Buonasera Sanremo, buonasera Italy! The 73rd edition of the Italian music festival “father” of our beloved Eurovision Song Contest begins tonight in the coastal city of Sanremo. Over the next five nights 28 acts will take turns on the famous stage of Teatro Ariston. Glory is promised to those who cross the finish line. Who will succeed Mahmood and Blanco and receive the honour of representing Italy at the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest 2023? The answer in a bit more than 20 hours of live show.
Very few things are comparable to the annual Italian music festival. Not many shows scream more belcanto than the Festival of Sanremo. Live from Teatro Ariston tonight begins the journey who will keep an entire nation glued to the screen until Saturday night. Amadeus and Gianni Morandi are ready to be the hosts of the 73rd edition of the music festival that inspired the foundation of the Eurovision Song Contest.
22 Big and 6 Youngsters
28 names are at the starting blocks of this week-long competition. 22 of them are known names of the Italian music industry, the six remaining have conquered their right to set foot on the most famous stage in Italy through a selection for “Giovani”. Here is the complete line-up of the 2023 Festival of Sanremo:
- Giorgia – Parole dette male
- Articolo 31 – Un bel viaggio
- Elodie – Due
- Colapesce e Dimartino – Splash
- Ariete – Un mare di guai
- Modà – Lasciami
- Mara Sattei – Duemila minuti
- Leo Gassmann – Terzo cuore
- I Cugini di Campagna – Lettera 22
- Mr. Rain – Supereroi
- Marco Mengoni – Due vite
- Anna Oxa – Sali (Canto dell’anima)
- Lazza – Cenere
- Tananai – Tango
- Paola e Chiara – Furore
- LDA – Se poi domani
- Madame – Il bene nel male
- Gianluca Grignani – Quando ti manca il fiato
- Rosa Chemical – Made in Italy
- Coma_Cose – L’Addio
- Levante – Vivo
- Ultimo – Alba
- Gianmaria – La città che odi
- Olly – L’anima balla
- Sethu – Sottoterra
- Shari – Sotto voce
- Will – Le cose più importanti
- Colla Zio – Asfalto
Eurofans will instantly recognise former Eurovision entrants Marco Mengoni (L’essenziale, 2013) and Anna Oxa (Avrei voluto, with Fausto Leali, 1989). Notably, Giorgia is back to the competition after 22 long years. It’s her fifth time at Sanremo, after having triumphed in 1995 with Come saprei, and having finished runner-up in 2001 with Di sole e d’azzurro.
Gianluca Grignani is at his seventh participation in the contest. Elodie, Colapesce e Dimartino, Levante, Ultimo, Madame, Paola e Chiara, Tananai, Leo Gassmann, Coma_Cose and Modà have all already taken part at least once.
This is the intense programme of Sanremo 2023:
- Tuesday 7 February 2023: the first 14 acts perform once
- Wednesday 8 February 2023: it is the turn of the remaining 14 acts
- Thursday 9 February 2023: all 28 acts perform again
- Friday 10 February 2023: cover night for all 28 entrants, sometimes with guest performers
- Saturday 11 February 2023: final night. 5 finalists qualify for the final round of voting.
In the night from Saturday 11 February to Sunday 12 February around 1.30 am CET Amadeus and Gianni Morandi are expected to proclaim the winner of the 73rd edition of the Festival of Sanremo. The winner is given the opportunity to represent Italy in Eurovision. Member of the so-called Big 5, Italy is automatically qualified for the Grand Final on Thursday 13 May 2023 in Liverpool.
Tradition has it that the host is accompanied by female co-hosts. This year will see the participation of the Italian blogger, businesswoman, fashion designer and model Chiara Ferragni (Tuesday and Saturday), Francesca Fagnani (Wednesday), Paola Egonu (Thursday) and Chiara Francini (Friday).
The Festival is also famous for its entertainment beyond the songs. Many Italian and international artists have been announced for special appearances: Achille Lauro (San Marino, 2022), Al Bano (Italy, 1985), Annalisa, Blanco (Italy, 2022), Francesco Renga, La Rappresentante di Lista, Mahmood (Italy, 2022), Maneskin (Italy, 2021), Massimo Ranieri (Italy, 1971 and 1973), Nek, Ornella Vanoni, Peppino di Capri, Piero Pelù, Fedez, Pooh, and many others. The Black Eyed Peas and Depeche Mode should also grace the stage of this 73rd edition.
Politically, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy is announced to broadcast a message to the Italian audience.
How to watch
You can follow Sanremo 2023 every night from 20:40 CET on the following channels:
- Rai 1
Italy in Eurovision
Italy is one of the founder members of the Eurovision Song Contest having debuted in the very first contest in 1956. The country has won the event three times with Gigliola Cinquetti (1964), Toto Cutugno (1990) and Maneskin (2021).
Italy withdrew from the competition in 1998 and returned to Eurovision in 2011 after a 13 year hiatus. Since their return to the contest the Italians have enjoyed great success in the event placing 9 times in the top 10 of the scoreboard including a victory in 2021. The southern European country has partaken 47 times in Europe’s favourite television show.
In 2022 Mahmood and Blanco represented Italy at the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin with their entry Brividi coming 6th in the Grand Final.