Rai, the Italian national broadcaster has announced today that winner of the forthcoming 2015 Sanremo Song Festival will be eligible to represent Italy at the 2015 Eurovison Song Contest in Vienna next May if he/she wishes to.
Italy has long had the tradition of sending Sanremo winners or participants to the Eurovision Song Contest. The Sanremo rules and regulations have been released today, where it is stated that the winner of the 2015 Sanremo Song Festival will be eligible to represent Italy at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest if he/hes wishes to.
The 2015 Sanremo Song Festival will run from 10- 14 February with the grand final scheduled on Saturday 14 February at Teatro Ariston in Sanremo.
Article n.27 in the 2015 Sanremo Song Contest rules states:
The winner of the Campeoni category at the Sannremo Song Festival will have the right to participate at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest and represent Italy in the contest if he/she are available and agreeable.
In case the artist is not available , the organizers of the above event will reserve the right to choose another participant via their own criteria.
The story so far
Since its return to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011, Italy has selected its Eurovision representatives via the Sanremo Song Festival: Raphael Gualazzi (2011), Nina Zilli (2012) and Marco Mengoni (2013). But this changed in 2014 when RAI opted for an internal selection and Emma Marrone was given the grand honour of representing Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen with her entry La mia citta.
Emma achieved a 21st placing at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest grand final.
Italy debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1956 and was one of the founder members of the contest. The country has won the event 2 times in 1964 with Gigliola Cinquetti and 1990 with Toto Cotugno. Italy withdrew from the event in 1998 and returned back in 2011.
The 2015 Eurovision Song Contest is scheduled to be held on 19, 21, 23 May at the Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna, Austria.