1º May marks the celebration of La Festa dei Lavoratori or Labor Day in Italy. Also known as May Day, the Primo Maggio has long symbolized the workers that came before - establishing the rights we enjoy today to safe working conditions and 8 hour days.
One of the largest events that takes place every 1st of May is the Primo Maggio Concert in Rome. The huge event draws crowds of over 700,000 to a music festival in front of San Giovanni in Laterano.
This year, the concert was forced to share the same day as the beatification of Pope John Paul II.
In addition to remembering workers, the concert was also a celebration of Italy’s 150th anniversary of unification. Performances and speeches venerated a united Italy and honored all those who fought for the Risorgimento. Organizers decided to combine the usual mix of well-known Italian rock and pop bands with a more traditional tone in honor of the day.
The 2011 Primo Maggio Concert included performances by Caparezza and Tony Hadley, Modena City Ramblers, and Subsonica. The Symphony Orchestra added to the more traditional styling of the day, and crowd favorite Ennio Morricone also took the stage.