Buonasera Roma, buonasera San Remo. The Ligurian coastal town is ready for a brand new chapter of its long-lasting famous Festival of Sanremo. The 71st edition of the most beloved Italian song festival will take off tonight with half of competing songs performing. Pronti, partenza, via!
Every Eurofan knows it: no Sanremo, no Eurovision. The Italian song festival started back in 1951 and inspired the creation of a continent-wide competition to bring people together and enjoy one pleasant evening of music in the aftermath of decades of wars tearing countries apart. This very night the 71st Festival of Sanremo kicks off in Italy with the first of five long nights. As always, we expect endless delays, Mediterranean drama and tons of Italian songs.
How to watch
The first evening of Sanremo Music Festival 2021 is taking place tonight and fans in Italy and around the world may follow it at 20:40 CET via:
- Rai 1
- Rai Radio 2
- the official portal of the broadcaster RaiPlay
First night, first Campioni
As it has been the case these past years, the Festival of Sanremo is split into two categories: Campioni and Nuove proposte. Last December Italian broadcaster RAI revealed the 26 acts competing in the Campioni section. Since 2015 the winner of this category will be given the honour to represent the country at the next Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam.
Tonight will keep half of the competing entries busy. We will discover the first 13 acts along with four of the eight artists of the Nuove Proposte. The first 13 Campioni were revealed just yesterday, they are:
- Aiello – Ora
- Annalisa – Dieci
- Arisa – Potevi fare di più
- Colapesce e Dimartino – Musica leggerissima
- Coma_Cose – Fiamme negli occhi
- Fasma – Parlami
- Francesca Michielin e Fedez – Chiamami per nome
- Francesco Renga – Quando trovo te
- Ghemon – Momento perfetto
- Irama – La genesi del tuo colore
- Madame – Voce
- Måneskin – Zitti e buoni
- Max Gazzè e Trifluoperazina Monstery Band – Il farmacista
About Sanremo 2021
The hosts of the Festival of Sanremo 2021 are Amadeus and Fiorello. They will be joined by Matilda de Angelis (first night), Elodie (second night), Vittoria Ceretti (third night), Barbara Palombelli and Beatrice Venezi (fourth night), Serena Rossi and Simona Ventura (fifth night).
The whole week will be without audience due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. This will be the very first time that the contest will be held in an empty theatre.
A few notable comebacks are to be underlined: Arisa (winner in 2009 in the Nuove Proposte and again in 2014 among the Campioni), Francesco Renga (winner in 2005) and Francesca Michielin (winner in 2016 and Italian representative to the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm). An anecdote: Orietta Berti first took part to the Festival of Sanremo back in 1965 with the song Io ti darò di più, competing a total of 11 times. This Wednesday’s will be her 12th appearance.
Diodato, who triumphed in 2020 with his Fai rumore, does not take part in this year’s contest and will therefore not represent Italy next May in Rotterdam.
Italy in Eurovision
Italy is one of the founding members of the Eurovision Song Contest and a current member of the so-called Big5. They have taken part a total of 45 times since 1956. They won twice, in 1964 with Gigliola Cinquetti (Non ho l’età), and again in 1990 with Toto Cutugno (Insieme). Lately, since their comeback in 2011 they have reached the podium on three occasions. During the show Congratulations: the 50 years of the Eurovision Song Contest the Italian entry Nel blu dipinto di blu (Domenico Modugno, Eurovision 1958) reached the runner-up place.