Rotterdam 2021

🇮🇹 Sanremo 2021: Either behind closed doors or postpone the contest to April

RAI to hold emergency talks on the status of Sanremo 2021

The Italian broadcaster that is responsible for the Italian participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, RAI, will, according to local reports, hold an “emergency summit” to discuss the future of this year’s edition of the Sanremo Music Festival.

A tale of two paths

It seems that there are two possibilities. Either that the whole contest is held behind closed doors or the contest will be postponed until April. This will certainly affect what direction Italy take for their participation at this year’s Eurovison Song Contest.

The reason behind these apparent upcoming talks is mainly down to rising Covid-19 cases in Italy and also, it is coming apparent each and every day that, even with current vaccination programmes, it is becoming increasingly improbable that live events can take part this Spring with an audience. Something the organisers at Sanremo were very much in favour of having.

Advertiser influence

Due to the fact that Sanremo is a highly commercialised event in Italy with big money partners and influential music labels, they need to listen to their concerns. The aforementioned two possibilities are what they are indeed pushing. The president of ADCI (Italian Art Directors Club, trade association), Vicky Gitto, said the following.

To hypothesize, a Festival open to the public, moreover in a very forced way between bubbles, isolating on cruise ships and swabs galore plays us, to use a polite euphemism, discordant note.

The Festival is a television show, not a theatrical one, which certainly the presence of an audience of a few hundred privileged people adds nothing.

From the organiser’s mouth

On Thursday morning, it was Amadeus who confirmed the cruise ship project to RTL. The project is conceived as a bubble capable of hosting the 500 participants.

From a technical and scientific point of view, something a bit risky must be done with the utmost rigor

Amadeus commented on Rai Radio 1

There are limitations

Walter Ricciardi, hygienist among the consultants of the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza stated that if there is some contagion the ship can also become the ideal place for the spread [of the virus].

Daily checks for quick swabs and social distancing protocols would be needed. It should be even more under observation. The Festival will certainly take place, because Rai has no intention of giving it up. It was also stated that last year the advertising sales amounted to 37 million euros. Amadeus went on to say:

But it is difficult to believe that the current pandemic situation allows the event to take place [in most normal way possible]

What might the picture look like?

Furthermore, according to local reports that in the offices of the upper floors of RAI, there is talk of a probable further postponement, in spring, presumably in the second week of April (April 4). However this would put a strain on the legitimate market strategies of the sponsors, which are expecting large economic returns (what will happen, in the light of the new decree, of external stage in piazza Colombo?).

The record companies, who have already set the release of the entries competing for the beginning of March. For now, Rai has not received any counter order to the artists and their respective collaborators.

Rehearsals in full swing

The rehearsals with the orchestra as of now will take place between late January and early February in Rome, hosted by the Studios in Tiburtina, with all the necessary precautions. They could serve as evidence general for what in practice will be the organization, in terms of safety and management of the risk of contagion, to Ariston

What about Eurovision?

Due to the fact that Sanremo is technically not a national final and the ticket to Rotterdam is merely an offer to the winning artist and by no means winning Sanremo automatically gives the artist first refusal on Eurovision participation, it is currently unknown whether Italy and RAI’s plans on Eurovision will be affected by these latest developments at all.

But if any further news arises be rest assured we will provide you with more information as it happens.

What do you think about these latest developments? Let us know! Stay up to date by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter@escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! As well as subscribing to our YouTube channel. Where you can watch our reactions to the news in the upcoming months. You can also follow our Spotify for more music from your favourite acts!

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