Police Shuts Down Concert Venue DalVerme in Rome

We’ve talked to you about DalVerme before, most notably in Indie Guides Rome. A concert venue, bar and cultural hotspot all at once, this place has a little bit of everything we love. Unfortunately, the Rome police don’t share our enthusiasm. Last Friday, DalVerme was singled out as a threat to public order and has been subjected to immediate closure.

With municipal elections in Rome only a month away, the city has transformed into a kind of social, cultural and legal Wild West. DalVerme bore the brunt of this last Friday when Rome’s chief of police called to suspend all the organization’s activities until further notice, under the pretext of protecting the city from “delinquent gatherings” resulting from the events held at DalVerme.

A Law-Abiding Cultural Center

With upwards of 100 concerts per year, it would seem obvious that during its seven years of operation, DalVerme has contributed much more to the culture in Rome than it has to crime. Despite frequent police visits in recent months, DalVerme’s managers assert they have always done everything they could to remain within the bounds of the law. For example, they invested nearly 30,000 euros in order to meet sound proofing requirements for the concert space.

Local and International Influence

In the past, DalVerme has maintained a good relationship with local authorities. The organization was proud to collaborate with the city on several projects, including two editions of the city-funded Pigneto Spazio Aperto Festival of Independent Culture. In addition, DalVerme has been an active promoter of local culture and has contributed to bringing well-known international artists to Rome. Lori Glodston, the cellist from Nirvana, Peter Brötzmann, one of the most prominent figures of European free jazz, and Massimo Pupillo of Zu, an experimental band from Rome, have all played at DalVerme.

How You Can Help

To speak out against the closure, an impromptu protest was organized yesterday, hoping to get city officials to meet with a delegation of DalVerme members. With its popularity in Rome and abroad, DalVerme has already received a lot of support. The indie label To Lose La Track has proposed to put out a compilation of Roman bands with ties to DalVerme, with proceeds going back to the organization. Other icons of the Roman alternative scene, such as Fanfulla and Trenta Formiche, plan to organize fundraising efforts as well. A call for donations has been posted to Dal Verme’s Facebook page here. You can also help by sending an email to Roman authorities requesting DalVerme’s immediate reopening.
Despite the harsh accusations it now faces, DalVerme has not given up hope, as is evident in the final sentence of their Facebook post: “Those who read this text as an obituary are mistaken: it is only the beginning of a new conflict.”

Photo: DalVerme / Article translated by Andrea Perdue