Europe? It's really rockin' now!

What happens when you mix European social policy with a contest for emerging bands?
You get European Social Sound.

ESS is an innovative initiative created by the Umbria Region to spread information about projects funded by the European Social Fund. These are EU-financed work and training initiatives, implemented by the Umbria Region for a new generation of Europeans.

ESS has developed a new strategy aimed at youth who don't tend to follow the usual institutional channels. Instead of organizing the same old meetings and seminars, the Umbria Region employed the resources it has usually used for those events to set down a format featuring a live talent show highlighting emerging bands, with performances alternated by informational sessions.

This is a significant image boost for the Institution: it has "dusted itself off" and demonstrated its ability to be modern organization, whose vision is consistent with the next generation of European leaders.


Onstage, information about the ESF was offered in a lively way. The formula of sitting through (50?) shades of grey while listening to speakers in "traditional" events was tossed aside and replaced by a new one: institutional speakers "resonated" with the event's fresh energy through their choice of clothing and presentations. Using high-impact, multimedia aids, they presented the Regional Operational Plan of the Umbria European Social Fund, which contains information about the amount of available resources and the types of projects which can have access to this funding. Young testimonials shared their success stories, describing how the ESF has changed their lives. And - before, during and after the event – social campaigning made its mark, as well.

Purposefully organized for the evening - the appropriate time for any concert – various events were held throughout the region in which groups were eliminated, perfectly mirroring the "Battle of the Bands" style. European Social Sound swept through Umbria, raffling off all sorts of prizes. At each stop, groups could move to the next phase if they received enough votes from quality judges - musical personalities living in Umbria who were chosen for this task - and from the audiences, who interacted by voting on their electronic devices. The judges chosen for the grand finale were well-noted personalities from Italy's entertainment sector.


The band that won.

The group "Pinguino imperatore" won with its song "La Barba", (here is the song's video). In their video they used natural settings, such as several famous and iconic locations – Perugia – and lesser known ones, like the "Scarzuola", an architectural complex designed and built by the architect Buzzi. The latter was conceived as a large theatrical set design, an "anthology in stone", which could also be interpreted in a different way through Jung's psychoanalysis.

The video of "La Barba" hit the 13th spot on charts last summer.

                                                     "Il Pinguino Imperatore. The winner band"


A great success!

But the band wasn't the only winner; the ESS format was a big hit:

  • The European Commission recommended adopting ESS in other regions.
  • ESS received the support of Radio24, which praised its originality and effectiveness and suggested it be "copied" by other regions.
  • The ESS format received a special award from MEI[1] (Meeting of Independent Labels, a private body).
  • ESS received a Special Mention at the RegioStars Awards 2016, EU's "Oscar".

"Regiostars Awards 2016"    


And now, a few numbers

There were more than 3000 participants, 58% of which were between ages 15 and 29, a target that had been hoped for during the campaign's planning stage. 89% really appreciated the event, and 92% said that the Umbria Region should organize this type of event again. And, perhaps most importantly, 81% of the participants understood the European Social Fund information that was communicated at the various events. This campaign has already been replicated with excellent results by the Sardinia Region, and currently three regions – including Umbria, of course – are working on a new edition at the national level. The launch of the new edition is forecast for April.

So, Madonna was right when she sang this a few years ago: "Music makes the people come together"



If you like this Project...

Participate into the contest by sending one or more messages (there's no limit) that express what fascinates you the most about  European Social Sound. Remember to follow these rules:

  • For Facebook, you can write your message directly on the contest's FB page, 2it4tat Regione Umbria, or you can write your message and tag the contest's official page in your post – copy and paste @2it4tatRegioneUmbria in your text – and your message will also automatically appear on the contest's official page.
  • If you want to post messages on Twitter or Instagram, the text must contain two hashtags: the contest hashtag #2it4tat, and the hashtag of the project #EuSSound.

The more you post, the more possibilities you have to win.




Facebook: European Social Sound

Soundcloud:  (It is possible to listen to the songs that entered the 2015 competition) 

Youtube: short video regarding the initiative.

Duration: 4 (min), 54 (s)

Jingle of the new edition (12 s.)


[1] Motivation: "A unique and original formula, which not only offers an important award to the winning artist, but puts the young audience at the heart of this event, and shines a light on the needs regarding new employment. Thanks to its innovative communication style, this music festival was an excellent opportunity to bring together and unite young people".