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Sounds of the Dolomites: Frequently asked questions

A short guide to learn about and get the most out of the festival.

We have prepared this short article to try to answer your most frequently asked questions (FAQs), as well as any concerns from those participating in or interested in the festival. Although the festival is taking a break this year, some information might just satisfy your curiosity and turn your question marks into exclamation points!

Come with us to learn what the Sounds of the Dolomites is all about.

1. What is the Sounds of the Dolomites?

The Sounds of the Dolomites is a music Festival held in nature. Just as the name suggests, the concerts are held high up in the Trentino Dolomites, among the rocks and the meadows, the peaks and the lakes of the mountains. The festival seeks to combine artistic experiences with natural ones in a respectful manner with the aim of attracting interest from a wide audience, conscious of what our mountain is capable of expressing all by itself.

The event stretches over several weeks, with a programme of concerts that embrace a variety of musical genres, from jazz to classical music via world music, including a number of singer-songwriters and even a few forays into pop. Some special projects have also led to high-altitude readings, theatre, and even opera.


But the Sounds of the Dolomites is, above all, a big family, composed of the people who work hard to organise the festival down to the last detail, the people who contribute to and enable the success of every event, and the loyal, respectful audiences who care for the environment and participate wholeheartedly in the events. And, finally, the sensitive and generous artists who rise to the challenge of bringing art and music out of enclosed spaces and into the midst of nature’s splendour and majesty, forsaking technological conveniences and breaking down barriers with the audience.

2. When did the Sounds of the Dolomites begin?

The Sounds of the Dolomites festival was held for the first time on 1 July 1995, close to the Rifugio Brentei lodge in the heart of the Brenta Dolomites. It originated as an idea and a dream in the minds of Paolo Manfrini and Chiara Bassetti, who are still artistic directors of the festival along with Maestro Mario Brunello, a supporter of the initiative ever since 1995. Since that date, many successful editions of the festival have been held: summer after summer, artists of national and international renown have climbed these heights, along with many lovers of music and of the mountains. As a result, the Sounds of the Dolomites festival has garnered fame for its format, inspiring many other initiatives along the way.

3. When are the concerts?

Given that this is a special festival, it follows that the concerts are held at unusual times! Most of them take place precisely at noon, with the sun at its zenith. Other special events are held at 6 in the morning, known as Le Albe delle Dolomiti or “Dawn in the Dolomites”, because the music starts just as the sun crests the mountains.

4. Is there a charge to attend the concerts?

The real price to attend the festival’s concerts is the desire to be there: getting up early in the morning, tackling the mountain and approaching nature with a respectful attitude. To reach the “concert hall”, you’ve got to walk — earning access to the concert with your own feet! Alternatively, you can use lift systems or shuttles where they are available, though this is at participants’ expense.

Essentially, the festival was established as a project to promote the mountains and the territory of Trentino and has always aimed to raise people’s awareness of this delicate habitat by combining it with music.

One special feature of the festival is, in fact, the free admission to the events billed, with a few exceptions, such as a number of indoor concerts during Campiglio Special Week and the special Trekking projects.

5. What is Campiglio Special Week?

For the last few years, the programme of events has been enriched with a new initiative, Campiglio Special Week. This is a festival within the festival in celebration of the Brenta Dolomites, the only group of the range located entirely within Trentino. Isolated from all the others, they tower directly over Madonna di Campiglio and the beautiful Val Rendena.

A dedicated on-topic and musical programme lasts an entire week, not only celebrating the peaks of the Dolomites but also including concerts at the bottom of the valley, in places of historical significance and special concert halls. These events represent the truly distinctive aspect of the week, concerts at a lower altitude, moving down into the valley and later on in the day, starting in the afternoon or evening. On these occasions, there is a charge for admission and the audience number is limited based on the capacity of the hall.


6. What is Trekking?

Trekking experiences are special projects that add to the festival’s artistic offering and lift the spirits of participants. They are wonderful adventures, structured as 3-day packages in which musicians and participants, accompanied by alpine guides, share their everyday lives while trekking, staying at lodges, and enjoying exclusive, intimate concerts.

Unlike most of the concerts on the programme, these are reserved for a limited number of participants and involve a charge for admission. The concerts and performances have no pre-set schedule. Instead, this depends on how inspiration strikes in the location, favourable weather conditions, and the group dynamics that develop through the experience.

7. Any more questions?

You if you have any doubts or further question about the festival, or any curiosity please do not hesitate to contact us.You can write us an email sending it to or a message on the Facebook page. We hope to meet you next year!



Published on 21/05/2020