Italian singer Jovanotti under fire over Jova Beach Party concerts

Jovanotti's beach concerts widely criticised by ecologists.

Italian singer Lorenzo Cherubini, better known as Jovanotti, faces accusations from environmentalists that his Jova Beach Party concert tour is damaging the fragile ecosystem of beaches around Italy.

Ahead of Jovanotti's double-concert on the Muraglione beach in Viareggio on 2-3 September, the public prosecutor's office in Lucca has opened an investigation for environmental damage, according to the Corriere della Sera.

The probe relates to the "destruction or deterioration of habitats within a protected site", the newspaper reports, and follows a complaint filed with prosecutors in Tuscany.

The case is against "unknown persons" and no names - for now at least - are listed in the register of those under investigation, according to the Corriere.

The Jova Beach Party concert tour kicked off in Lignano Sabbiadoro in north-east Italy on 2-3 July 2022.

The move comes amid repeated warnings from environmentalists that the large-scale concerts have a devastating impact on the already fragile ecosystems on Italy's beaches.

Ecologists say that flattening coastal areas around beaches and sand dunes compounds erosion risks and damages the habitat of ground-nesting wading birds such as the fratino, or Kentish plover.

La Stampa published an open letter recently with the title "Dear Jovanotti, this time you are mistaken", by noted ecologist Mario Tozzi who wrote: "Concerts with 50,000 people are not sustainable by any natural system, especially by our already compromised beaches."

Ecologists in Italy say that large-scale concerts on beaches put the fragile habitat of birds such as the fratino at risk.

Jovanotti, 55, has defended his 21-concert series, which kicked off on 2 July and is due to end on 10 September, hitting back at critics who he labelled "eco-Nazis" and "dangerous mythomaniacs".

The artist, who has 3.7 million followers on Twitter, says that all his 'JBP' concerts have received the necessary approval from local, regional and national authorities.

Jovanotti has also pointed out that the nationwide concert series is backed by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) which in turn has come under attack from environmentalists.

As the tour continues and the controversy rumbles on, several politicians have come out in support of Jovanotti, including Matteo Salvini, leader of the right-wing Lega party, who wrote on Twitter: "Let the artists express themselves and let the young people have their fun".

Bergamo's centre-left mayor Giorgio Gori on Twitter said attacking the Jova Beach Party had become "the sport of the summer", saying it was "typical of us: if somebody does something beautiful, festive, that works, we need to find a way to spoil the party."