Beautiful venues seem to be everywhere in Italy and today’s Stupingi Park is no exception. Situated to the South West of Turin, it is a historic hunting lodge, quite the largest I’ve ever seen, not that I’m over familiar with hunting lodges. Each year, it hosts the Sonic Park festival, a feast of music and…beer, and more music.

Easing through the light afternoon Rimini traffic for our last hub-run from here, we arrived at the San Marino / Rimini airport where we passed through security, Mark smiling for the obligatory photos with the local police and security. 

Light lunch was served by Daniella on board the White Asparagus and pretty soon we arrived in Turin and were driven by Alex’s team to the Stupendous Stupingi. The rural setting, a pleasant change from the huge run of arenas we’ve completed over the past few months. Dressing rooms were situated a long way from the stage so vehicular transport was required the get us there for sound check and show. 

Low and behold. The scheduled time for opening the doors was moved an hour earlier than advertised by the local police, for some strange reason, can’t imagine why, and as a consequence, we thought a support act would be needed since the early comers would be standing for a very long time. What was originally a seated show turned out to be the opposite. Unable to get Veronica Fusaro here in time, (she supported us in Nimes) Mark asked Mike and John to open with a traditional folk set. John said that it was the first time in 12 years that Mark has asked this and that if the show goes well, they can do it again in another 12 tears.

Obtusely, the police escort TO the stage was insisted upon. I don’t ever recall doing that before. There must have been a reason that only the local police knew about. We followed them on the public roads around the perimeter of the park and Pete noticed that on the Sat-Nav, the venue appeared strangely familiar. We got to the rear of the stage and waited another 10 minutes as people were still pouring in to the venue. At 9:10pm, we’d had enough and we went on to rapturous applause. I noticed there was still a steady stream of latecomers well into the third song. As always, the set flew by and we were soon back in the cars, following the Carabinieri who were insistent on guiding us to the autostrada, where we parted company, waved goodbye, thanking them loudly and headed to the waiting jet and Daniella’s late night treats from a local restaurant, in her home town. Needless to say it was Stupingi.