to play a mix of their best known tracks as well as the new additions to their discography. The band emerged in Chicago in the late eighties with a completely revolutionary sound and quickly became renowned for their unique combination of rock, pop, metal and goth influences. At the time of their formation, their sound was different and completely new and is still unmatchable today. 

It was almost immediate success for the Smashing Pumpkins when their debut album Gish broke the international record for ‘’best-selling indie album’’ in 1991. Siamese Dream, released in 1993, is recognised by Rolling Stone as one of the best 500 albums of all time. Perhaps their most well known album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, was awarded a total of seven Grammy Award nominations. 

On stage in Lucca on July 19, Mika hardly needs an introduction. A noughties superstar in Europe and beyond, Lebanese artist Mika has amassed over 1.5 billion streams on Spotify and his debut album Life In Cartoon Motion has a total of over 2.8 billion streams to date. It is perhaps Grace Kelly, released in 2007, that Mika is best known for, selling over 2 million copies, and counting, worldwide. Other hits include his debut song Relax, Take It Easy, Lollipop, Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) and Elle Me Dit. His musical discography is one that brims with joy and pop mastery but is also intimate and heartfelt at times. 

This year, Mika released his first album recorded entirely in French, ‘’Que Ta Tête Fleurisse Toujours”. He describes this album as an opportunity to fully indulge in self expression with absolute freedom, particularly exploring his relationship with France –  something he felt he could not fully capture in English. Mika undeniably provided the soundtrack to the childhood of a generation.  (Lucy Turner)


The 2024 edition welcomes artists from near and far, such as Calexico, Elio e Le Storie Tese, Mark Lettieri Group, Mario Biondi and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Originally created as a festival to celebrate the blues, Pistoia Blues has expanded to cater to all tastes. 

On July 11, the festival will welcome two esteemed performers to Pistoia. Italian soul singer Mario Biondi will take the stage accompanied by an 18-person orchestra to share songs from his latest album, “Crooning Undercover.” Biondi’s performance will also include some of the greatest hits spanning his discography, arranged specifically for the festival. With a dozen albums and counting under his belt, the Catania native is no stranger to the blues scene. Biondi’s powerful voice has been selling records since his 2006 album debut.

Memphis jazz legend Dee Dee Bridgewater will be be on stage for the first time at the Pistoia Blues Festival. Considered by many to be one of the most talented female jazz singers in history, Bridgewater has received three Grammy awards and has collaborated with countless other jazz musicians from around the world over the course of her decades-long career. Her unmatched prowess as a performer means she’ll fit right in at the festival, which has expanded from just blues music to include other genres such as rock and jazz.  (Tara Monastesse)