Despite earlier sources insisting that in 2004 Albania would send Adrian Gaxha to the Eurovision Song Contest, the Albanian broadcaster RTSH will organize the annual Festivali i Këngës over three nights beginning Thursday (18 December). Albania is the first country to select the song and singer for the 2004 contest.
Although the RTSH website does not report about the event, on the website of the Finnish broadcaster YLE it's written that the Albanian national final will take place this Saturday.
Entertainment magazine Svet named Gaxha as the singer who would perform the first Albanian Eurovision entry. At that time, the offer was being played down by Gaxha's management. Since October, the singer has indicated that, although the chance to sing at Eurovision for Albania was discussed, nothing was agreed. The past weeks weeks he has been denying the agreed place in Istanbul.
Although the event, to be held in the Palace of Congress in Tirana, is just a few days away, information about the songs and performers is not yet made available by RTSH. The festival includes two contests, one for newcomers and one for more established artists. The winners will go to the Saturday evening final.
What we do know is that the winner will be decided through a combination of televoting and a professional jury. The show will also be broadcast in FYR Macedonia and Kosovo. The festival can also be watched via satellite in Europe on TVSH Sat (Eutelsat 16°E).
Esctoday.com contacted RTSH and we are currently awaiting their reply.