On January 19, 2019, the inaugural ceremony of Matera European Capital of Culture kicked off the annus mirabilis of the first city in southern Italy to be awarded this title.
Co-produced by RAI - Radio Televisione Italiana and organized with the Municipality of Matera and the Municipalities of Basilicata and the ECoC network, the event’s main protagonist was band music, since it’s a tradition that not only unites 131 municipalities of Basilicata, but also many European cities that gathered on the morning of January 19 at the Cava del Sole, which was renovated for the occasion and ready to become one of the landmarks of 2019.
The bands then divided and brought their music to several districts throughout the city and then met up in the main square for the final parade. The festivities lasted on into the evening and amazed the public not only with performances of artists from various companies, but also with guests of the caliber of Skin, Valya Balkanska, Rocco Papaleo, Arturo Brachetti, and Stefano Bollani during the Rai live broadcast hosted by Gigi Proietti. The Event then ended with the institutional greeting of the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella and a fireworks display that marked the beginning of a year to remember. Impossible to forget were the bright horses of the Company Quidams, or the music box by the artists of the Trans Express, or the Moon by the Company of Fools during "Matera Starry Sky”.