The Rockin’ 1000 Born From A Dream So See The Foo Fighters Perform In A Small Italian Town

The back story of Rockin’ 1000 is as feel-good as they come. In 2014, Fabio Zaffagnini had the urge to get the Foo Fighters to play in his hometown of Cesena Italy. A marine biologist turned technology and augmented reality specialist, Zaffagnini had the vision of gathering a large group of musicians and singers together to play a Foo Fighters song

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The crowd-funded project grew in ambition. Zaffagnini realised that to get the Foo Fighters to play in his small town, he would need to send the Foo Fighters the “biggest invitation to a rock band”. He invited 1000 musicians from around Italy to play Learn to Fly. After a year of organising, the musicians assembled at Parco Ippodromo in Cesena.

Watching the video one is struck by the sheer spectacle of the performance and the infectious joy of the playing. What a sight it is to see the ranks of drummers, the massed singers, and the other musicians grouped by instrument. An even bigger revelation is the quality of the performance, the sound (no feedback!), and the video. As the long list of credits under the video show, Zaffagnini went all out to organise a professional event of the highest quality. No wonder it took a year.

At the end of a glorious Learn to Fly, Fabio Zaffagnini directly addressed the Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl responded with a video in Italian accepting the invitation. The show at Carisport, Cesena, on 3 November 2015 kicked off the Foo Fighters European Tour. Given the success of the Rockin’ 1000’s debut, it is no surprise that the “biggest band in the world” reconvened. It is also no surprise that logistical issues mean that appearances have been special events, including the opening of Eurovision 2022.

The performance of John Lennon’s Give Peace a Chance at Eurovision was in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Rockin’ 100 pre-recorded the track in Piazza San Carlo, Turin. On the Eurovision broadcast, the song gives way to the PalaOlimpico Eurovision audience singing along live.

Since 2015, Rockin’ 1000, which has a shifting membership, has played in Florence (2018), Paris, Frankfurt & Milan (2019), at a global online pandemic-solidarity show in Dubai (2020), and in Paris & São Paulo (2022). This year Rockin’ 1000 has bigger plans. They are embarking on a World Tour.

The documentary We Are the Thousand (2020) has a score of 7.6/10 on IMDb. Musicians can apply to play with Rockin’ 1000 via the Rockin’ 1000 website.

If you would like to see more from Rockin’ 1000, you can subscribe to their YouTube channel. You can also visit their official website for more information.

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