DIY music venue Dal Verme, located in the Pigneto district of Rome, has been shut down by local authorities on the basis that it has become a threat to law and order. Over the course of its seven year existence, the venue has become something of a countercultural hub for Roma Est; it has been instrumental in the development of the Italian occult psychedelia movement – hosting shows from the likes of Mamuthones, Father Murphy, Mai Mai Mai, Lay Llamas and Mushy – while also providing a sympathetic performance space for visiting bands and artists. The closure has resulted in the cancellation and relocation of numerous booked events.
The venue has issued a statement via its Facebook page:
"The Superintendent of Police and the Prefect of Rome, not satisfied with having assigned themselves responsibility for social policies, with the damaging fallout that has brought a forced end to housing and social occupations and the clearing out of spaces used to host refugees, the cancellation of bottom-up policies of integration, stretching as far as the irrational vehemence demonstrated toward various associations, including Il Grande Cocomero, the Palestre Popolari, Viva la Vita Onlus, etc etc, have today decided to write another absurd act in this comedy by assuming responsibility over cultural policies: a far-fetched tool signed by the Superintendent of Police of Rome has informed us that we have become a problem for law and order, worthy of immediate closure in accordance with article 100 of the TULPS, Italy’s Consolidated Act of Public Safety Laws. This degrading accusation places our association dedicated to the promotion of social issues and all of its members on par with serious illegal acts such as drug trafficking, organised crime, the exploitation of prostitution, subversion and arms trafficking."
The statement goes on to assert that, "Those who read this text as an obituary are mistaken: it is only the beginning of a new conflict. If we are not permitted to exist legitimately inside the walls of the club we have constructed, supported by the spaces and realties who recognise the value of our work and those who have made possible this crazy but forward-thinking project, we will be proposing a dense calendar of events and initiatives to keep our actions alive."
Various initiatives to assist Dal Verme have materialised in the wake of the closure, some of which can be investigated by reading the full statement. The Italian label Boring Machines, which has issued music by artists including Mai Mai Mai, Father Murphy, Heroin In Tahiti, Rella The Woodcutter and Mamuthones, is currently offering up its full digital discography for 49 euros (one euro per album) with proceeds going to towards future legal actions.
Boring Machines founder Andrea 'Onga' Ongarato says, "Dal Verme has been home of the most adventurous sounds in Rome, with shows that span across many underground genres. It hosted several festivals, including Thalassa: Italian Occult Psychedelia. Some of the international artists which played for Dal Verme includes Wolf Eyes, Joe McPee, Senyawa, Mike Cooper, Rabih Beaini, Oren Ambarchi, Valerio Tricoli, Peter Brötzmann & Steve Noble and hundreds more. Without Dal Verme in Rome, the city loses an important hub for the arts."
Visit the Boring Machines Bandcamp page for further information. Subscribers can read Joseph Stannard's Global Ear feature on Italian occult psychedelia from The Wire 364 via the online archive.