The International Festival of the Gnomes, twelve years in the heart of the Fantasy revival

The International Festival of the Gnomes, twelve years in the heart of the Fantasy revival

The Festival of the Gnomes of Pescocostanzo and Roccaraso is an event that set the fantasy as its cornerstone; the Nature and its mysterious beauty, so rich in variegated creatures becomes the perfect theatre to represent the Magic. Elves, gnomes, fairies and goblins are now very popular icons loved by the children of all the World, but this fame is due overall to a sort of “Fantasy revival” that happened in the first years of 2000s.

Yes, the birth of the Festival of the Gnomes in the year 2004 was by no means an isolated event, it was a part of a global movement that put the spotlight on the fantasy literature, that in precedence was seen like a sort of a literary niche fit for the geeks. Just like as what happened for the comics literature in the late Sixties and early Seventies, also the Fantasy literature has been reevaluated by the big public, and Hollywood’s monster productions like Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (2001) and the Lord of the Rings (2002) by J.R.R. Tolkien saw the Fantasy element finally rooted in the global imaginary.

These movies, based on very popular and successful literary works, have definitely brought magic to fame, and the general public of all the ages have since then learnt to cope with gnomes, elves, dwarves and fairies. They came out of the boundaries imposed to them by the Romantic literature of the XIX century or the Northern European legends and traditions: the Gnomes are nowadays mainstream! They’re trendsetters! From the fairytales for the children, the magical creatures are now the main characters of movies, videogames, tv series, animated movies, comics, books…

The first Festival of the Gnomes, in 2004, was undoubtedly an event ahead of its time, and the organizers wisely foresaw this Fantasy revival that we are happily enjoying right now. The Festival of the Gnomes perfectly adapted the Gnomes’ legends and stories to the wonderful landscape of the high mountains of Abruzzo. This year, the Festival reaches its twelfth edition and follows the way of the internationalization, and set itself as a referral point for the Fantasy culture in Italy, and an important innovation lab for creativity and the language of the children Theatre.

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