A transformational expression of sound and space, Terraforma excels in the art of building an impermanent ecosystem that cultivates escapism, and continues to add value long after the three-day festival in July.
The contemporary festival landscape is bloated with elaborate, excessive productions driven by commercial interests, but Terraforma exists in its own lane. A three-day experimental music festival taking place in the woodland surrounding Villa Arconati, not too far from Milan, Terraforma exercises the transformational power of subtlety: planting interventions restore the natural environment, deeply considered spaces are designed to blur the boundary between creator and participator, and a strict anti-headline ethos democratises the dancefloor.
Terraforma orbits around sustainability, but not just in the traditional sense of the word. As well as an organisational model that measures, reports and reduces impact in terms of waste, mobility, energy and water consumption, Terraforma practises sustainability when it comes to community. Each year, the founders bring together a cohort of designers, architects, philosophers and musicians to ideate and innovate the festival experience.
Unlike the pop-up, pack-down festival format, restoration is central to the Terraforma ethos. One of the main goals of the organisation is to restore the historic garden at Villa Arconati where the festival unfolds. In 2016, the Terraform team engaged in a three-year project to restore the 18th century natural Labyrinth on site, a project festival-goers were invited to be a part of.
“Terraform” is the theoretical process whereby a planet is transformed so that it can support human life. At Terraforma, the creation of a unique atmosphere allows festival-goers to experience new sounds, new people and new environments – the perfect storm for cultural innovation.
Terraforma Festival takes place at Villa Arconati on 9-11 June 2023.