Why was May 1st chosen as the day?
The first of May was chosen as the day to celebrate the working class because in 1882 in New York, the first of May, some workers decided to protest and they got attacked by the police. After 3 days another protest happened and it ended with the intervention of the police and with the death of four anarchisists. During the fascist period from 1925 to 1945, the festivity was suppressed. Then it came back and was celebrated every year.
This is not a celebration only in Italy but also in France, German, Spain Greek, Brazil, Mexico, Slovenia and Chile.
The history of the concert
The history of the concert of the first day of May is connected to the one in Italy, in fact it has the purpose of celebrating the trade union movement, in the social and economic field, since not all rights were obtained with peace (for example the battle for the right to work 8 hours per day). In this concert artists give a message of hope and freedom through their performances.
The first concert of the 1st of May
The first concert of the 1st of May took place in Rome in 1990, hosted by Carlo Massarini and produced by Maurizio Illuminato; his aim was to bring good music with a message of protest, as a consequence a lot of people were interested especially young people. For this reason the total number of people attending the concert is usually 500 thousand people every year, with its peak at 1 million people in 2006.
The concert nowadays
Having a lot of artists performing on stage and sharing their messages of protest, the issue of censorship is very present, not so much now but, especially in the year 2000, a lot of artists like Daniele Silvestri and Elio e le storie tese were victims of censorship because what they said or represented was not accepted by the government. It is called “Concertone” because of its duration: hours and hours of music and live performances under the sky of Rome.