In 2019, the last occurrence of C2C Festival named itself “La luce al buio” (“The light in the darkness”), in a sort of premonition of COVID and its depressing consequences on festivals and, generally, human interaction. Sacrificing two official editions, C2C is back in 2022, and, now 20 years old, still represents the stubbornness of lights and rhythms pulsating in the raging night of a right-wing Italy, anxious to eradicate free party and “juvenile deviations” (an expression used by Italy’s PM Giorgia Meloni in the election campaign).

We went to the Festival at its starting, on Thursday, and left on Sunday, the day it set off. It was the first time at C2C for me and Carlo (who took the photos you see). Our intentions were fundamentally explorative. Both without an encyclopedic culture about avant pop scene, both with no previous connections between us other than Robin from C41.

ci fosse un’emergenza
qualcuno accenderebbe le luci
qualcuno con le pettorine
disporrebbe un percorso.
si esce da qui, ci si salva la pelle,
si mantiene la calma a non
schiacciarsi nella calca

if an emergency occurred
someone would turn on the lights,
someone with harnesses
would lay out a path.
get out of here, saving your skin.
keeping calm not to
crush yourself in the crowd.

After the first, strong, impact by Aya and Lyra Pramuk, Arca’s set defined what I would like to baptize a “stochastic method”. Throwing red paint against a transparent panel, stating the absence of a setlist, sitting at her keyboards switching sounds and presets in unassailable peace, facing thousands of people adoring every single second of her presence on stage. This kind of intimacy with crowd and chaos set a standard in my own interaction with the Festival.

On Friday, in the Lingotto location, 72-Hour Post Fight’s show added a precious element. In their visuals (live curated by Nic Paranoia, featuring Bruno Raciti and Giorgio Cassano filming and projecting the show in real-time with two smartphones), you could see a powerful mix of points of view, that made two “spectators” (who went up and down from the stage) actually part of the band, with the result that everyone in its own position could feel relevant in the performance.

l’urlo non si sa dove inizia,
strano figlio della folla.
trascrivo i tuoi messaggi nella ressa,
un software se ne cura.

quando fuori è il putiferio
c’è un sentirsi tutti interi
che è una fila di segnali
distinti pressapoco dalla macchina,
a noi fuori nel bordello interdetti.

you don’t know where the scream begins,
strange son of the mass.
I transcribe your messages in the crowd,
a software takes care of this.

when outside it’s the ruckus
there is a feeling of being complete
which is a row of signs
more or less decoded by the machine,
forbidden to us in the brothel.

But it was Autechre’s set that made me clear this participative stochastic method actually was a spell. Everybody was facing the mystery of a dark stage with no lights on other than the emergency ones. It looked like an attempt to put people together in front of an inhabited nothingness (the following days, I couldn’t help thinking about Low’s Mimi Parker loud absence), trying to get the chance to make a non-predictable succession of operations with any kind of magical results.

Saturday, listening to Caterina Barbieri’s performance, I felt that some kind of low-cost miracle had actually happened. Maybe for no reason. Listening to that minimalistic synth opera in the proximity of old and new friends, I knew that there was happening something in front of which it was worth keeping silent. Leaving by car on Sunday, after a lazy walk in a finally cold and sunny Turin, me, Carlo, Robin and Beatrice (the people behind this article) found each other mysteriously and ​​contingently friends.

trovo i miei modi per sentirti:
è afferrare alla rinfusa nello
scandalo segreto di non sapere
affatto cosa voglio.
è guardare un buio prossimo,
a distinguere tuoi tratti
colti pressapoco dalle luci
delle uscite di emergenza.

per strapparti ai morti
guardare dove guardano tutti.

I find my ways to hear you:
it’s to grab in bulk into the
secret scandal that I don’t know
at all what I want.
it’s to look at a near darkness
to distinguish your features
almost caught by the lights
of the emergency exits.

to snatch you from the dead
looking where everyone is looking.