Visiting Sicily is not just food, nature and traditions. As a matter of facts, in the last few years there has been an increasing interest towards contemporary music and indie festivals that is also appealing for young people: it is the case of the Ypsigrock Festival.
Since 1997, during the second week of August, Castelbuono hosts an independent music event, actually one of the most important in Europe. During that week, this small medieval village in the middle of the Natural Park of Madonie is filled with thousands of Indie Music fans and musicians.
The name of this festival comes from the town’s ancient nomenclature, Casale d’Ypsigro, literally meaning cool place. In fact, Castelbuono is nestled in the mountains among the woods but at the same time not too far from the coast of Cefalù and Pollina: its location grants a lovely coolness, much appreciated considering the hot temperatures of the Sicilian summer.
The music event is framed by the beautiful main piazza of the town, a spectacular Arab-Norman location that, along with the castle, creates a stunning setting for the concerts of the most influent alternative-rock bands.
During the past years many important groups have performed on the stage of Piazza Castello, such as Blonde Redhead, Primal Scream, Mogway, dEUS, Patrick Wolf and many others.
Along with the concerts, Indie music lovers can also enjoy the cultural and natural beauties of the area while camping at the equipped facilities in the woods surrounding Castelbuono, in the green heart of the Natural Park of Madonie.
It is exactly this unusual mix of cultures, stories, nature and sounds that makes the Ypsigrock festival the most unique and exciting musical event of the Sicilian summer. I visited it during my graduation trip in 2010 and I was really impressed about how big and joyful the festival appeared in this small medieval Sicilian town; I made a lot of friends there, from Italy and from abroad and I really recommend a visit if you are an indie music lover!